The Relative Effects of Verbal and Nonverbal Behavior, Appearance, and Social Skills on Evaluations Made in Hiring Interviews1


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    This research was supported by a Partners in Excellence Faculty Research Grant and an Instructionally Related Research Grant from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, California State University, Fullerton. We would like to thank Steve dark, Jan Hanna, Dale Hoy, Laura Hundley, Kathy Lang, Laura Lindner, Wendy Parslow, Marcy Pohl, Lynda Ritter, and Dr. John Gillis and the CSUF Career Development Center for their assistance.


One hundred and two student volunteers were randomly assigned to either a lecture format interview training session or a no training condition. All subjects also completed a standardized measure of social skills. Each subject was then videotaped in a mock hiring interview. Groups of judges viewed the videotaped interviews and evaluated each subject's interview performance. Subjects were also rated on physical attractiveness and dress. Finally, a significant positive and negative verbal statements and a numbre of nonverbal cues occuring during the interviews were tallied. There were no significant effects for training on interview performance. The judges' evaluations were most strongly influenced by subjects' verbal behavior and appearance. Implications for interview training and interview evaluation processes are discussed.