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Fit perceptions in the employment interview: The role of similarity, liking, and expectations


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr María Fernanda García, Department of Marketing and Management, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas 79968-0539, USA (e-mail:


We examined (1) how interviewers construct fit perceptions about applicants and (2) the relationship between these perceptions and actual hiring recommendations. It was hypothesized that actual demographic similarity and human capital similarity would indirectly affect fit perceptions. These fit perceptions would be predicted by the interviewer's perceived similarity to applicants, mediated by two factors: interviewers' liking of the applicant and interviewers' expectations of applicant performance. Actual interviewer-applicant dyads (N=118) were studied. The results indicated that the relationship between perceived similarity and fit perceptions is mediated by performance expectations but not by liking. This study provides evidence that interviewers are more rational than previous research suggested. However, the fact that human resource interviewers are more likely to perceive applicants as similar to themselves than line interviewers suggests that interviewers' neutrality is questioned.