Purpose: This study aimed at shedding light on why situational interviews (SIs) predict job performance. We examined an explanation based upon the importance of interviewees’ Ability to Identify Criteria (ATIC, i.e., to read the targeted interview dimensions) for SI performance.
Design/Methodology/Approach: Data were obtained from 97 interviewees who participated in a mock interview to train for future applications. This approach enabled us to conduct the SIs under standardized conditions, to assess interviewees’ ATIC, and at the same time, to collect job performance data from interviewee’s current supervisors.
Findings: We found that interviewees’ ATIC scores were not only positively related to their interview performance, but also predicted job performance as rated by their supervisors. Furthermore, controlling for interviewees’ ATIC significantly lowered the relationship between performance in the SI and job performance.
Implications: Better understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the criterion-related validity of SIs is crucial for theoretical progress and improving personnel selection procedures. This study highlights the relevance of interviewees’ ATIC for predicting job performance. It also underscores the importance of constructing interviews to enable candidates to show their criterion-relevant abilities.
Originality/Value: This study shows that interviewees’ ATIC contributes to a better understanding of why the SI predicts job performance.