Rapport Building on Job Interviews: How Much Does It Matter?

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (2016)
Article: Initial impressions: What they are, what they are not, and how they influence structured interview outcomes.
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Rapport building is usually the first step of a job interview. Even when ensuing interview questions are standardized and job-relevant, it’s typical to start with a few questions that seek to ease tension and establish a friendly connection between the interviewer and interviewee. But questions remain: what is the purpose of this, and how does this affect how the interviewee is rated? On one hand, ability to establish good rapport may be indicative of a socially-competent candidate. On the other hand, if the interviewer forms a strong intuitive opinion about an applicant, it may color subsequent scores on the actual job interview questions. So, is rapport building good or bad?  Should the practice be continued or phased out?


How Can Companies Protect Their Reputations by Discouraging Employees’ Bad Behavior?

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology, 2016
Article: Off-duty deviance: Organizational policies and evidence for two prevention strategies
Reviewed by: Sadie O’Neill

Researchers often study counterproductive work behavior, which means employees’ bad behavior at work that is deviant or harmful to the company. But companies can also be harmed by employees’ bad behavior off-the-job, called off-duty deviance (ODD). This can include anything from socially unacceptable noncriminal behavior, like bullying on social media, to downright criminal behavior, like felonies or drug use. The negative impact of ODD can be severe, not only on employment outcomes, but also on the company’s reputation. What are companies doing to protect their valuable reputations?


Fairness During Recruitment Can Affect Job Offer Acceptance

Publication: Personnel Psychology 2016
Article: Investigating the Effects of Applicant Justice Perceptions on Job Offer Acceptance
Reviewed by: Ashlyn Patterson

Ensuring your organization has the right people in the right roles is important, and this outcome is largely affected by the recruitment process. Recruiters spend a long time sifting through job applicants before they decide whom they want to hire. Unfortunately, applicants don’t always accept their offers. What factors make a job applicant more likely to accept (or reject) a job offer? To find out, new research (Harold, Holtz, Griepentrog, Brewer, & Marsh, 2016) studied roughly 3,000 job applicants who had all been given offers to join the US Military.


Discrimination Can Block Pathways into Organizations

Discrimination in the workplace is unfortunately still a problem that needs a solution. There is inescapable evidence that many types of people experience discrimination at various decision points in a career. For example, selection, salary negotiation, and promotions, are all decision points that provide an opportunity for measurable discrimination to appear. New research (Milkman, Akinola, & Chugh, 2015) focuses instead on career “pathways,” or the process that leads up to obtaining a job. If someone has a clear pathway to a job, they may be more likely to be hired when the selection decision is made. However, a pathway can be blocked with obstacles (such as discrimination) that make it difficult for a person to succeed at a later decision point.


Stereotypes and Employment Discrimination Against Cancer Survivors

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Selection BIAS: Stereotypes and discrimination related to having a history of cancer.
Reviewed by: Kayla Weaver

Employment discrimination harmfully affects many types of people, and new research indicates that cancer survivors may be among the victims. This is especially troubling, because after a cancer diagnosis, people must overcome many challenging obstacles to enter and remain in remission. Yet, these same individuals may also have a more difficult time obtaining employment. A recent study (Martinez, White, Shapiro, & Hebl, 2016) examined the stereotypes associated with cancer survivors and the workplace-related implications of these stereotypes for both individuals and organizations.


Ethnic and Gender Discrimination When Reviewing Job Resumes

Publication: Personnel Psychology (2015)
Article: Double Jeopardy Upon Resume Screening: When Achmed is Less Employable than Aisha.
Reviewed by: Andrew Morris

Job resumes are essential in making hiring decisions as they provide necessary information about applicants during the initial screening stages. However, resume screening is highly susceptible to psychological biases, and raters or screeners may rely on mental shortcuts that lead to inaccurate assessments, especially when relevant applicant information appears to be lacking. New research (Derous, Ryan & Serlie, 2015) explored how characteristics of the job and rater attitudes (ethnic prejudice, sexism) combine to influence the decisions of recruiters when limited information was provided in resumes.


Emotional Intelligence Leads to Good Moods and Creativity in the Workplace

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology, 2015
Article: Regulating and Facilitating: The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Maintaining and Using Positive Affect for Creativity
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Emotional intelligence is good for influencing many workplace outcomes, but can it really lead to creativity in the workplace? Some past researchers believed that the two had nothing to do with each other. They said that emotional intelligence was about figuring out the single best way to handle an emotional situation and creativity was about brainstorming many different ways of doing things. These almost sound like opposite strategies. But new research (Parke, Seo, Sherf, 2015) has found that skills and strategies associated with emotional intelligence can ultimately lead to more creativity in the workplace.


Which Type of Personality Leads to Workplace Safety?

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: A Meta-Analysis of Personality and Workplace Safety: Addressing Unanswered Questions
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Workplace safety is a major concern for organizations. Accidents involving employees can jeopardize the safety of everyone at work, and be enormously costly for employers, in terms of lawsuits, insurance, and lost productivity. Research has long extolled the virtues of creating a safety climate, which means setting organizational policy to reflect the fact that safe behavior is important, expected, and will be rewarded. But there is another way to make sure that employees engage in safe practices on the job. We can hire “safer” people in the first place. The authors of the current study (Beus, Dhanani, & McCord, 2015) wanted to identify the personality traits that are associated with safe behavior.


The Strange Story Behind Situational Judgment Tests: What Do They Really Measure?

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: How “Situational” Is Judgment in Situational Judgment Tests?
Reviewed by: Ben Sher

Situational judgment tests are often used during employee selection. They present the job applicant with a series of situations that may be encountered on the job. For example, one situation might include an anecdote about a co-worker encouraging you to steal. For each situation, several different responses are listed. Applicants simply choose the response that seems most appropriate. Because these tests are (hopefully) designed by I-O psychologists or other highly trained experts, certain answers are designed to reflect behavior that is consistent with good job performance. The more the applicant choses these “good” answers, the more certain we are that the applicant will succeed on the job if hired.


Intelligence Testing in Selection: New Developments

Publication: Human Resource Management Review
Article: Implications of modern intelligence research for assessing intelligence in the workplace
Reviewed by: Lia Engelsted

Intelligence testing in selection is often critical because intelligence allows employees to innovate and problem solve. This article (Agnello, Ryan, & Yusko, 2015) reviews the most up-to-date perspectives for conceptualizing and measuring intelligence.