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Updated: Apr 4

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With so many people looking to get a job in tech... hiring the right person for your open job is critical, and it requires a thorough analysis of their personality and scrutiny of their qualifications. But with the increasing competition in the job market, some people might be compelled to push their luck and fake their qualifications to gain an advantage over everyone else.

With AI and smart technology like deepfakes on the rise, it’s more difficult than ever to tell if you’re talking to someone who genuinely checks all the right boxes, or is simply telling you what you want to hear. Let’s go over some ways that you can tell if a candidate is faking their way onto your short list!

Is this a Fake LinkedIn Profile?

One of the most popular tools for assessing a candidate's qualifications is LinkedIn. While the platform is great for highlighting work experience, education, and skills, this also makes it a prime target for embellishment and fakery. Always double check the legitimacy of the information provided, and don’t be afraid to call on references and sources.

Ways to Check if a LinkedIn Profile is Fake

1) Pay attention to the level of detail. Real profiles should have detailed summaries and accurate dates, with descriptions of the work done and accountabilities, while fake ones are more likely to be generic.

2) Look through their connections and recommendations. If they’re not in the same networks as their alleged former colleagues, supervisors, educational institutions, start raising your red flags.

3) In the tech world, watch out for vague prior experience with hard-to-trace roles, such as working on obscure NFT platforms. While not always false, this should be a signal to do your due diligence.

Skip the recruitment headache altogether with qualified leads from Talint Solutions – find true talent today!

Spotting Fake Qualifications

Background Checks

The thorough background check should be “day one” stuff for any applications you’re seriously considering. This means verifying the applicant’s claimed identity, educational background, work experience, and earned certifications. As roles get more senior and accountable in nature, these checks become crucial in weeding out anyone who can’t handle what the job requires (or who are only interested in stealing your information).

Many organizations have a designated HR department that can handle background checks. If you don’t have time to dedicate to that, there is specialized reference-checking software you can get. We’re also glad to tell you that we’ve got you covered, so reach out!

Plagiarism in the CV

Though it may feel like a joke that “all resumes read the same” after the umpteenth one, you might notice that some are quite literally word-for-word copies of something you’ve seen before. Some candidates (fake, but even real as well) may copy and paste sections of their CV from online sources, which can be easily detected through a simple online search. Online tools like plagiarism checkers can turn the tables on potential copiers if you have your doubts about their legitimacy.

Fake Candidates and Video Interviews

Refusing video interviews is probably the biggest red flag, historically speaking, but technology is advancing so quickly that many fakes are now getting by, unnoticed.

Firstly, if a candidate is unwilling to participate in a video or in-person interview, it may be a sign that they are faking their qualifications. These interviews allow recruiters to assess a candidate's communication skills, professionalism, and demeanor, and a candidate who is not willing to participate in an interview may be hiding something, such as a lack of experience or qualifications.

Even if an interview is agreed to, look out for some other common tricks that false applicants use:

  • Having someone else off-screen and off-mic, advising on technical questions

  • Hiring a stand-in to fill in for the interview and ace it, hoping that the company won’t notice after the offer is extended

Spotting a Deepfake

Deepfakes – using AI to create convincing video footage of someone else, like a celebrity or a fake persona – can easily trick an unsuspecting hiring manager. If you’re trying to tell if someone is real or not on a video interview, look for telltale signs that AI still has trouble replicating:

  • Mouth movements during rapid speech, coughs, etc.

  • Proper shading and contours

  • Parts of their face or fingers may look “off”

  • Pixelation or glitches at a transition point (e.g., collar to skin)

  • A distortion if the head is turned too far left or right, or moves too far back

Preventing Cheating

So, you’ve got someone on camera. You’re (almost) 100% sure they are who they say they are. How can you make sure they’re as qualified as they say they are, too?

There is specialized software that tracks IP addresses, mandates video connections, and prevents the copying and pasting of code during interviews, which helps ensure that your candidate can think on their feet and actually solve the problems you’re giving them. You can also simply ask them to share their screen, to see if there is anything happening that shouldn’t be.

While some people may feel like that’s a little too far, it’s the trade-off we have here in the modern world of remote work.

Finding the Right IT Candidates

Finding, encouraging, screening, and hiring the right candidates for your IT roles can quickly feel like a full-time job in itself. If you’re finding yourself burning out from the process, rely on trusted professionals with decades of experience in finding great leads for great jobs. You’re already connected to us – get Talint on your side and make your IT recruitment a breeze!

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