Managing and Creating an Image in the Interview: The Role of Interviewee Initial Impressions

Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 6, pp. 1275-1288, 2011

15 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012

See all articles by Brian W. Swider

Brian W. Swider

Texas A&M University - Department of Management

Murray Barrick

Texas A&M University - Department of Management

Brad Harris

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Texas A&M University

Adam C. Stoverink

Northern Illinois University - Department of Management

Date Written: May 30, 2011

Abstract

In employment interviews, individuals use impression management tactics to present themselves as suitable candidates to interviewers. However, not all impression management tactics, or the interviewees who employ them, are effective at positively influencing interview scores. Results of this study indicate that the relationship between impression management tactic usage and interview success is contingent on the type of tactic employed. Specifically, self-promotion was found to have a positive relationship (r .20) and slight (r –.11) and extensive (r –.19) image creation were found to have negative relationships with end-of-interview scores. Further, the relationships between these 3 impression management tactics were moderated by interviewees’ initial impressions of the interview (b.R2 ranged from .04 to .10). Interviewees who perceived they were seen as less suitable during rapport building were more effective when using any of the 3 impression management tactics.

Keywords: employment interviews, self-presentation, first impressions, interdependence theory, rapport building

Suggested Citation

Swider, Brian W. and Barrick, Murray and Harris, Thomas B and Stoverink, Adam C., Managing and Creating an Image in the Interview: The Role of Interviewee Initial Impressions (May 30, 2011). Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 6, pp. 1275-1288, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1991950

Brian W. Swider (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University - Department of Management ( email )

430 Wehner
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States

Murray Barrick

Texas A&M University - Department of Management ( email )

430 Wehner
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States

Thomas B Harris

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

School of Labor and Employment Relations
504 East Armory Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820-6297
United States

Texas A&M University ( email )

Mays Business School
Department of Management
College Station, TX 77843-4353
United States

Adam C. Stoverink

Northern Illinois University - Department of Management ( email )

245R Barsema Hall
DeKalb, IL 60115
United States

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