We've recently interviewed some candidates who we are fairly sure lied about their skills and experiences on their CVs. It is company policy to reimburse all reasonable travel expenses for a job interview. Candidates travel to Ireland, proceeding from the EU: many are from nearby Ireland/UK, but there are also candidates from Germany, Spain and Eastern Europe.

For some, the travel expenses might be a heavy burden, and would not have come to an interview if they had to pay for it themselves. Consider not only the distance home<-->Ireland, but the low salaries in certain countries.

I am considering non-payment and discussing what we see as the candidate's lies as options. How is this handled elsewhere?

EDIT: Other post by this user would indicate he is concerned about lies on the resume, not lies in the travel claims.

  • 74
    You invited them over, so you pay for their travel expenses. It's your job (or someone at your company) to improve your screening process so you don't incur the expense of bringing someone in who doesn't have shot.
    – Kent A.
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 20:07
  • 11
    You couldn't figure-out they're lying over the phone?
    – user8365
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 20:08
  • 56
    If you invited them to the interview and told them you would cover travel expense then you need to honor that. That is a contract. If you did not screen properly that is your problem. Yes people exaggerate on resumes.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 20:24
  • 3
    I suppose that for next time, you could enter into a contract where you specifically spell out that you will only reimburse travel expenses if what they have written in their resume checks out as true and accurate. Such a clause should give pause to some candidates. After all, your real objective should be to prevent this from happening in first place, not punish someone after the fact. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 22:24
  • 3
    I've been on the receiving end of this. I got to the interview and we discovered within about two minutes that I wouldn't be working there (fundamental miscommunication). They still paid for my airfare and accommodation, because that was the agreement. It's up to you to either make sure the candidate is worth flying over to interview, or suck up the cost of your mistakes. Having read hundreds of CVs and done a lot of phone interviews, at least in my field the outright lies are normally easy to pick once you've interviewed a few people. Perhaps focus on learning that skill?
    – Móż
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 22:38

6 Answers 6


Based on your update, the concern seems to be that you are paying to fly people for interviews who are less than qualified.

As others have pointed out, more effective pre-screening would help. Are you in a position to amend your policy or are you just trying to find a way to live with it? If you are in a policy-writing role, clearly defining limits on maximum expenses would help. If you are not, Skype interviews with distant candidates would help.

You should definitely not give candidates the silent treatment. Make payments in good faith. Failing to do this is a good way to ruin your company's reputation and reduce the quality of your talent pool.

  • 16
    "Failing to do this is a good way to ruin your company's reputation" Especially if there is a record that you offered them money and they sue you for it when they don't pay. Google results of 'the people at this company will screw you over if they get the chance, as evidenced by these lawsuits' cannot be good for the company.
    – Shane
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 21:53
  • 4
    Skype interviews, yes. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 23:45
  • And if setting the policy, consider whether paying out-of-country expenses is really necessary: unless hiring for very specialised roles, it seems very excessive.
    – Jon Story
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 15:33

In your clarification-Answer you state that you are not worried about lies concerning costs, but about the canidates lying about their qualifications. In that case, quite frankly, you can do nothing. You cannot charge them expenses that you promised them to make only because they didn't fit as good as you thought they would be.

As you did not specify what lies especially you are assuming, I will try to give an overview. Many of the below points may be totally exaggerated and not fitting at all, but you get what you specify ;).

First of all, it may be beneficial to improve the background check that you conduct on your canidates.

  • Call the universities/schools listed on the application to reveal counterfeit diplomas.
  • Call the companies they listed as experience, find former bosses and coworkers to talk about their performance
  • In different countries there are agencies where you can ask if you have concerns if the canidate is solvent (SCHUFA in Germany, for example)
  • get the criminal record

And some hints not directly related to background check, but to your hiring process and job description:

  • be as specific as possible. Do not write something like "skill xy desirable". If he has the skill, he can apply. If not, why bother with him and carry him all the way to ireland?
  • Give specific diplomas or certificates that you are looking for. This reflects the desired level of knowledge better than if you just say "intermediate" "high level understanding"...
  • As you are hiring from different countries with different school systems and cultures, You have to accept that a skill that is mandantory in ireland is maybe exotic in another country.
  • Give a very clear description of the job itsself. What will the new coworker do the whole day? If an applicant can understand that it may be easier to evaluate for him if he is the right canidate for the job.
  • Do a lot of telephone interviewing. Not only to ask questions, but also to answer them.

