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Lester Sapitula
May 1998


The Effects of Physical Attractiveness and Interview Structure on Hiring Decisions


Whether interview structure mitigates the physical attractiveness bias in hiring decisions was investigated.  It was hypothesized that applicants varying in attractiveness would be rated differently on perceived qualifications or hiring likelihood in the unstructured interview but not in the structured interview.  An experiment simulating the interview process was conducted using 152 undergraduate students who rated applicants on competency, education, articulateness, friendliness, attractiveness, perceived qualifications, and likelihood to hire.  Although the hypotheses were not supported, additional support for the physical attractiveness bias was found.  Highly attractive applicants were seen as more qualified than applicants of moderate and low attractiveness.  Further, applicants in the unstructured interview were seen as more qualified than applicants in the structured interview, suggesting that structured interviews may be more accurate in qualifying applicants.  It is suggested that personnel specialists be careful to disregard job irrelevant characteristics such as physical attractiveness, and move towards using more structured interviews.

    Psych Day will be held Thursday, April 16, 2015 in the Psychology Building Quad. Festivities include a graduate and volunteer fair, workshops, games and special speakers, beginning at 10:00 am. A buffet lunch will be offered for a small donation from 11:00 until 2:00. The keynote speaker, Dr. Collie Conoley, will present his research on Goal Focused Positive Psychotherapy at 4:00 pm in the Beach Auditorium.

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