Monday, July 9, 2007

Accents and Job Interviews

I often help my ESL students prepare for job interviews. I usually give my students a list of the most common interview questions and then we practice the answers during our sessions together.

Today as I was looking up the links for common interview questions on, I came across an interesting article called, "Do You Sound Right for the Job?" (I'm not going to put the link here because it will become obsolete in a little while. Monster is always moving around their pages. You can do a Google search for the article if you want to see the whole thing.)

One of the interesting points is how a slight accent can actually be an advantage. A thick accent will often work against someone in a job interview. The article also says that accents trigger emotional responses in us.

Dianne Markley, a professor at the University of North Texas at Denton, states in the article that job seekers with accents should "'First, relax. An accent is part of who you are. It connects you with your family and a particular part of the world. An accent is not a bad thing.'

At the same time, 'Be careful how you use the English language,' Markley cautions. 'Be sure to use good grammar. Speak slowly. Don't get frustrated if you have to repeat yourself. There's plenty of stress in job seeking. Don't add more by worrying about your accent.'"


1 comment:

Ele Pranaityte said...

If accent IS a good thing, then why I wasn't given the job I applied for? :-(