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Men often dominate women candidates in job interviews, showing 'unconscious bias' on gender, study finds

·2 min read

When men interview women, they chatter more, speak faster and listen less than when they're talking to another man, a new analysis has found.

Those gender dynamics were spotted during a review of more than 2,000 interviews by the interview platform BrightHire.

When men interviewed women, they spoke 30% more words than they did when talking to another man. The meetings lasted 15% longer than those where a woman was the interviewer, or when men were dealing with other men. And when interacting with women, male interviewers dominated 60% of the discussion.

The gender differences were equally stark when comparing male and female interviewers. Men spoke 20 words per minute faster than their female counterparts. Yet their meetings ran 9% longer. And the back and forth dropped by 8% as men took center stage in the conversation.

As a result, female job applicants spoke 6% fewer words when interviewed by a man than they did when the interviewer was another woman.

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Unconscious bias is tough to see

"Unconscious bias is hard to address in large part because it's difficult to see,'' Teddy Chestnut, co-founder of BrightHire, said in an email. "But when you can step back and look at the patterns across interviews like we did with this research, all of a sudden it comes into full view.''

Men were also more than twice as likely as women to get a chance to interview for a position in the first place. And their interviews averaged 31 minutes compared with 26 minutes allotted for their female peers.

"Companies that want to tackle bias in their hiring process can't just run a workshop and hope for the best,'' Chestnut says. "They need to be able to see how their interviews are actually run."

BrightHire has secured $12.5 million in funds to improve its platform's ability to detect bias in the interview process.

Follow Charisse Jones on Twitter @charissejones

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Job interviews: Men talk more, listen less than women, study says