Effects of Job Stereotype, Applicant Gender, and Powerful and Powerless Speech Styles On Telephone Interview Outcomes

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Susan Siltanen

Advisor Department

Communication Studies


This dissertation extended and refined Parton, Siltanen, Hosman, and Langenderfer (2002) and Juodvalkis, Grefe, Hogue, Svyantek, and DeLamarter (2003) research by examining the effects of powerful and powerless speech styles on employment interview outcomes within the telephone screening interview context. Undergraduate and professional participants listened to two audiotaped interviews manipulated by speech style, job type, and interviewee gender. They evaluated the interviewee's dynamism, social attractiveness, similarity, and employability on semantic differential type scales. Results indicated that powerful speech style results in positive attributions of overall impression and employability. However, gender significantly interacted with speech style on attribution of similarity and within several multiple variable interactions. Results indicated that professional participants evaluated the speech style differently than the undergraduate participants. Additionally, implications for powerful and powerless speech style research, attribution theory, uncertainty reduction theory, expectancy theory, and employment interview research are discussed. Limitations and future research are also discussed.