The Employment Interview: The Role of Sex Stereotypes in the Evaluation of Male and Female Job Applicants in the Netherlands1

Authors

  • Nneues E. M. Van Vianen,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
      Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to the first author, University of Amsterdam, Department of Psychology, Roetersstraat 15,1018 WB Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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  • Tineke M. Willemsen

    1. University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • 1

    The authors are grateful to Els van Schie for her assistance in this research project.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to the first author, University of Amsterdam, Department of Psychology, Roetersstraat 15,1018 WB Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

This field study focused on the influence of sex stereotypes in the evaluation of male (N=38) and female (N=21) job applicants in the Netherlands. The employee selection process for higher-level technical and academic jobs in real life situations was studied, with special attention to the assessment of applicants by members of selection committees. It was demonstrated that, according to the job interviewers, the ideal applicant had more masculine than feminine traits. Males and females were regarded as having the same qualifications for the job, but because male applicants were assessed as having more masculine characteristics and female applicants more feminine characteristics, the male applicants were accepted more often. The job interviewers acted according to a fit model: The applicant most similar in traits to the ideal applicant was hired for each job.

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