Stereotype attitudes of selection interviewers and the implications for Maori of current selection interview practice in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University
The interview is the most widely used tool by selection practitioners and is also one of the most hotly debated in terms of its reliability and validity. In New Zealand Maori occupy a disadvantaged position in the labour market. As such the interview may act in a gatekeeping manner denying Maori full and equal participation in the labour market. The present study was conducted as two distinct phases of research. Firstly, the pattern of stereotype attitudes of selection interviewers towards the five largest ethnic groups in New Zealand (Maori, Pacific Island group, Chinese, NZ European/Pakeha and British/UK group) was investigated. Secondly, the current interview techniques and practice of people involved in conducting employment interviews in New Zealand were examined. The mail-in ethnic attitude questionnaire was completed by 107 employment interview practitioners. The attitudes towards the five ethnic groups were measured using an attitude scale consisting of 12 semantic differential dimensions. An overall differential pattern of attitude stereotyping was revealed for the five groups. The second phase involved 26 participants who were involved in an interview conducted by the researcher to ascertain their interviewing practice, knowledge about interview research and EEO considerations regarding the employment interview. The responses gained from the participants indicate that the common technique utilised is the unstructured interview with questions developed on an ad hoc basis. There was also a considerable lack of formal interview training and most participants reported a lack of familiarity with published research. EEO initiatives were uncoordinated and participants generally reported a lack of direction regarding the implications of EEO policies. The results indicate the opportunity for current selection practice to act as a barrier to full and equal Maori participation in the labour market. Additionally the current approach to EEO Maori is inadequate to deal with the additional status of Maori as tangata whenua of Aotearoa/New Zealand.