Locus of control, attributions and impression management in the selection interview

Silvester, J., Anderson-Gough, F. M., Anderson, N. R. & Mohamed, A. R. (2002). Locus of control, attributions and impression management in the selection interview. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 75, pp. 59-76. doi: 10.1348/096317902167649

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Abstract

Surprisingly little is known about the ways in which candidates create positive impressions during employment interviews. Three studies are presented which investigate how candidate and interviewer locus of control influence preferences for three categories of explanations proffered by candidates during graduate recruitment interviews. In Study 1, we asked 139 undergraduate students and 37 personnel managers to rate internal-controllable, internal-uncontrollable and externaluncontrollable candidate attributions for hypothetical past events according to the likelihood of each producing a positive impression during a selection interview. Students also completed Rotter's Locus of Control questionnaire and the Interview Behaviour Scales. Students and personnel managers rated internal-controllable attributions most likely to create a positive impression. However, students with an external LoC rated external-uncontrollable explanations and internal-controllable explanations as being equally likely to convey a positive impression. In Study 2 a group of 62 candidates applying for actual positions with a company completed the same attribution questionnaire prior to first-stage interviews. Interviewer ratings of candidate performance correlated positively with ratings of internal-controllable explanations (r =.36, p< .001). In Study 3, a sample of 103 experienced interviewers completed the attribution questionnaire and the WLOC. All interviewers rated internal-controllable attributions most likely to convey a positive impression of a candidate. However, locus of control mediated preference for candidate attributions such that ‘External’ interviewers rated external-uncontrollable attributions significantly more likely to convey a positive impression than ‘Internal’ interviewers. The implications of these findings for impression management and interview selection decisions are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: SELF-PRESENTATION STRATEGIES, EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW, CANDIDATE PERSONALITY, DECISION-MAKING, JOB INTERVIEWS, APPLICANT, PERFORMANCE, TACTICS, STYLE, EXPLANATIONS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/445

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