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October 02, 2011

My career saving lie detection

This is a true story that that took place in life of mine and my friend Sam (original name changed). It’s a story about detecting a great lie and eventually leading me to move forward in area of lie detection. How one could easily escape from an alluring and impressive betrayal? I did escape because I could sense something that would have ruined my career. Unfortunately, Sam learned a good lesson only after risking his own future.

In 2008, Sam joined a company that was dealing with ERP implementation. Good salary, allowances and ample facilities brought sense of stability in his life. He could then think to get married and settle after a long running struggle to get a promising job.

One day company published an advertisement about vacancies in local newspapers. At that time, I
was too struggling to find a suitable job. Since I had good experience of working with same technologies which company was looking candidates for, I requested Sam to forward my resume to company’s HR Department.

Next day, I received an e-mail about fixing an appointment for an interview. Surprisingly, I was given a choice to meet as per own convenience - including both time and place. I though that it was company’s best policy to take candidate’s comfort into account. After listening to Sam appreciating his new job profile, I was on cloud nine.

At the day of interview, two interviewers from same company came to pick me up. Luxurious car, sophisticated manners and friendly introduction was enough to take hold of an innocent mind. After traveling few meters only, we finally arrived at a famous cafe.

Interviewers introduced themselves as co-founders of company and politely asked me to order whatever I like. Three cups of coffee were ordered. I was totally impressed by this gesture. After emptying cups, interview started.

Next day, Sam called me and asked how interview took place and what was my impression about the company. I clearly told him that I was not having positive opinion about the offer. Sam claimed that I was not going to have any better opportunity than what his company was offering. At end of call, I given him clues about discreditably of company’s survival plans that Sam laughed off.

No communication took place between us for next six months other than how about emails and Facebook chats. Sam was deployed in Middle East to train new clients and I got good job opportunity in a multinational property management software development company in Pune, India. My decision to join the company turned out to be very fruitful for my professional career.

One day, Sam called me in very sad voice. Sam told him that he was asked to return to Pune (India) immediately and was also forced to resign with no clarifications. After week, shocking news published in a local newspaper. Company ran into bankruptcy after major clients terminating contracts on basis of dissatisfaction, lack of clarity between support & training departments and failure to curb soaring implementation costs..

Escape from a long queue for job interview can be a betrayal.

Sam was completely startled and he was wondering how he risked his career just by an overrated impressions built up in mind. He asked me that how I came to know that company was going to take wrong turns and meet disaster. I shared with him that exactly happened during the interview that took place six months ago.

After answering all questions, I was given an opportunity to ask questions about company. Interviewers seemed quite satisfied and in my favor. They were in hurry to seal the deal immediately. Offer letter was pulled out and kept in my sight. I asked them about company’s plan to survive global economical recession. This was the only opportunity to assure future course of my career with this company.

The moment I asked that question, seemingly satisfied faces of interviewers turned very anxious and their body language shifted suddenly. Rather than answering me with comfort and confidence, both of them kept clearing their throats while speaking and looking at faces of each other like two close brother lost their way in crowd. They could not make proper eye contact with me and kept their gaze hovering.

Finally, they somehow tried to convince me about an exposure to new technologies that appeals to every candidate. Initial enthusiasm in their voices was disappeared and the offer letter was put back in file.

Sam was mesmerized after hearing this story and how I could know reality by reading body language of interviewers. Clearly, they were lying to me at that decisive moments but not by words. Sam realized that how crucial was to read people conveying the truth nonverbally.

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  1. when we are speechless that time our body-language starts speaking the truth..

  2. This is a story tells us the power of Body-language.

  3. You seized an opportunity to turn the HR interview 180 degrees and explore their emotions and motives. You are fortunate that you were able to use a holistic approach to gauge their discomfort.


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