Candidates’ Head and Eye Orientations in Job Interviews: Effects on Impression Formation

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Hatch, Molly C
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This study examined the effects of job candidates’ head and eye orientations on observers’ impressions across six different head/eye orientation combinations. Sixty-six undergraduate participants (51 males, 15 females, Mage = 19.61 years) viewed simulated interview excerpts of six job candidates, and rated them across eighteen bipolar rating scales. One-way analyses of variance comparisons of the six head/eye orientations on the impression measures revealed that mean ratings on the confident, focused, calm, dominant, and outgoing traits differed as a function of head/eye orientation, with the level eye gaze orientations being judged as more confident, focused, calm, dominant, and outgoing, and the eye gaze avoidance orientations being judged as less. When candidates displayed a level head/eye orientation they were more frequently selected by the participants to be hired than the other head/eye orientations. When candidates tilted their heads upwards and maintained a level eye gaze they were perceived as the most proud.
head orientation, eye orientation, job interview behavior, nonverbal behavior, impression formation