References Can Help You Catch Attitude Fraud When Interviewing

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Attitude is extremely important in many positions, especially customer-facing or leadership roles. Applicants know this, and they may go out of their way to try to hide a bad attitude during job interviews. Fortunately, checking references can help you learn whether a candidate’s overall attitude is actually what it appears to be.

What Is Attitude Fraud?

Attitude fraud is a form of deception in which a person hides their true attitude in order to seem more appealing. It is often used in job interviews to increase the chances of being hired. It is also a common reason for new hires not to work out, as the actual attitude becomes apparent within the first few months on the job.

How Can References Help?

Few people have the acting skills required to keep up attitude fraud long-term. Most people drop the act soon after starting a new job. Therefore, talking to former employers or coworkers can help you determine whether a candidate is really as positive and helpful and forward-thinking as they appear in the interview.

But be careful. Job seekers tend to list references that they believe will give them a glowing recommendation. In addition, former employers may be prohibited by law from giving out certain information, depending on the state. In particular, most employers will avoid answering subjective questions or giving you their opinion of a former employee. You can get around this to some extent by asking for factual information, such as whether the employee was ever written up for being rude to a customer.

How Else Can I Guard Against Attitude Fraud?

Other measures to reduce the risk of attitude fraud include unexpected assessments, peer interviews, and hands-on job tasks. The point is to catch prospects off guard while getting them involved in something that requires concentration. This lets you see a more honest version of them, less carefully crafted than what was presented in the interview.

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