The Dangers of Falling in Love


By Dr. Jack Goodner


Job candidates often embellish and, sometimes, even outright lie. A few years ago, a well-known and respected college football coach, when applying to the head coaching position at a major university, claimed a master’s degree and varsity letters in football that he actually never earned. Had the university hiring personnel not dug deeper, he might have gotten the job. In all fairness, he owned up to his mistake and is currently enjoying success at another fine institution.


Carr Assessments played a key role in a similar incident. A position for National Sales Manager opened up at a large insurance company. The assessment process pointed out major concerns in one of the finalists. However, the selection committee reported that they were very impressed by the candidate and intended to proceed as planned in spite of the findings. A Carr consultant suggested that they re-check the qualifications of the individual and, if the candidate did, in fact, have the experience claimed, the report would be shredded and there would be no charge.


The hiring committee went back to the search firm to verify education and experience. This review uncovered that the candidate had neither worked at the level reported nor had the educational background listed. When the committee pursued this further with the candidate and asked why he misrepresented himself, he stated that doing so had not been a deterrent when applying for other positions.


Unlike the aforementioned football coach, there appeared to be little or no remorse and he seemed to learn nothing from his mistake which, in and of itself, was a red flag. Obviously the company passed on hiring him and was quite grateful for Carr’s highly objective and thorough input.


In conclusion, the primary lesson here is don’t fall in love with a candidate. Emotions and gut feelings can prove disastrous when not combined with a well-proven assessment process and due diligence. If someone misrepresents himself or herself on a resume and/or during an interview, what havoc would he or she create internally for your organization, if hired?