In the main, most senior candidates I meet are genuine, honest and upfront in terms of their moves, level of responsibility and downfalls (after all, most of us have taken the wrong job in the past).

If you are well versed at interviewing senior candidates it is likely you have developed an intuition for spotting warning signals.  However, sometimes you don't want to a key decision landing squarely on your shoulders, especially if it is a key investment for your business.

What I am about to suggest is hardly groundbreaking, but, for many years, I have found it to be hugely effective if "something" is telling me all is not as it should be.  Towards the end of the interview by casually asking, "can I gain referencing from employers x, y and z?", the reaction and response of the candidate should tell you a lot. For instance:

 - Are they open and calm in their response to the dodgy one year blip on their CV.  Does the elaborate answer they gave you for leaving stack up to their reasoning to agreeing, or not, to you contacting that employer

 - Is the person they provide as the referee the person they directly reported into?  Steve in accounts has very little substantial opinion on whether they left on good terms and performed well (but he may be able to tell you how good your candidate is at the pub quiz)

 - It may flush out the odd candidate who lies about dates and number of moves on a CV - we've all seen them and I recently read that millennial's are twice as likely to conveniently leave moves off their CV's

Referencing is a huge bone of contention and many question their impact on final decision making.  However, another useful tip when gaining a reference is if you find the recipient open to conversation.  Having cross questioned your offeree on their level of ownership of strategy / project / direction, this referee may very well be able to confirm, or deny, their inclusion and level of responsibility with said project etc.