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The verbal behaviors of 25 corporate recruiters were content analyzed and compared to student applicants’ postinterview evaluations of them. Qualitative and quantitative analyses identified and counted helper and other responses made by recruiters. Additional analyses indicated significant variability in the quality of interviews, the talkativeness of recruiters, and the relative impact of recruiter verbal behaviors on the applicants’ ratings. Recruiters who para- phrased, asked questions, and made influencing statements tended to be rated significantly higher on their expertness, or competence. Recruiters who dis- closed sometimes-irrelevant information tended to be rated significantly lower on Responsiveness. These results are discussed within the framework of both critical contacts and social influence theories. Suggestions are made for further research and for what constitutes ’’good’’ recruiting verbal style.


Originally published in The Journal of Business Communication. 1998. Volume 35. Issue 2. Pages 202-223.