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Job Applicant Behaviour and Stigma in Employment Interviews

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Title: Job Applicant Behaviour and Stigma in Employment Interviews
Author: Ho, Jordan
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Powell, Deborah
Abstract: Employment interviews are the most commonly used tool for job candidate evaluation (Macan, 2009), making it vital to gain a comprehensive understanding of their utility and psychometric properties. In particular, the validity of—or ability to make accurate inferences from—interview ratings may be hindered by factors such as candidates’ misrepresentation of themselves (Levashina & Campion, 2007) and ratings being contaminated by job-irrelevant information (Huffcutt et al., 2011). Striving to improve the validity of employment interviews represents a crucial topic for examination in future research within personnel selection (Potočnik et al., 2021), highlighting a strong need to address the aforementioned challenges. The present dissertation examined numerous topics within the challenges posed by job candidate misrepresentation and stigma, with the aim of producing knowledge that could improve the validity of employment interviews. The first manuscript in this dissertation was a meta-analytic investigation of the relation between job candidate misrepresentation (i.e., deceptive impression management) and interview ratings. Results suggested that on average, deceptive impression management was effectively unrelated to interview ratings. The second manuscript in this dissertation comprised two studies that examined the contextual and demographic factors underlying deceptive impression management, as knowledge about these areas remain unclear (Melchers et al., 2020). Results indicated that valence-instrumentality-expectancy beliefs were all predictors of self-reported deceptive impression management in a past employment interview. Lastly, the third manuscript in this dissertation examined the negative impact of being tattooed on employment interview ratings, and how this effect differed based on candidate gender and the type of organizational culture. Results demonstrated that being tattooed had a very small negative impact on the female candidate, but not the male candidate in this study. In sum, the present dissertation examined the extent to which deceptive impression management and interviewer biases (i.e., about tattoo stigma) contaminated interview ratings. Implications for research and practice are discussed within each manuscript, including directions for future investigation to learn more about these topics with respect to improving the validity of interviews as a selection tool.
Date: 2021-12
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