Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

STUDY 2: Talk the Talk: Appalachian Accent and Interview Evaluations -

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

In this experimental study, I explored how a job applicant's accent can impact how she is evaluated. An undergraduate student, with the ability to speak both with and without an Appalachian accent acted the part of a candidate in a job interview. Two job interviews were recorded on DVDs. One version was the candidate answering interview questions with an Appalachian accent, and the other version was the same candidate answering the questions without an Appalachian accent. Only the job candidate could be viewed in the DVD; the interviewer's voice and questions were audible. The candidate's verbal responses to the questions, and her non-verbal body language, were constant. Participants consisted of undergraduate students and employers in various companies in the Southeast. Participants each viewed the same resume, which depicted the candidate as a recent college graduate, with job experiences that were appropriate for the job for which she was interviewing. Participants were randomly assigned to view one of the interviews on the DVD, and then rated their perceptions of the job candidate. Perceptions included perceived suitability for job, ease of understanding the candidate's speech, the degree to which the candidate fit the organizational culture, and likelihood of hiring the candidate. I predicted that when the job candidate spoke with an Appalachian accent she would be rated more negatively, and as less qualified for a job as a human resources associate, than when she spoke without an Appalachian accent.

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STUDY 2: Talk the Talk: Appalachian Accent and Interview Evaluations -

In this experimental study, I explored how a job applicant's accent can impact how she is evaluated. An undergraduate student, with the ability to speak both with and without an Appalachian accent acted the part of a candidate in a job interview. Two job interviews were recorded on DVDs. One version was the candidate answering interview questions with an Appalachian accent, and the other version was the same candidate answering the questions without an Appalachian accent. Only the job candidate could be viewed in the DVD; the interviewer's voice and questions were audible. The candidate's verbal responses to the questions, and her non-verbal body language, were constant. Participants consisted of undergraduate students and employers in various companies in the Southeast. Participants each viewed the same resume, which depicted the candidate as a recent college graduate, with job experiences that were appropriate for the job for which she was interviewing. Participants were randomly assigned to view one of the interviews on the DVD, and then rated their perceptions of the job candidate. Perceptions included perceived suitability for job, ease of understanding the candidate's speech, the degree to which the candidate fit the organizational culture, and likelihood of hiring the candidate. I predicted that when the job candidate spoke with an Appalachian accent she would be rated more negatively, and as less qualified for a job as a human resources associate, than when she spoke without an Appalachian accent.