Applicant Reactions Are Similar Across Countries: A Refined Replication With Assessment Center Data From the European Union

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Abstract

Many organizations receive applications from people from different countries, and this is reflected in the research interest in cross-cultural differences in applicant reactions. The results of this research stream suggest only a minor role of country differences, but should be considered as preliminary in nature for several reasons. In particular, many studies have been conducted with students as hypothetical applicants, and assessment centers (ACs) have largely been neglected so far. Trying to overcome previous shortcomings, we examined applicant reactions to an AC conducted by the European Personnel Selection Office for selecting employees for European Union institutions. Applicants from eight European countries (N = 243) rated the AC on six reaction dimensions: measurement quality, face validity, controllability, absence of stress, good organization, and positive atmosphere. Reassuring for practitioners, results did again not suggest cross-cultural differences.

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