Men speak more & listen less when interviewing women: Study

Men speak more & listen less when interviewing women, according to study of 2000 job interviews


A new US study has found that when men interview women they speak more than 30 percent more and listen considerably less than when they are interviewing another man. 

The findings were pulled together by BrightHire which reviewed more than 2,000 interviews conducted by their HR team. 

The research also found that when men interviewed another man, their meetings lasted on average 15 percent longer than when they interviewed a woman. Male on male interviews averaged 31 minutes compared with male to female interviews, which lasted 26 minutes on average. 

Male interviewers were also shown to dominate 60 per cent of the conversation in interviews with women, and they spoke 20 words per minute faster than their counterpart.

Consequently, female job seekers spoke 6 per cent fewer words when interviewed by a man than they did when the interviewer was another female.  

Teddy Chestnut, one of the co-founders of BrightHire, said this phenomena of unconscious bias is hard to tackle since it is “difficult to see”. “But when you can step back and look at the patterns across interviews like we did with this research, all of a sudden it comes into full view,” he said. 

“Companies that want to tackle bias in their hiring process can’t just run a workshop and hope for the best. They need to be able to see how their interviews are actually run.”

To build inclusive hiring processes, companies need to go beyond unconscious bias training. 

“Unconscious bias [training] by itself won’t won’t help you,” Cody Horton said. “You have to start with that foundational awareness. But then at the end of the day, there has to be an ongoing way of reinforcing the concept or the principles with that unconscious bias training. And at the same time, you have to go beyond just the awareness and start giving people the chance to exercise what they’re learning.”

Horton is the managing director of Global Diversity and Inclusion Recruiting. He runs a team at BrightHire and has recently started using the platform to learn insights on the positive impact of new tools, and to understand what’s going on during the interview process.

“This leaves way less room for error, and helps give needed context to candidate responses,” the company announced. BrightHire has announced a $12.5 million in funds to improve its platform’s ability to detect bias in the interview process.

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