Personality assessments are often distorted during personnel selection, resulting in a common “ideal-employee factor” (IEF) underlying ratings of theoretically unrelated constructs. However, this seems not to affect the personality measures' criterion-related validity. The current study attempts to explain this set of findings by combining the literature on response distortion with the ones on cognitive schemata and on candidates' ability to identify criteria (ATIC). During a simulated selection process, 149 participants filled out Big Five personality measures and participated in several high- and low-fidelity work simulations to estimate their managerial performance. Structural equation modeling showed that the IEF presents an indicator of response distortion and that ATIC accounted for variance between the IEF and performance during the work simulations, even after controlling for self-monitoring and general mental ability.