And the last one:

  • Make it clear that the trip is only business. No day trip to Trinity College or Giants Causeway. Get them to fly over, interview them, send them back. If they want do delay their trip back home they can do this, no problem. But on their own budget.
  • 2
    +1 for pretty much all of this answer, except the last part (unless I am misunderstanding your meaning.) While I completely agree that any extra expenses incurred as a result of the candidate wanting to stay around for an extra day should be paid by the candidate, it sounds like you're suggesting that if they want a flight back later than immediately after the interview, it's up to them to pay for the flight. If that was indeed your meaning, if I were the candidate, I'd interpret such a policy as meaning the company doesn't place much value in its employees.
    – reirab
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 5:15
  • @reirab: yes, the last one is over the top. You can understand that any way you want. If you have many canidates which exploit your gratitude, it may help to cut that benefit of staying a little longer. Especially if OP's company organizes the trip (which he does not specify anything about) it may be much easier and cheaper to not grant any special wishes. He is no travel agency after all ;)
    – jwsc
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 7:07
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    On the other hand, it's perfectly reasonable for someone who is considering moving to your city to take a job with your company to want to spend some time exploring the area before deciding to move there.
    – reirab
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 11:52

I think the best way, is to organise their trip over yourself, firstly because there's no surprises with the bills, secondly if you have multiple people moving around, you can often get a better deal from travel agents.

If you think they're lying about their experience and qualifications, then look at your screening process, you need to be weeding out those sorts of candidates before you start flying them around the World.

Always best to be proactive in my opinion, dealing with possible fraud after the event is problematic and time consuming and has no positive angles.

  • 7
    My experience in the US was that the hiring company setup the Airfare, Hotel, and Rental Car (if needed). I could then submit expenses within company guidelines for meals, additional travel to and from airport etc. These guidelines were clearly spelled out. Like perdiem on meals. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:17
  • This has been the case every conference or anything work related I have attended OS, it makes sense for all involved
    – Kilisi
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:28

As other said a receipt would be nice. However, I would go as far as limited exactly what you reimburse and how much.

For example:

Flight: Only econ flights and must be ordered from approved site that your company either has a discount with or you know of cheap airfare.

Hotel: Only certain hotels nearby can be booked and must be single bed room and only pay the hotel room cost and nothing else like accommodations, or internet fees.

Food: Particular to your area and country but perhaps you should factor in the average price for 3 meals. So if you are USD, perhaps $60 USD a day 15+15 for breakfast and lunch, then 30 for dinner. No alcohol or anything.

Taxi/Rental: Only approved taxi/rentals. Some hotels have shuttle services for free or very low price.

Everything else is on their own dime.

Basically ask for receipts of each item they want reimbursed, read over it, and only reimburse them for approved items. Some companies I've been to require that you submit a "pre-approval" where you estimate each item to give them an idea of how much you want to spend vs what they're willing to spend.

  • While in other circumstances this would be a good answer, the OP has clarified that it's the candidate's experience rather than their travel expenses they've lied about. Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:39

You will reap what you sow, regardless of what's going on with your candidates. If you decide to adopt a policy of short-changing people who spend large amounts of money travelling (when you've agreed to pay for said travel), you open yourself to lawsuits, and eventually you will attract a candidate who looks great, hire him/her, and get screwed over by that person.

You attract what you are.

  • What's the connection between not paying people who have lied on their CVs, and hiring a great candidate who ends up screwing them over?
    – jwg
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 22:41
  • It's called karma.
    – Xavier J
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 23:18
  • 3
    @jwg Is it just me, or is this not really an answer? Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 5:41

The company I work for sort out air fares and accommodation and pay that themselves. For food we get an allowance per day - no receipts required. For transport to/from airports we are required to use public transport unless it is not possible - then taxis are allowed. Either way a receipt is required. Why not express this in the invitation?

As to lying about qualifications do some decent pre-screening? Skye interview first.

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