Pre-employment good impression and subsequent job performance

Richard Ian Lanyon, Leonard D. Goodstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose – Previous research has not demonstrated a consistent relationship between pre-employment measures of good impression (GI) response bias and subsequent job performance. The purpose of this paper is to study the likelihood that such effects would be present for the extremes of the GI dimension, noting that opposite predictions about these effects would be made from the two competing conceptions of GI: motivational and positive self-presentation. Design/methodology/approach – Three groups were studied in which the job performance was investigated for high and low pre-employment GI scorers (>1 and <−1 SD) and also for extreme high and low SD scorers (approximately the highest and lowest 5 percent). Participants included two groups of nurses and one of chain store managers. Findings – The low GI groups showed consistently poorer-than-average job performance, and the highest GI scorers showed a trend toward better performance. The extreme highest and lowest groups showed greater differences than the high and low groups. Originality/value – This study demonstrates that extreme pre-employment GI scores are relevant to performance, and support the self-presentation rather than the motivational conception of GI, at least for these employment groups. Attention is drawn to the practical relevance of low GI scores in predicting poorer work performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-358
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 14 2016


  • Employment
  • Personality
  • Psychology
  • Recruitment
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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