ERIC Number: ED370041
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug-21
Discriminatory Questions and Applicant Reactions in the Employment Interview.
Saks, Alan M.; And Others
This study investigated the effects of discriminatory interview questions on applicants' perceptions and intentions toward an organization. Participants included 118 graduate business students (59 percent male), average age of 31 with more than eight years of full-time work experience. Discriminatory questions addressed handicaps, plans for marriage and children, date of birth, and arrest records. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of six groups, with each group answering ten questions. A control group answered no discrimination questions, one group answered two such questions, and another group answered all four discriminatory questions. The gender of the interviewer was also varied. Results indicate that discriminatory interview questions increased subjects' negative perceptions of an organization in a number of ways: (1) the fairness with which the organization treats its employees; (2) the professionalism of the interviewer; (3) the evaluation of the interview; (4) the intention to recommend the organization to others; (5) the motivation to pursue a job offer; and (6) the intention to accept a job offer. However, the group which answered only two discrimination questions rated the fairness of employee treatment and the professionalism of the interviewer much higher than the group with all four discriminatory questions, suggesting a threshold of discrimination tolerance. Subjects responded less favorably to the female interviewer, and female interviewees were less optimistic both about receiving a job offer and about the organization's fair treatment of employees. (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993).