The Effect of Interviewers’ Genders on the Quantity and Quality of Their Interviewees’ Output: A Comparative Inquiry among Saudi Students

Ahmad I Alhojailan

Abstract


Gender segregation is widely established in Saudi Arabia, and this may affect the interviewing dynamic in conducting spoken tests. Such an effect could pose significant consequences for interviewees; for example, it might affect their ability to obtain high scores in the speaking sections of standardized tests (e.g., the IELTS). This could prevent them from enrolling in universities in English speaking countries (e.g., United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada) as well as other universities that require such tests for enrollment purposes. As such, this study attempts to explore whether the gender of an interviewer can affect how a respondent forms their answer in terms of both depth and length. In this study, two interviewers (a male and a female) interviewed six Saudis of both genders, comprising a total of 12 interviews. The results showed that when both the interviewer and the interviewee were of the same gender, interviewees’ responses tended to be lengthy, and they were more likely to expand their response to other related topics. On the other hand, when both the interviewer and the interviewee were not of the same gender, brevity and/or avoidance characterized their answers.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijele.v8i2.17377

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