[IPAC-List] applicants misrepresenting their experience

Fisher, Christine (DOT) christine.fisher at state.mn.us
Fri Sep 12 08:20:20 EDT 2014

Greetings Natasha!  You have probably reviewed a copy of the attached Evaluating Job Applicants: The Role of Training and Experience in Hiring.  The USMSPB provides some good advice on how to guard against applicant misinformation.  Good luck - it is something that we are struggling with, as well.  Christine
Christine Fisher
Office of Human Resources
MN Department of Transportation
395 John Ireland Blvd., M.S. 200
St. Paul, MN 55155
Phone:  651-366-3410
Fax:      651-366-3407
[MnDOT A to B logo]

From: IPAC-List [mailto:ipac-list-bounces at ipacweb.org] On Behalf Of Glen Morry
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2014 6:49 AM
To: RPClare at aol.com; Mark.Hammer at cfp-psc.gc.ca; ipac-list at ipacweb.org
Subject: Re: [IPAC-List] applicants misrepresenting their experience

It could very well be that the applicant is overstating their qualifications or putting a "spin" on their experience - this is all too common. However, it could also be that the applicant is simply providing the best behavioural examples that relate to the each specific job they are applying for.  So for example, for job X when talking about "planning and organizing", they might discuss how they planned and set up the logistics for an annual meeting, and for job Y they might talk about how they organized a new filing system for the unit. So long as they have really done each of these things, that is OK!

Maybe what you need to do is validate the information they have provided in an interview?


Glen Morry
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
73 Leikin Drive,
M5-3-401-150   mailstop # 42
Ottawa  ON  K1A 0R2
(613) 843-6145
>>> <RPClare at aol.com<mailto:RPClare at aol.com>> 2014/09/11 6:41 PM >>>
I agree that the information given is limited to draw a real conclusion, however:
It is possible that a candidate's experience could emphasize different aspect of their jobs tailored to the position to which they are applying.
It is possible that the candidates memory re: dates, titles, etc. may be flawed and may vary from app to app. It may not be misrepresentation but more "sloppiness".
Finally, if they really misrepresent themselves, I would disqualify them for all jobs for a fixed period of time (6 mos or a year). There should be a policy regarding this and that policy should have an appeal feature to allow them to reconcile the information.

In a message dated 9/11/2014 2:04:37 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, Mark.Hammer at cfp-psc.gc.ca<mailto:Mark.Hammer at cfp-psc.gc.ca> writes:
Without any further information, I'll give the benefit of the doubt to the applicant.  Is it possible they entered the wrong stuff, couldn't figure out how to delete/replace what they had put in, and thought (if naively) that simply starting all over again would fix the problem?

I realize it may have been more manipulative/deceptive than I'm thinking, but I figured I'd start with the most benign and innocent explanation possible.

Mark Hammer

>>> "Natasha K. Riley" <Natasha.Riley at omes.ok.gov<mailto:Natasha.Riley at omes.ok.gov>> 2014/09/11 10:04 AM >>>
IPAC List:

We have begun using experience-based questionnaires to rank candidates for clerical and entry level jobs where we had used multiple-choice tests before.  The questionnaire is part of each application submitted, and a separate application is required for each posted vacancy for which the applicant wants to be considered.  For those of you using these types of questionnaires, I'm wondering what you do when you see a candidate with applications for several vacancies in the same job and the answers they give are not consistent from application to application.  So, it appears that the applicant is misrepresenting his experience by giving different answers to the same questions.  Do you have procedures in place to catch this?  What do you do with the applications when you find this?  Do you remove the candidate from the lists?  If so, do they have appeal rights?

Thanks in advance for weighing in on this!

Natasha Riley
Director of Assessment and Testing Services
State of Oklahoma
Human Capital Management
Office of Management and Enterprise Services
natasha.riley at omes.ok.gov<mailto:natasha.riley at osf.ok.gov>

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