Dr Sara Ahmed

Research Interests

  • Applicant reactions in personnel selection
  • Organizational justice/fairness
  • New technology in selection and assessment 
  • Cross-country/Cultrual examinaitions of applicant reactions

Research Collaborations

Prof Neil Anderson, Brunel University, UK

Dr Ana-Cristina Costa, Brunel University, UK

Prof Julie McCarthy, University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada

Prof Talya Bauer, Portland State University, USA

Prof Donald Truxillo, Portland State University, USA


UG Human Resource Management MAN2133- (Module convenor) 

MSc Psychological Assessment in the Workplace MANM360 

Contact Me


My office hours

Tuesday 11-12

Wednesday 11-12 

Contact Me 

54MS03 Surrey Business School 

Tel: +44 (0) 1483 682018 

Email: sara.ahmed@surrey.ac.uk


Journal articles

  • McCarthy J, Bauer T, Truxillo D, Anderson N, Costa A, Ahmed S . (2017) 'Applicant Perspectives During Selection A Review Addressing “So What?,” “What’s New?,” and “Where to Next?”'. Sage Publications Journal of Management, 46 (3), pp. pp. 1693-1725.


    We provide a comprehensive but critical review of research on applicant reactions to selection procedures published since 2000 (n = 145), when the last major review article on applicant reactions appeared in the Journal of Management. We start by addressing the main criticisms levied against the field to determine whether applicant reactions matter to individuals and employers (“So what?”). This is followed by a consideration of “What’s new?” by conducting a comprehensive and detailed review of applicant reaction research centered upon four areas of growth: expansion of the theoretical lens, incorporation of new technology in the selection arena, internationalization of applicant reactions research, and emerging boundary conditions. Our final section focuses on “Where to next?” and offers an updated and integrated conceptual model of applicant reactions, four key challenges, and eight specific future research questions. Our conclusion is that the field demonstrates stronger research designs, with studies incorporating greater control, broader constructs, and multiple time points. There is also solid evidence that applicant reactions have significant and meaningful effects on attitudes, intentions, and behaviors. At the same time, we identify some remaining gaps in the literature and a number of critical questions that remain to be explored, particularly in light of technological and societal changes.

  • Anderson N, Ahmed S , Costa A. (2012) 'Applicant Reactions in Saudi Arabia: Organizational attractiveness and core-self evaluation'. Springer International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 20 (2), pp. pp. 197-208.


    This paper reports findings from a survey into applicant reactions of working adults in Saudi Arabia. A sample of 193 participants from four job functions was obtained, with measures of organizational attractiveness, core-self evaluation, and applicant reactions to four popular selection methods in the country – interviews, résumés, work sample tests, and references – being included. Findings indicate a notably similar pattern of preference reactions to previous studies in other (Western) countries, affirming arguments for so-called reaction generalizability. Work sample tests were rated the most favorably followed by interviews, résumés, and references. For specific procedural dimensions, résumés were perceived as the most favorable, followed by work sample tests, interviews, and references. Several significant differences were found across job functions, mostly for interviews and résumés. Significant effects were found between reactions and organizational attractiveness, and between reactions and core-self evaluation, including some interaction effects. Implications for future research and for practice in employee selection are considered in the conclusion.

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