The Potent Role of Personality in Structured Behavioral Interviews: An Experimental Field Study

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Valcea, Sorin
Hamdani, Maria R.
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
March 2014
Alternative Title
This study is an attempt to explore the method-related variance in patterned behavior description interviews. Patterned behavior interviews are based upon the premise that a pattern of past behaviors is an effective predictor of future behaviors. The structuring efforts are aimed at ensuring that interview responses mainly asses the quality of past behaviors, and that other biases are minimized in the evaluation of a candidate. We probe this assertion and explore the method-related variance in such interviews due to the personality of candidates. We propose that certain personality traits can facilitate or hinder performance in the interview, which may decrease the predictive validity of interviews. To test our assertions we compare face-to-face behavior interviews with written behavior interviews in a sample of high achieving students applying for limited positions in a prestigious leadership training program. The results of the study show that extraversion influences relative performance of candidates in the two types of interview. Furthermore, extraversion interacts with oral interview scores to predict future training performance. Our study suggests that current criterion-validity estimates of selection interviews might be underestimated.