Job applicants vary in the extent to which they fake or stay honest in employment interviews, yet the contextual and demographic factors underlying these behaviors are unclear. To help answer this question, we drew on Ellingson and McFarland’s (2011) framework of faking based in valence-instrumentality-expectancy theory. Study 1 collected normative data and established baseline distributions for instrumentality-expectancy beliefs from a Canadian municipality. Results indicated that most respondents had low levels of instrumentality-expectancy beliefs for faking, but high levels for honesty. Moreover, income, education, and age were antecedents of instrumentality-expectancy beliefs. Study 2 extended these findings with a United States sample and sought to determine if they could be explained by individual differences. Results demonstrated that financial insecurity predicted instrumentality of faking, whereas age predicted expectancy of faking. Finally, valence-instrumentality-expectancy beliefs were all predictors of self-reported faking in a past interview.

Corresponding Author Information

Jordan L. Ho


Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Rd. East, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada



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