Have any of you watched the new series “Lie to Me”?  I find myself fascinated with the science around lying. Was does it mean when our brow furrows, our lips twitch, our eyes squint?

My son recently had an incident helping a stranger who ended up robbing him. Later he reflected that his gut told him something wasn’t right and that he shouldn’t have allowed himself to be in that situation.  A good friend of mine told me she knew her husband was cheating on her when his excuses for being late became too elaborate; when he told in great detail about stopping to get milk, then the gas station, then how he couldn’t find the brand of something he wanted, then had to go to Walmart, etc. etc.  We all have those times when you sense something isn’t as it seems, but you can’t exactly put your finger on it.

As a recruiter this happens all the time. My gut or my instincts tell me when someone isn’t being fully truthful. With today’s unemployment figures rising, candidates may feel more tempted to stretch the truth, exaggerate their roles or lie about having a degree. This is a risky game to play.

I am drawn to genuine people. Even if their experiences aren’t 100% perfect for the role, I will manage my risk and go with a candidate that rings true to me. With fewer opportunities and each project having greater client impact, we can’t afford to make mistakes.

My Advice: Be your authentic self focusing on your strengths related to the opportunity at hand.  Give your very best and instead of exaggerations, prepare your interviewing skills, polish your communication style and use your best examples of your strengths and contributions.