Faking in Personnel Selection Webpage uri icon


  • Faking has been defined in several ways but generally refers to intentional distortion of responses on psychological measures. This behavior is a potential concern in personnel selection contexts because applicants who are motivated to obtain a job might consciously distort their responses on selection measures in an attempt to increase their chances of receiving a job offer, especially when perceiving their true ability and qualifications to be inadequate. More specifically, job applicants may exaggerate or completely fabricate positive qualities and downplay or completely deny negative qualities. Although the reasoning underlying concerns regarding faking in personnel selection is fairly easy to understand, the antecedents, nature, and consequences of faking have turned out to be less straightforward. As a result, researchers and practitioners have devoted substantial time and attention to these issues in an attempt to understand faking and address it in practical selection contexts by preventing this behavior or measuring and adjusting assessment processes to account for it. This article focuses on major examples of this work. Much of the empirical research, theoretical development, and practical interventions in this area focus specifically on self-report personality measures, but the psychological processes can often be generalized to other measures in selection such as employment interviews or biographical data inventories. The focus on personality likely stems in part from the potential practical benefits of using these measures in selection (e.g., they are easy to administer and have demonstrated criterion-related validity) and the perception that they are easily faked, as they do not imply a strictly correct answer (in contrast with cognitive tests). Thus, key examples of work on personality measures and other assessments are covered.

author list (cited authors)

  • Converse, P. D., Kim, B. H., Mochinushi, Y., & Yang, Y.

complete list of authors

  • Converse, Patrick D||Kim, Brian H||Mochinushi, Yumiko||Yang, Yadi

publication date

  • January 2016