Many companies use scores from personality tests when evaluating job applicants. Meta-analytic evidence suggests that scores from well-developed personality tests are predictive of job performance and other organizationally relevant outcomes, with the strongest findings observed across settings for the trait of conscientiousness. A potentially important issue with many personality tests, however, is the accuracy of responses provided by applicants. The assumption is that applicants will respond to items in a manner consistent with their behavior, producing scores that indicate their trait standing. However, for many personality items it is possible for applicants to respond in a way that enhances their attractiveness to the hiring organization.

For illustrative purposes, consider the personality test item “I am rarely late for appointments” and an associated five-point Likert-type response scale ...

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