Preventing Fraudsters in Job Interviews
Excerpted from a webinar facilitated by MATRIX in December 2020. Click here to watch the full recording of the webinar.
For better or for worse, remote working has permanently altered the hiring landscape. Hiring managers must face new realities when it comes to sourcing, interviewing and hiring top candidates.
Justin Thomason, VP of Recruiting at MATRIX, and Tamara Davis, VP of Talent Acquisition at Brinks Home Security, took a deep dive into the benefits and obstacles they have encountered in this new hiring landscape and offered tips on how hiring managers can function better within the world of remote work in 2021 and beyond. Below they discuss how "candidate catfishing" is becoming a bigger and bigger problem - and steps you can take to prevent it.
JT: There are many different names for fraud. Bait and switch, catfishing, etc. It's nothing new, especially within the technology world in interviewing. We've seen so much more of it in a virtual world where candidates are attempting to cheat or fabricate answers during a virtual interview.
And the stakes are even higher now, when we are talking about application security. Before COVID, if a coder fooled you during the interview, they're going to be in the office and you’re going to be able to see them doing their code. You’re going to figure that out quickly. But now with developers sitting at home, you're not able to necessarily watch their code.
It’s a big challenge that we see across our entire portfolio of customers, something that we take very seriously here at MATRIX. We've put a process in place to prevent it as much as we can. We've created a document when we know that candidates are going to have a technical test or a technical interview with one of our customers. We ask them to acknowledge that they will be taking a technical test, and put in writing, ‘I am who I say I am. I'm not going to cheat or have anybody coach me’. I think just the fact that they know that we take this seriously weeds out some of the bad apples.
We also ask our recruiters to virtually screen every candidate who will undergo a technical interview.
Then we recommend to our customers and to our hiring managers, ‘when you interview this candidate that I think is going to be a great fit for you, let me join that call with you.’ Then I will be able to verify the person that showed up for this interview is the same person that I've already screened and asked all these questions and vetted myself.
Is there anything that you've done, or you've seen that has worked to help prevent fabricating during interviews?
TD: Yeah, for sure. We did end up going to more virtual screenings of technical interviews with the hiring leaders, kind of like what you're doing today.
But what we also did was made sure that it was still a whiteboard type of coding Interview so that it was real, live coding and talking about those types of situations. And the coder was saying, yes, yes, no, etc. So, you know, right there, that they're not able to go type it out, they're going to know it right then and there. Having it open and being live lets you know exactly what you're getting. And it's not somebody else.
Another tactic we use which only works with coders is ask candidates to share their screen. ‘Show me your GitHub profile. Walk me exactly through some of your repositories. Explain this and that to me.’ You will be able to see the red flags and weed out those bad apples on the front end before wasting our hiring managers’ time.