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Lies and Lying Job Applicants Hiring

We have an applicant for an administrative position who has the right skills and training, and his references are very positive. He said he has a degree from a local state university, but we found that he is actually two classes shy of receiving the degree. When we him asked him about this, he immediately admitted he was wrong and said he did this because he really wants the job. The position does not require a college degree. I'm not inclined to eliminate him because of this issue. What do you think?

You said the position does not require a college degree, but presumably it does require the highest degree of honesty. This applicant looked you squarely in the eye and lied, and presumably he put his lie in writing on his resume. If he lies in order to get something he "really wants," what is to stop him from doing so when there is something he "really wants" while working for you, such as a promotion or maybe a laptop?

Although you are pleased that he immediately admitted the errors of his way when you confronted him, what else could he have said? He had absolutely no defense.

Looked at from a slightly different angle, if you hire this individual, you are likely to have lingering doubts about his trustworthiness in the future. For example, you might look at his work and wonder if you can actually believe what he has presented, and if there ever are questions about theft, his name might be on your short list of suspects.

Truth be told, which it was not in this case, you should pass on him.

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