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Examining the Criterion-Validity of Interview Anxiety and Impression Management

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Title: Examining the Criterion-Validity of Interview Anxiety and Impression Management
Author: Schneider, Leann
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Powell, Deborah
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the influence of interview anxiety and impression management (IM) on the criterion validity of the interview. Both factors have been framed as sources of error that hinder the criterion validity of the interview, yet may in fact be valid indicators of how one performs in the job because they are influenced by job-relevant dispositions. Interview anxiety and IM were proposed to capture general propensities; for interview anxiety, an inability to manage stressful interpersonal situations, and for IM, to skilfully manage interpersonal interactions. As such, interview anxiety was proposed to be negatively related, and IM was proposed to be positively related, to future job performance. Further, their influence on interview performance was proposed to positively contribute to the criterion validity of the interview. Two studies of applicants for the position of university Residence Assistant (RA) investigated this possibility. Candidates reported on their interview anxiety and use of IM during the interview. Proxy job performance, confidence ratings in their ability to perform on the job, and multi-source job performance ratings were also collected. Results supported the hypothesis that interview anxiety was a negative predictor of criterion performance in some cases, but that interview anxiety may also be a null- or positive-predictor of performance in other cases. It was proposed that this difference may be due to the influence of training and learning over time. Contrary to expectation, both honest and deceptive IM were found to be negative predictors of job performance when rated by peers and students whom the RAs supervised. Results were mixed with supervisor-ratings of performance, but differences in exposure to the RAs’ performance may explain this discrepancy. Finally, there was no evidence to suggest that interview anxiety or IM contributed to the criterion validity of the interview. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Date: 2015-08
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