Those little lies on people's resumes tend to grow during important job interviews, say researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "Basically, the more stringent the job requirements, the more candidates lie about their qualifications," says Brent Weiss, coauthor of a study on lying.
Weiss' study examined how often people lied in job interviews and how personality influences the propensity to fib. Thirty-eight college students applied for and were granted interviews for tutorial jobs that didn't exist. The interview focused on their math or verbal skills. After researchers came clean about the study, they asked students to review their videotaped interviews and identify what they had lied about.
Overall, 84 percent admitted to lying at some point. People told straight-out lies, such as, "I'm very good at math," when they had no facility with arithmetic whatsoever.
Interestingly, the biggest liars were extroverts. Weiss believes this is because extroverts are often eager to please others and win approval. Extroverts also tend to be more energetic and animated. And, Weiss confesses, they impressed him the most because "they told me what I wanted to hear."