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After the application form is submitted, the interview is the most important method of human resource allocation. Previous research has shown that the attractiveness of interviewees can significantly bias interview outcome. We have previously shown that female interviewers give attractive male interviewees higher status job packages compared their average looking counterparts. However, it is not known whether male interviewers exhibit such biases. In the present study, participants were asked to take part in a mock job negotiation scenario where they had to allocate either a high- or low-status job package to attractive or average looking "interviewees." Before each decision was made, the participant's anticipatory electrodermal response (EDR) was recorded. The results supported our previous finding in that female participants allocated a greater number of high-status job packages to attractive men. Additionally, male participants uniformly allocated a greater number of low-status job packages to both attractive men and attractive women. Overall, the average looking interviewees incurred a penalty and received a significantly greater number of low-status job packages. In general, the EDR profile for both male and female participants was significantly greater when allocating the low-status packages to the average looking interviewees. However, the male anticipatory EDR profile showed the greatest change when allocating attractive women with low-status job packages. We discuss these findings in terms of the potential biases that may occur at the job interview and place them within an evolutionary psychology framework.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann N Y Acad Sci

Publication Date





142 - 162


Adolescent, Adult, Beauty, Career Mobility, Decision Making, Organizational, Face, Female, Galvanic Skin Response, Humans, Male, Sex Characteristics, Social Class, Social Environment