Verbal Signs

  1. Selective Wording
    Someone might be lying if he or she doesn’t answer your question. For example, you might ask an interviewee, “Did you leave your last workplace under good conditions?” If the person responds, “I left to pursue things that were more in line with my skills and talents,” you should take note that he or she skirted around your true question.
  2. Quasi-denials
    Listen for instances when people back out of statements before saying them, like “I could be wrong but…”.
  3. Qualifiers
    Another possible sign of deception could be using qualifying phrases like “To the best of my knowledge…”.
  4. Softeners
    When innocent people are questioned about a possible theft or crime, they tend to use “hard” words like “steal” or “forge.” But if they are guilty, people soften their diction using words like “borrow” or “mistake.”
  5. Overly Formal Wording
    Liars might use phrases that add distance, like formal titles Mr. or Mrs. You might also hear them speak in full phrases like “did not” versus informal contraction “didn’t.”


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