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Narrative competence in job interview conversations
Responsable du projet Adrian Bangerter
   
Collaborateur Paloma Gosteli Corvalan
   
Résumé The job interview is an important link between the world of education and the world of work. Increasingly, job interviews are oriented towards assessment of candidates’ past experiences and behavior through questions designed to elicit personal stories. As a result, it will become necessary to explore the narrative competence of candidates, i.e., their situated ability to produce relevant, representative and coherent stories about their achievements in past critical work situations. This subproject investigates four research questions: (1) How are personal stories jointly accomplished in job interviews? (2) How are personal stories evaluated by recruiters? (3) How are narrative and interactional competences represented as objects of institutionalized discourse? (4) How do narrative practices evidenced in job interviews feature in other institutional activities? These questions will be investigated in 3 field studies that will analyze (1) videotaped interactions between recruiters and candidates in real job interviews, (2) recruiters’ evaluations of interview stories from listening or viewing these tapes, and (3) official organizational documents and advice literature about conducting interviews. A range of analytical methods, both qualitative and quantitative, are used. Analysis of interactional data will focus on how personal stories are elicited, as well as how they get jointly produced by candidates and recruiters. A secondary focus will be on content and performative aspects of stories. Recruiters’ evaluations will be analyzed quantitatively and related to story content and performance. Social representations of narrative competence will be determined by content analysis of relevant documents and by interviewing recruiters. In terms of basic research, this subproject will generate novel understanding of key linguistic and interactional processes that take place in the job interview. As such, it will complement existing research on impression management in the job interview by specifying the collaborative activities by which impressions are co-constructed. The rise of behavioral interviewing will lead to new demands on the narrative competences of job candidates. By diagnosing typical features of narratives in job interviews and analyzing the normative institutional expectations that are brought to bear on the evaluation of young people’s personal stories, this project will lead to insights that can be used to train both candidates and recruiters. In addition to these results, links can be made with other subprojects. Subproject B is relevant in that young people with language impairment may produce less fluent or less interactive narratives. It may be possible to compare the performance of personal stories across the two field settings. Links can also be established with subprojects C and E, which are also located in the domain of work. Although this subproject studies narrative competence, storytelling activities in job interviews will be similar to some of the data collected in subprojects C and E (e.g., question-answer sequences, where young people may be questioned by more experienced or hierarchically superior work colleagues). Subproject A can be compared in this respect too. Thus, this subproject completes the Sinergia project by studying an important link between educational and work settings and by focusing on a well-defined conversational phenomenon.
   
Mots-clés Narrative, storytelling, personnel selection, job interview, conversation, interactional competence, social representations
   
Page internet http://www2.unine.ch/ic-you/page-22674_en.html
   
Type de projet Recherche fondamentale
Domaine de recherche Psychologie
Source de financement FNS
Etat Terminé
Début de projet 1-2-2012
Fin du projet 31-1-2015
Budget alloué 178'680
Autre information Subproject D of Sinergia IC-YOU (PI: Simona Pekarek Doehler)
Contact Adrian Bangerter