Despite decades of research on the role of socially desirable responding (SDR) in hiring contexts, it remains unclear whether job applicant SDR is related to future employee performance.
Drawing on a large sample of 1,084 retail sales employees and their original job application data, this study examined the predictive validity of two operationalizations of SDR: (a) impression management captured using a personality scale and (b) overclaiming familiarity with a list of products that were directly relevant to the job. Neither measure was used to inform the hiring decisions.
Results showed that job applicant impression management and overclaiming were unrelated to four indicators of future sales performance as employees. Implications for organizational selection policies involving applicant SDR are discussed.