When Competition Pushes You to the Dark Side: How Competition Triggers Applicant Faking
Applicant faking during selection has been studied for dozens of years but remains a vexing issue for practitioners and researchers. Although we know that applicants can and do fake, extant research examining why they fake has largely been focused on the characteristics of the applicant and the selection methods, often ignoring contextual factors. For instance, there is little evidence about the role played by competition, despite its predominant place in both the selection process and organizational culture. In this talk, I will describe the theoretical foundations for positioning competition as a key antecedent of applicant faking. I will then present a series of studies demonstrating how individual-level competition can trigger faking in employment interviews, and how organization-level competition can trigger adaptive faking strategies when completing personality tests.