It may not always be an easy feat, but learning how to spot a lie can be a very helpful skill to have – especially in a position of leadership and at the interview table.
People can control their words, but often times, they are not able to control the automated responses their body conveys when they lie. Here are three “tells” that could indicate that a person is not being completely honest.
Look at their smile – A lot of times, people will smile to promote the feeling of honesty (politicians, for example). People in general consider a smile to be a sign of sincerity, but in order for that to be true, it has to be a genuine smile. Notice the candidate’s eyes when they smile. If they have crow’s-feet, they’re genuinely smiling. If those little pesky little wrinkles around their eyes are missing, they’re only smiling as a facade.
Watch their eyes – There is a general misconception that a liar can’t look you in the eye when they lie. While sometimes this does ring true, many times, the person telling the lie will look you in the eye, but will do so for an abnormally long length of time. It’s as if they are trying to over compensate for that misconception, and then they appear a bit too eager to stare you down.
Listen to their words – A contracted denial is a general tell that the person is being honest. “No, I didn’t do that,” is an example of a contracted denial. They’re using informal language, and they aren’t over-emphasizing their innocence. If they use a non-contracted denial like “No, I did not do that,” they are more-than-likely not being truthful. Formal language can be used when a person is trying to emphasize their denial, and it can also be a dead giveaway to their true answer.
It may not always be easy to spot a liar, but with a little bit of practice and observation, the chances of catching one increases.