Why Do Women Perform Better Than Men in Job Interviews?
Jobs interviews are stressful for everyone, but a new study reveals that while women are generally more on edge before meeting with a prospective employer, their interviews went better than those of their male counterparts — mainly because the ladies coped with the stress better.
After conducting a couple studies, Justin Feeney from the University of Western Ontario said that he and the rest of the research team “found that even though women experienced more interview anxiety than men, it didn’t affect their performance as much as it did for men. We were curious of why that was.”
To further explore gender differences in interviews, they then did simulated interviews with 400 university students to see what kind of coping mechanisms they used to handle their jitters.
“What we found was women adapted more proactively than did men,” Feeney said, explaining they sought support from loved ones, friends and colleagues, and even did practice interviews.
“Men, on the other hand, reacted with more maladaptive coping strategies,” he said. “They would pretend it was not happening, ignore it, watch TV and do things that relieved stress, but hindered performance later.”
Because of this, Feeney said, companies looking for employees shouldn’t consider interviews as the ultimate predictor of future success or failure. “You will actually end up making poor hiring decisions as a result of anxiety,” he said. “Businesses may have a payoff for teaching applicants how to deal with anxiety. That will end up leading to better hiring decisions, which will in turn end up saving them money.”
He also had some advice for job-seekers: “Practice mock interviews and read books on interviews so you can increase your self-efficacy. Talk to friends and family about the interview and how to deal with the anxiety.”