Unpacking Rapport: The Role of Behavioral Coordination and Culture in Workplace Interviews
46 Pages Posted: 12 May 2006
Date Written: 2006
This paper examines the influence of non-verbal coordination and culture on perceptions of interpersonal rapport and candidate performance in job interview settings. Mock interviews were conducted on-site at a Fortune 500 company using a 2 x 3 experimental design. Anglo and Latino midlevel managers were interviewed by a confederate who enacted one of two possible levels of nonverbal coordination. Our results show that low levels of behavioral coordination on the part of an interviewer reduce candidates' self-esteem and perceptions of interpersonal rapport; increase their anxiety and the time candidates take to respond to interview questions; and lower performance evaluations for both self- and expert third party-ratings. Our results also show that these effects are moderated by culture but not gender, with stronger effects found for Latino men than for Anglo men or women. Theoretical implications and practical ramifications for workplace diversity and the development of interpersonal rapport and improved collaboration are discussed.
Keywords: workplace interviews, rapport, Latinos, culture, non-verbal
JEL Classification: J29
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