The advantage of being oneself: the role of applicant self-verification in organizational hiring decisions

Moore, C and Lee, S Y and Kim, K and Cable, D (2017) The advantage of being oneself: the role of applicant self-verification in organizational hiring decisions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102 (11). pp. 1493-1513. ISSN 0021-9010

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In this paper, we explore whether individuals who strive to self-verify flourish or flounder on the job market. Using placement data from two very different field samples, we found that individuals rated by the organization as being in the top 10% of candidates were significantly more likely to receive a job offer if they have a strong drive to self-verify. A third study explored the mechanism behind this effect, using a quasi-experimental design to explore whether individuals who are high and low on this trait communicate differently in a structured mock job interview. Text analysis (LIWC) of interview transcripts revealed systematic differences in candidates’ language use as a function of their self-verification drives. These differences led an expert rater to perceive candidates with a strong drive to self-verify as less inauthentic and less misrepresentative than their low self-verifying peers, making her more likely to recommend these candidates for a job. Taken together, our results suggest that authentic self-presentation is an unidentified route to success on the job market, amplifying the chances that high-quality candidates can convert organizations’ positive evaluations into tangible job offers. We discuss implications for job applicants, organizations, and the labor market.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 American Psychological Association
Subjects: E > Employment contracts
J > Job search
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
DOI: 10.1037/apl0000223
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 11:59
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2017 18:28

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