Self-Presentation in Selection Settings: the Case of Personality Tests

  • Bernd MarcusEmail author
  • Judy Goldenberg
  • Saul Fine
  • Henning Hummert
  • Anne Traum
Original Paper


Based on theoretical views that applicants express meaningful skills and motivation when presenting themselves in personnel selection settings, we challenge conventional wisdom that self-presentation necessarily impairs the diagnostic value of “fakable” selection devices. Instead, we propose to supplement the traditional psychometric approach to personnel selection with a social perspective that leverages the competitive nature of selection. In order to capture an outcome of self-presentation, we introduce the Ideal Employee Coefficient (IEC) as a supplement to traditional scoring of responses to personality items. Construct and criterion-related validity evidence using the IEC was collected in two studies covering three samples from diverse settings, populations, and measures. The IEC consistently showed incremental criterion-related validity beyond the same tests’ traditional scores, as well as construct-related evidence in line with theoretical underpinnings. Findings imply that traditional personality constructs can be meaningfully aggregated with measures of self-presentation that are cost-effectively derived from the same data sources.


Personnel selection Self-presentation Faking Personality assessment 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Business AdministrationUniversity of RostockRostockGermany
  2. 2.Behavioral Sciences DepartmentIsrael Defense ForcesTel HaShomerIsrael

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