Research Topic

Impression Management and Faking in Job Interviews

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Scholars and practitioners in industrial/organizational psychology and human resource management have long sought to identify factors that will enhance the likelihood of making a successful hiring decision (e.g., a good fit with both the job and the organization), while minimizing the chances of making a ...

Scholars and practitioners in industrial/organizational psychology and human resource management have long sought to identify factors that will enhance the likelihood of making a successful hiring decision (e.g., a good fit with both the job and the organization), while minimizing the chances of making a detrimental hiring decision. Within this forum, the employment interview has emerged as a particularly prominent (and potentially reliable and valid) method of personnel selection. However, within the interview, the use of influence tactics, such as impression management (IM) or faking, has emerged as a particularly prominent issue. Evidence from both individual studies and meta-analyses demonstrate that a large majority of job applicants engage in IM, and that it can have an important impact on interview outcomes. Moreover, there are individual differences associated with IM use, and different interview formats can facilitate or impede IM use.

However, our understanding of the antecedents and outcomes of IM, as well as the mechanisms at play when applicants engage in IM to influence interviewers, is still limited. For instance, some authors have argued that IM (and especially in its deceptive forms; i.e., faking) may be introducing a systematic source of inaccuracy into the interview, and may negatively impact interview validity. Others suggest that IM may provide valuable information to interviewers, and thus increase validity. But empirical evidence testing those two competing hypotheses remains scarce. Similarly, very few studies have investigated the relationships between IM during interviews and work performance or on-the-job behaviors (e.g., citizenship vs. counterproductive behaviors).

We have also observed some recent development in IM research. For instance some researchers started to investigate individual differences associated with honest vs. deceptive IM use, international or cross-cultural differences in IM use and effectiveness, detection of IM by interviewers, or how interviewers can use IM to influence applicants’ decisions. Yet, these attempts only represent the initial steps towards broadening our understanding of interview IM.

The objective of this Research Topic is to offer IM researchers from all around the world a unique platform to present innovative contributions in order to advance the knowledge and practice in the field of IM and faking in job interviews. Although we especially encourage submissions of original empirical research (e.g., field or experimental studies), we also welcome alternative contributions, including new theoretical models, measures development, reviews, or meta-analyses.


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