Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Calm candidates perform better on tests used to screen job applicants

Date:
November 4, 2013
Source:
University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management
Summary:
Applying for a job can be stressful at the best of times and even more so in today's very competitive job market. For some it is especially daunting when standardized tests -- a proven tool in the selection process -- are required. A new study shows that candidates' reactions impact their performance on the test and on the job, but don't change the ability of the tests to reliably predict job performance.

Applying for a job can be stressful at the best of times and even more so in today's very competitive job market. For some it is especially daunting when standardized tests -- a proven tool in the selection process -- are required. A new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that candidates' reactions impact their performance on the test and on the job, but don't change the ability of the tests to reliably predict job performance.

Related Articles


Julie McCarthy, an associate professor in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough who is cross appointed to the Rotman School of Management, says tests remain reliable predictors of job performance regardless of how candidates respond to this step in the selection process. How candidates react does, however, impact how well they can perform on these tests. "Candidates who experience high levels of anxiety for instance, will have low test performance while those who are motivated by tests will perform better, both on the test and on the job."

Prof. McCarthy points out that it is these types of behavioural responses that can also positively or negatively affect job performance. Reactions considered situational, such as general skepticism about the tests themselves or about the fairness of using these tools, are also linked to test performance but are not directly linked to performance on the job.

Prof. McCarthy partnered with Chad Van Iddekinge from Florida State University, Filip Lievens from Ghent University, Mei-Chuan Kung from Select International in Pittsburgh, Evan Sinar from Development Dimensions International in Bridgeville Pennsylvania, and Michael Campion from Purdue University, to examine data from studies on three continents, looking at the extent to which reactions relate to test performance and to the outcome organizations care about most: performance on the job.

"The findings are an important consideration both for organizations and for applicants," says Prof. McCarthy. "There is clearly value in training programs to help applicants minimize test anxiety and stay motivated."

For organizations, the findings provide additional support for the ability of standardized tests to reliably predict job performance. So while the tests themselves can be a useful tool, the testing process is also important since candidates develop an impression about the organization's culture and values. Candidates' reactions can influence their views and determine how they speak about their experience and about the organization.

Their research was funded in part by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. McCarthy, Julie M.; Van Iddekinge, Chad H.; Lievens, Filip; Kung, Mei-Chuan; Sinar, Evan F.; Campion, Michael A. Do candidate reactions relate to job performance or affect criterion-related validity? A multistudy investigation of relations among reactions, selection test scores, and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 98(5), Sep 2013, 701-719 [link]

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. "Calm candidates perform better on tests used to screen job applicants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104123742.htm>.
University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. (2013, November 4). Calm candidates perform better on tests used to screen job applicants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104123742.htm
University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. "Calm candidates perform better on tests used to screen job applicants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104123742.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins