This research attempts to assess the role of preexisting self-perceptions as moderators of individuals' reactions to preferential and merit-based selection. A laboratory experiment was conducted in which female participants were recruited to work on a temporary “job.” Participants were randomly “hired” for the job either because they passed a preemployment qualifying test or because of their gender. Results supported hypothesized self-consistent reactions to the hiring conditions among individuals differing in preexisting self-efficacy. Compared to high self-efficacy participants, lower self-efficacy individuals responded to preferential hiring with lower eventual task performance. Low self-efficacy individuals were also less apt to attribute performance during selection to ability when hired under a merit-based procedure, compared to high self-efficacy participants.