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Abstract

Chronic self-promoters may thrive in job interviews where such behavior is encouraged. In Study 1, 72 participants were videotaped as they simulated the job applicant role. Accountability was manipulated by the expectation of expert versus nonexpert interviewers. As accountability increased, self-promotion tended to decrease among non-narcissists but increase among narcissists. Ingratiation showed no interaction or main effects. In Study 2, 222 raters evaluated applicant videos varying in narcissism (high vs. low) and ethnicity (European heritage vs. East Asian heritage). Chronic self-promoters (i.e., European-heritage narcissists) were given the most positive evaluations. Detailed behavior analyses indicated that the narcissism advantage was derived primarily from frequent self-praise and the European-heritage advantage from use of active ingratiation tactics. In sum, self-presentation styles that pay off in the (Western) interview context are highly selective.