Essays on faking in the employment interview

Julia Levashina, Purdue University


There has been surprisingly little research on faking in the employment interview, despite the fact that professional judgment would suggest that faking might occur in the interview. This dissertation has three essays that are devoted to faking in the employment interview. The first essay describes the model of faking behaviors. Based on the review of the literature on faking in personality tests and the literature on deception, we proposed a model of faking behaviors during the employment interview and develop 19 propositions to guide future research. We argue that faking behavior is a function of capacity, willingness and opportunity to fake. The second essay describes the construction and validation of an instrument to measure faking behaviors. The typology of faking behaviors is proposed based on a review of the impression management literature, content analysis of popular press books on interviewing, and a qualitative study of interviews with job candidates. The results of exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis supports that faking construct is represented by 4 second order factors and 11 first order factors. Candidates will fake in order to create images, protect images, and ingratiate. Slight Image Creation includes embellishing, tailoring, and fit enhancing. Extensive Image Creation includes constructing, inventing, and borrowing. Image Protection includes omitting, masking, and distancing. Finally, Ingratiation includes opinion conforming and interviewer or organization enhancing. The Interview Faking Behavior (IFB) scale is tested with several independent samples of job candidates (Ntotal=1075), and demonstrates content validity, consistent factor structure, reliabilities above the recommended level for new scale, and convergent and discriminant validity. The third essay describes an empirical study that tests whether interviewees' faking behaviors depend on question type (past behavioral versus situational questions) and presence or absence of follow-up questioning. Results from a field experiment involving 151 structured interviews indicate that past behavioral interviews are more resilient to certain types of faking behaviors compared with situational interviews, follow-up questioning prompt more faking behaviors in both situational and past behavioral structured interviews. Past behavioral interviews with no follow-up questioning are most resilient to faking, whereas situational interviews with follow-up questioning are least resilient to faking.




Campion, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Management|Occupational psychology

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