Study Says "Kissing Up" Helps in Job Interviews

If you're looking for a jobs don't spend too much time promoting your qualifications, a new study finds that if you want to use the most effective strategy to get a job offer agree with everything your interviewer says and throw in a few compliments while you're at it.

Many consider kissing-up an essential part of any job interviews, but a University of Florida study shows there's no such thing as too much of it.

In surveys of job applicants, researchers found that ingratiation worked better at securing job offers than any other single strategy.

Experts say that with strong competition for many jobs recruiters are looking for someone who fits best in an organization. Yet researchers were still surprised that the age-old tactic of self-promotion proved so ineffective as compared to the strategy of bootlicking.

Dr. Timothy Judge is a management researcher at the University of Florida in Gainesville and says, "Ingratiation on the other hand complimenting the interviewer, agreeing with their opinions. It's what we call opinion conformity, and it did work and the way it works is the personal/organizational fit, so it led recruiters and interviewers to believe the applicant fit into the organization."

Experts say that employers are increasingly drawn to the like-minded when searching for employees. Research backs that up, finding that 'opinion conformity' also helps existing employees in their performance ratings on the job.

Dr. Judge says that could eventually prove a problem for businesses when there's no one left to offer any new or bold ideas.

"You'd probably ask most managers, do you want 'yes-people'? And they would say no, no I want people who disagree or who represent themselves, but if you look at what actually works, I think we get a different picture."