Cultural differences in prioritizing applicant attributes when assessing employment suitability

Serena Wee, Peter K Jonason, Norman P Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We examined how culture influences perceptions of applicant attributes when assessing employment suitability. In two studies (N = 408), we compared members from a collectivistic society (Singapore) to two samples from individualistic societies (the United States and Australia) on their perceptions of applicant attributes across job contexts. For each job, participants either chose between candidates with different attribute profiles or created ideal candidates by allocating a fixed amount of percentile points across different attributes. More often than Australians, Singaporeans chose the candidate with higher levels of the trait (e.g., openness to experience) uniquely associated with the job (e.g., graphic designer). More so than either Americans or Australians, Singaporeans prioritized having the trait most associated with each job. Members from collectivistic societies may require higher levels of the traits most associated with different jobs than members from individualistic societies, who prefer more well-rounded individuals for each job. As discussed, the study of lay perceptions may have implications for training hiring professionals and managers. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-956
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


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