A study of the relationship between selected interviewer variables and the interpretation of interview information



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The purpose of this investigation was to determine the relationship between selected interviewer variables and the interpretation of interview information in terms of favorability ratings. The selected variables included the interviewer's (1) age, (2) educational background (technical or nontechnical), (3) years of interviewing experience, (4) frequency of participation in interviews, (5) managerial position in an organization, as well as his degree of (6) ascendency, (7) responsibility, (8) emotional stability, (9) mental alertness, (10) sociability, and (11) dogmatism. In order to study the problem, sixty-two male, department supervisors and superintendents of a large utility company, who are responsible for interviewing job applicants in their particular departments, served as subjects in this study. The subjects were classified into interviewer variable categories based on information obtained from their personnel records, and from their performance on the following instruments: The Gordon Personal Profile, the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness, and the Dogmatism Scale developed by Milton Rokeach. An interview information rating form was constructed which consisted, of 60 items of interview information about hypothetical job applicants. This form was presented to each subject with instructions to rate independently each item on a seven-point favorability scale. The composite favorability score of each judge was used in determining the statistical relationships between favorability ratings and interviewer variables. A standardized procedure was used in the administration and scoring of all materials. The subjects were not aware of the purpose of the study at the time the materials were presented. In analyzing the data, which were treated by methods of "t" scores, product moment correlations, rank order correlations, analysis of variance, Scheffe's method of post hoc comparisons, and Chi Square test, the following conclusions were reached. (1) While interviewers agree closely on their ratings of some items of applicant information, they differ considerably on their ratings of others. (2) Unfavorable interview information elicits more variability from raters than does favorable information. (3) The more responsible and the more dogmatic interviewers are judged to be, the less favorably they rate job applicant information. (4) Personality factors such as the decree of responsibility and dogmatism exhibited, have greater influence on the favorability of applicant information ratings than do the interviewer's age, level of intelligence, amount of interviewing experience, frequency of interview participation, or managerial position in an organization. (5) The untested use of applicant information favorability ratings from one study to another is unwarranted.



Employment interviewing, Evaluation, Attitudes