The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of assertive impression management (IM) tactics, such as personal storytelling and self-promotion, on job interview outcomes of people with epilepsy. Specifically, the effect of IM on interviewers’ subjective impressions and evaluation of hireability of job candidates with epilepsy were examined.
Ninety-nine master’s level graduate students majoring in business or human resources were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions to view one of three 15-min video clips of a job applicant interviewing for a technical computer sales position. The three experimental conditions were (1) job applicant who did not disclose any disability, (2) job applicant with epilepsy who did not use IM tactics, and (3) job applicant with epilepsy who used IM tactics. After watching the job interview video portraying the experimental conditions, participants were asked to rate the job applicant in terms of general impression and hireability for the described position.
The use of IM was found to have a significant effect on job interview outcomes (p < 0.01). Post hoc comparisons indicated that the average rating of business/human resources students on both general impression and hireability for the job applicant with epilepsy and IM condition were significantly higher than for the job applicant with epilepsy who did not use IM condition. Furthermore, mediation analysis revealed that general impression is a mediator for the relationship between IM and interview outcomes.
This study demonstrates that IM has a significant and positive effect on job interview outcomes for persons with epilepsy. IM can be used as a powerful strategy for empowering people with epilepsy to combat disability stigma, and offset negative perceptions of employers about the potential of this population to be productive workers.