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
Date Written: May 30, 2011
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
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