Assessing Honesty – Who is Better?

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The workplace is most often or not an amalgam of varying personalities and talents.  It could be difficult, especially in these competitive times, to get an accurate assessment of an employee’s abilities and competence in just a couple of interview sessions.

Often times prospective employees exaggerate accomplishments and/or experience.  It is very important that the company leader (the one who decides who to hire) make well thought out predictions on how a person will perform based on the limited amount of time they have interacted with them.  Hiring managers must make sure candidates can measure up to the requirements of the job description.

Is it the skeptical manager, who is more often than not suspicious about others, or the trusting manager, who assumes that people for the most part are honest, that is better at evaluating truthfulness?

 The Washington Post reported on a study performed by Psychologists Nancy Carter and Mark Weber.

They presented business professionals with a scenario about an organization struggling with dishonesty in its hiring interviews. They had the chance to choose one of two highly competent senior managers to be the company’s job interviewer. The major difference between the two managers wasn’t experience or skill, it was a matter of personality: one manager was skeptical and suspicious, whereas the other manager had a habit of trusting others.

Eighty-five percent chose the skeptical manager to make the hiring decisions, expecting the trusting manager to be naïve and easily duped.

As we know through research Evaluating Truthfulness is a difficult task to master.  Experienced experts continue to brush up on their skills to stay fresh and on top of their game.  Past research has shown that the average person is no better than chance at detecting deception.

So, who is the better lie detector during interviews?

Contrary to popular belief, it is the skeptics that are duped more often than not.   The more trusting evaluators better identified the liars among the group than the skeptics did, and were also less likely to hire those liars.

Why would this be? According to Carter and Weber, it is that lie-detection skills cause people to become more trusting. If you’re good at spotting lies, you need to worry less about being deceived by others, because you can often catch them in the act.  Another possibility is that by trusting others, we sharpen our skills in reading people.

Want to brush up on your Deception Detection Skills?

Join our Evaluating Truthfulness LIVE Webinar, April 27 2013 11-1 pm PST. 


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