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Analyzing Job Interviews: Genre Analysis Approach

Wang Yimin  
【摘要】:The job interview is a face-to-face interaction between two parties, the interviewer and the interviewee, who meet to fulfill a predetermined purpose of both parties, i.e. the interviewer wants to select the right candidate for a certain vacancy; and the interviewee wants to get a job, using questions and answers as the means of achieving the purpose. In modem urban society, it is so prevalent that almost anyone has experiences of being interviewed because it has become a standardized procedure through which business entities recruit employees. The present research takes the job interview as its target of analysis with an objective of giving a comprehensive analysis to this interaction by drawing upon insights from different approaches to discourse analysis. From the perspective of genre analysis, the present research assumes that the job interview is a unique genre which bears its distinctive interactional and sociolingistic features. As a kind of genre analysis, the present research, in conformity with the two broad objectives of genre analysis, aims to explore typical or conventional interactional and sociolinguistic features of this specific genre, and further to explain why it bears such features by putting it in the social context in which it occurs. As a qualitative research, the majority of the data for the present research are collected by recording job interviews taking place in the real working places. The research has found that this genre has its unique interactional pattern which differs greatly from that of ordinary conversation in terms of turn-taking system and topic management. Whafs more, as an important sociolinguistic feature, the politeness strategy is also unique with this genre. Finally, the investigation of the social context in which the job interview occurs has made clear why the job interview bears such features, which characterize it as a unique genre.


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