Preparing for An Interview

Preparing for An Interview :


Research has shown that how well an applicant does in the interview can be enhanced with coaching. The effectiveness of coaching is due, in part, to increasing the interviewee’s knowledge which in turn results in better interview performance. Interviewee knowledge refers to knowledge about the interview, such as the types of questions that will be asked and the content that the interviewer is attempting to assess. Research has also shown that coaching can increase the likelihood that interviewers using a structured interview will accurately choose those individuals who will ultimately be most successful on the job (i.e., increase reliability and validity of the structured interview).

Additionally, research has shown that interviewees tend to have positive reactions to coaching which is often an underlying goal of an interview. Based on research thus far, the effects of coaching tend to be positive for both interviewees and interviewers.


Interviewers should be aware that applicants can intentionally distort their responses or fake during the interview and such applicant faking has the potential to influence interview outcomes if present. Two concepts that relate to faking include social desirability (the tendency for people to present themselves in a favorable light) and impression management (conscious or unconscious attempts to influence one’s image during interactions). Faking in the employment interview, then, can be defined as deceptive impression management or the conscious distortion of answers to the interview' questions in order to obtain a better score on the interview and/or otherwise create favorable perceptions.

Thus, faking in the employment interview is intentional, deceptive and aimed at improving perceptions of performance. Faking in the employment interview can be broken down into four elements.

The first involves the interviewee portraying him or herself as an ideal job candidate by exaggerating true skills, tailoring answers to better fit the job and / or creating the impression that personal beliefs, values and attitudes are similar to those of the organization.

The second aspect of faking is inventing or completely fabricating one’s image by piecing distinct work experiences together to create better answers, inventing untrue experiences or skills and portraying others’ experiences or accomplishments as ones’ own.

Thirdly, faking might also be aimed at protecting the applicant’s image. This can be accomplished through omitting certain negative experiences, concealing negatively perceived aspects of the applicant’s background and by separating oneself from negative experiences.

The fourth and final component of faking involves ingratiating oneself to the interviewer by conforming personal opinions to align with those of the organization, as well as insincerely praising or complimenting the interviewer or organization.

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