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How and why do interviewers try to make impressions on applicants? A qualitative study


Wilhelmy, Annika; Kleinmann, Martin; König, Cornelius J; Melchers, Klaus G; Truxillo, Donald M (2016). How and why do interviewers try to make impressions on applicants? A qualitative study. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(3):313-332.

Abstract

To remain viable in today's highly competitive business environments, it is crucial for organizations to attract and retain top candidates. Hence, interviewers have the goal not only of identifying promising applicants but also of representing their organization. Although it has been proposed that interviewers' deliberate signaling behaviors are a key factor for attracting applicants and thus for ensuring organizations' success, no conceptual model about impression management (IM) exists from the viewpoint of the interviewer as separate from the applicant. To develop such a conceptual model on how and why interviewers use IM, our qualitative study elaborates signaling theory in the interview context by identifying the broad range of impressions that interviewers intend to create on applicants, what kinds of signals interviewers deliberately use to create their intended impressions, and what outcomes they pursue. Following a grounded theory approach, multiple raters analyzed in-depth interviews with interviewers and applicants. We also observed actual employment interviews and analyzed memos and image brochures to generate a conceptual model of interviewer IM. Results showed that the spectrum of interviewers' IM intentions goes well beyond what has been proposed in past research. Furthermore, interviewers apply a broad range of IM behaviors, including verbal and nonverbal as well as paraverbal, artifactual, and administrative behaviors. An extensive taxonomy of interviewer IM intentions, behaviors, and intended outcomes is developed, interrelationships between these elements are presented, and avenues for future research are derived. (PsycINFO Database Record

Abstract

To remain viable in today's highly competitive business environments, it is crucial for organizations to attract and retain top candidates. Hence, interviewers have the goal not only of identifying promising applicants but also of representing their organization. Although it has been proposed that interviewers' deliberate signaling behaviors are a key factor for attracting applicants and thus for ensuring organizations' success, no conceptual model about impression management (IM) exists from the viewpoint of the interviewer as separate from the applicant. To develop such a conceptual model on how and why interviewers use IM, our qualitative study elaborates signaling theory in the interview context by identifying the broad range of impressions that interviewers intend to create on applicants, what kinds of signals interviewers deliberately use to create their intended impressions, and what outcomes they pursue. Following a grounded theory approach, multiple raters analyzed in-depth interviews with interviewers and applicants. We also observed actual employment interviews and analyzed memos and image brochures to generate a conceptual model of interviewer IM. Results showed that the spectrum of interviewers' IM intentions goes well beyond what has been proposed in past research. Furthermore, interviewers apply a broad range of IM behaviors, including verbal and nonverbal as well as paraverbal, artifactual, and administrative behaviors. An extensive taxonomy of interviewer IM intentions, behaviors, and intended outcomes is developed, interrelationships between these elements are presented, and avenues for future research are derived. (PsycINFO Database Record

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8 citations in Web of Science®
7 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Erstautor DoktoratPsych
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:15 Dec 2015 11:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:39
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN:0021-9010
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000046
PubMed ID:26436440

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