Employment Interview Outcomes and Speech Style Effects

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This study examines the effects of powerful versus powerless speech styles on employment interview outcomes, extending and refining research by Wiley and Eskilson. Undergraduate and professional respondents listened to one of eight audiotaped interviews manipulated by speech style, interviewer gender, and interviewee gender and evaluated the interviewees’ dynamism, social attractiveness, competence, and employability on Likert-type scales. Results indicate that a powerful speech style results in positive attributions of competence and employability and that professional respondents evaluated the speech styles differently than did undergraduates. Implications for the employment interview are discussed, and directions for future research are also identified.