They Like You as You Are. Why Being Yourself at Interviews Will Earn You the Job In evidenza

26 Giu 2017 Bocconi university
257 volte

Ceelia Moore

The next time you approach a job interview, just relax and be yourself: if you’re good, it may be the best way to land the job. In a recent study forthcoming in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Celia Moore (Bocconi University), Sun Young Lee (University College London), Kawon Kim (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University), and Daniel Cable (London Business School), found in three different studies that high-quality candidates that strive to present themselves accurately during the interview process significantly increase the likelihood that they will receive a job offer.

While the common wisdom on job search has strongly encouraged people to present only the best aspects of themselves in order to appear more attractive to interviewers, the authors of The Advantage of Being Oneself: The Role of Applicant Self-Verification in Organizational Hiring Decisions (doi: 10.1037/apl0000223) find it is more beneficial for individuals to present who they really are, particularly when they are high-quality candidates. At the core of the research is the concept of self-verification, the desire to present oneself accurately so that others understand one as one understands oneself. To this date, self-verifying behavior was known to positively influence outcomes that unfold over time, such as the process of integration in a new organization. This paper shows, for the first time, that self-verification can have important effects in short-term interpersonal interactions as well, as in the hiring process.

The first study, using a sample of teachers from around the globe applying for placements in the U.S., found that—for candidates that had been evaluated as high quality—having a strong drive to self-verify increased the likelihood of receiving a placement from 51% to 73%. The second study replicated this effect in a radically different sample: lawyers applying for positions in a branch of the U.S. military, for whom high quality candidates increased their chances of receiving a job offer five-fold, from 3% to 17%, if they had a strong drive to self-verify. An important caveat: this effect depends on meeting the bar of quality. For candidates rated as low quality, the drive to self-verify weakens their position.

A third study was designed to test the mechanism behind this effect. The scholars surveyed 300 people on their self-verification striving, and selected those who were extremely high and extremely low in the distribution. These individuals participated in a mock job interview, which were then transcribed and submitted to text analysis. It revealed differences in candidates’ language use as a function of their self-verification drive. People with a strong self-verification drive communicated in a more fluid way about themselves, and were ultimately perceived as more authentic and less misrepresentative. “They use more ‘function words’ (prepositions, pronouns, auxiliary verbs) which reflects how fluidly an individual speaks, as well as more ‘seeing words’ (such as ‘look’, ‘see’, ‘view’)”, Daniel Cable explains. These perceptions ultimately explain why high-self-verifying candidate can flourish on the job market.

 “In a job interview”, Celia Moore says, “we often try to present ourselves as perfect. Our study proves this instinct wrong. Interviewers perceive an overly polished self-representation as inauthentic and potentially misrepresentative. But ultimately, if you are a high-quality candidate, you can be yourself on the job market. You can be honest and authentic. And if you are, you will be more likely to get a job”.


Ultima modifica il Martedì, 27 Giugno 2017 18:09
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