Hiring success: How a non-native accent affects the evaluation of a non-native speaker in job interviews.

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Nowadays, non-native English is more common due to globalization. People have different linguistic backgrounds in organizations and therefore, English is used as a ‘lingua franca’ to enable people to communicate with each other. As a result, the amount of non-native English speakers has increased. However, non-native English speakers can be evaluated more negatively than native English speakers due to their non-native English accent. The main purpose of the present study was to examine whether there is a difference between the evaluation of German-English accented speakers, Spanish-English accented speakers and American-English accented speakers in hiring success. In addition, the study examined the difference between German-English accentedness, Spanish-English accentedness and American-English accentedness in terms of perceived comprehension, familiarity, status, solidarity and dynamism. In an experiment, 116 Dutch participants evaluated one fragment recorded by German-English accented speakers, Spanish-English accented speakers or American-English accented speakers. The findings show that German-English accentedness was evaluated lower than American-English accentedness. Furthermore, German-English accentedness and Spanish-English accentedness were evaluated lower in perceived comprehension and familiarity than American-English accentedness, whereas German-English accentedness was evaluated lower in status and dynamism than American-English accentedness. The findings indicate that non-native English speaker are evaluated lower than native English speakers in hiring success.
Faculteit der Letteren