Dr. Sara Murphy, Assistant Professor in The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Business and Administration, and co-applicant Lisa Keeping, Vice Dean of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, have received $60,747 through a two-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant.
Dr. Murphy’s research is timely and will contribute significantly to our understanding of the complexities of job interviews. Certainly, our experiences over the pandemic have exposed many challenges with respect to all aspects of employment.
Dr. Jino Distasio
Their project, Cross-Cultural Differences in Stories Within Behavioural Interviews, is an extension of Dr. Murphy’s dissertation that looked at job interviews and behavioural questions.
“I’m interested in whether someone’s ability to recall past memories and whether their ability to take that information and weave it into a good story predicts their interview performance,” she explained. “We also decided to extend this into a cross-cultural study.”
Dr. Murphy’s research interests lie in the realm of employee recruitment and selection, particularly in how e-recruitment tools such as online job boards, recruitment websites, and social media are changing recruitment processes, as well as the factors affecting selection interview processes.
She has also done some work focused on cognitive ability and personality testing on a global scale, and the impact of using flexible work arrangement policies.
“Dr. Murphy’s research is timely and will contribute significantly to our understanding of the complexities of job interviews. Certainly, our experiences over the pandemic have exposed many challenges with respect to all aspects of employment,” said Dr. Jino Distasio, Vice-President of Research and Innovation. “This work will help guide discussion but within an evidenced-based approach. This research is also a further example of the range of exciting work being undertaken at The University of Winnipeg.”
Cross-cultural differences and interviews
Because storytelling has roots in cultural values, Dr. Murphy says people tell stories differently.
That was the impetus for her study, especially given that we’re still largely in a remote world where workers are recruited and interviewed from across the globe.
“There are different norms you grow up with and all of that can affect how you tell a story,” she said. “If you’re telling a story in a context that is different from your culture, that might affect your performance rating without you ever knowing it.”
Currently, Dr. Murphy says they’re in the data collection phase of the project. In the short term, she is looking to replicate her dissertation work and examine this topic with job candidates from two cultures with different cultural values.
Looking more long term, Dr. Murphy hopes to extend this work to examine how storytelling within job interviews differs across additional cultures. It’s her hope that this work contributes to a better understanding of the communication mechanism in interviews.