Summary: Effects of Discriminatory Interview Questions and Gender on Applicant Reactions

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Janet Galloway
Professional Interviewing
October 13, 2011

Effects of Discriminatory Interview Questions and Gender on Applicant Reactions Saks, Alan, and Julie McCarthy. 08/18/2010. "Effects of discriminatory Interview Questions and Gender on Applicant Reactions." Journal of Business and Psychology. 21.2 (2010): 175-191. Summary: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of discriminatory interview questions on job applicant's reactions, perceptions, and job pursuit intentions (176). In the process of searching for a new job, we all go through the interview process. There have been many laws written on what questions may or may not be asked. Even with these laws in place, many employers are not clear on what is and is not legal to ask during an interview. “McShulskis (1997) found that 100% of respondents indicated that they would ask at least one of five illegal interview questions (176).” This study attempts to break down the reactions of interviewees to such discriminatory questions. The hypothesis of this study is “that job applicant reactions, perceptions, and intentions toward the organization will be adversely affected by discriminatory questions during the employment interview (177). Previous studies have also shown that the gender of the interviewer had an effect on the attractiveness of organizations (177). When the interviewer was female “applicants perceived the organization as less attractive (177).” It also strives to show the correlation between the gender of the interviewer and interviewee on the overall reaction to the interview (178).

The method used in this study was to conduct mock interviews with three different groups. Each group had 10 questions, with two of the group’s questions containing discriminatory questions. After the mock interviews, a survey was taken to gauge the reactions of the participants to the questions, the interviewer and the overall experience. The result of this study in regards to...
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