First this event today put a smile on my face, then a bit of annoyance and finally a question to the manager tools community.

Today i was conducting a number of interviews for a replacement for one of my team members. The team is scattered all over Europe so the interviews was conducted with video conference.

To the question "tell me of a significant accomplishment" a candidate described a tool he have developed for the accounting department and the impact it had on the department. I was probing a bit: "did you build it from scratch?" The candidate replied yes from scratch, some was recorded as a macro the rest i wrote.
"How did you identify the need?" - the candidate replied hesitantly and not very clear. The latter could have disqualified him alone.

But little did the guy know, that the tool he described was developed by me a handful of years ago. And later on improved by a guy who have been in the same department as the candidate currently is working in. The department have implemented it as a standard since then. The colleague who improved the tool later on joined my team.

So i couldn't help smile. First off - the chances in our company, of running into someone in a different country, and department, who knows that your claim couldn't hold much truth - well that chance is very small. Second off, i smiled at how easy it is to be trusting when conducting an interview. Wanting to see the good things and looking for reasons to say yes (even if I know i should look for reasons to say no).

Now i can't help smile at my self. For being annoyed. For having the thought "that jerk is claiming credit on my work" - i thought i was better than that, alas I'm not. I genuinely got annoyed.

I let the benefit of the doubt speak for the candidate. It is impossible for me to rule out that he in fact build a tool, that did the same as the established standard. Either because the standard I the department wasn't rolled out to the extent I've been told - or because the world changes and they needed a new tool to match new systems. So in the interview i didn't confront him with the statement that it's interesting that he build the said tool, given that i build one years ago, which I've seen in use in his current department.

And so comes the question to the community.
If during an interview you think a candidate is flat out lying through his teeth. What do you do?
Tell him?
Or just notice that you found a reason to say no? If nothing else then just for the reason that you think he's lying.

lkchavez's picture

I'd just say no, and move on to the next candidate. If this person asks for interview feedback after the regret answer, the I'd tell him that the answer did not demonstrate the full length of his contribution as you happen to know the company, you built the application ...