Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Unreliable But...in Job Applications
Not everything that is "unreliable" is untrue. Sometimes unreliable is noted due to deception, while other times, it simply means that the statement is not reliable and that more information may be needed, via follow up questions.
The following is from a job application:
Give me an example of honesty in your life:
"I found an expensive piece of jewelry and returned it to its rightful owner."
Describe a time in life when you made a mistake and how you learned from it:
"Charged in 2011 for an Operating Under the Influence. Haven't had a drink since."
These two questions were on the same page of a job application designed to weed out liars and hire the truthful.
What has this applicant told you? What has this applicant not told you?
1. The applicant has told us that she found jewelry that did not belong to her, recognized it for its value, but returned it to its owner...it's "rightful" owner.
What does this tell you about her?
a. jewelry was "expensive"
b. She, herself, would be an owner, but not a "rightful" owner.
The shorter way of saying this would have been: "I found jewelry and returned it to its owner." Additional words give us additional information.
She recognized its value and likely thought about keeping it, but did not.
Of matter of course in the interview, I will ask, "Did you think about keeping it?" hoping she will say, "yes", and not lie, as I seek to hire people who are honest and learn from their mistakes.
Who would not have thought about keeping it? Think of this especially in light of how easy it is to pawn something and how expensive it was. "Finders Keepers; Losers Weepers" some like to say, as a means of excusing the spirit of larceny.
2. The applicant did not tell us that she was convicted of driving under the influence, nor has she told us that she has not had a drink since.
"Charged in 2011 for an Operating Under the Influence"
You will first note that "charged" does not have a pronoun.
You will next note that "charged" does not say "convicted" or anything like that.
Note "an" Operating Under the Influence and not "Operating Under the Influence", which will lead me to ask some questions:
a. Who was charged?
b. Were you convicted?
and most importantly:
c. Were you ever charged prior to this one?
d. How about after this one?
3. She does not tell us that she has not had a drink since:
"Haven't had a drink since" with the missing pronoun.
Now, since it is "unreliable" information, it is necessary for me to ask these questions and it may be that she has had only one conviction and has not had a drink since, but due to the dropped pronouns and the additional wording, more questions are necessary.
Unreliable is just that, and we are playing percentages. Sometimes it is unreliable because there is deception present while other times the subject simply needs more prompts.
Playing percentages is wise, as it allows for the most success.