Protecting your interviewer's face : how job seekers perceive face threat in a job interview



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The interview is an important component of the selection process for employment and is one of the initial presentations of self by the applicant to the interviewer. As an extension of a study by Wilson, Aleman, and Leatham (1998), this study used politeness theory to investigate perception of face threat in the context of a job interview, specifically, when making requests and giving advice. This study predicted that jobseekers perceive an act as a greater threat to an interviewer’s negative face (appealing to interviewer’s autonomy) when making a request than when giving advice. Secondly, the study predicted that job seekers would perceive an act as greater threat to the interviewer’s positive face (appealing to the interviewer’s desire for approval) when giving advice or recommendations than when making a request. Both hypotheses were supported and other related interests such as acceptability of the act and likelihood of getting the job were also investigated.