Jobless! Your voice can help you land a job

Mumbai, PTI | Updated : 22 February 2015, 04:32 PM

Forget the resume, it’s your voice that may actually help you land a job. Employers are more likely to rate job seekers as intelligent and competent if they hear their pitch than if they read it, a new study has found.

The study by University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that when hypothetical employers and professional recruiters listened to or read job candidates’ qualifications, they rated the candidates as more competent, thoughtful and intelligent when they heard the pitch than when they read it - even when the words used were exactly the same.

As a result, they liked the candidate more and were more interested in hiring them.

However, the addition of video did not influence evaluations beyond hearing the candidate’s voice, said Professor Nicholas Epley who conducted the study with PhD candidate Juliana Schroeder.

“In addition to communicating the contents of one’s mind, like specific thoughts and beliefs, a person’s speech conveys their fundamental capacity to think - the capacity for reasoning, thoughtfulness and intellect,” said Epley.

In a series of experiments, the researchers asked a group of Chicago Booth MBA student job candidates to develop a short pitch to the company for which they would most like to work.  They created written pitches and spoken pitches (videotaped).

In an initial experiment, a separate group of evaluators judged the spoken pitches by either watching and listening to the video recording, listening to the audio only, or reading a transcript of the pitch.

The evaluators who heard the pitch subsequently rated the candidate as more intelligent, thoughtful and competent than the evaluators who only read a transcript of the pitch; the evaluators who watched the video pitch did not rate any differently than those who heard the pitch.

In fact, evaluators who heard the pitch reported liking the candidate more and reported being significantly more likely to hire that person.

In another experiment, the evaluators who listened to trained actors reading job candidates’ written pitches out loud believed those candidates were more intelligent and wanted to hire them more than the evaluators who read candidates’ own written pitches.

Even professional recruiters (who recruit candidates from Chicago Booth) were more likely to hire the candidates whose pitches they could hear than those whose pitches they read.

The study will be published in The Journal of Psychological Science.

First Published: Sunday, February 22, 2015 04:12 PM
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