Building rapport through sequentially linked joke-serious responses in second language job interviews

Yusuke Okada
December 2015
Pragmatics & Society;2015, Vol. 6 Issue 4, p593
Academic Journal
This study aims to explicate interviewer and candidate conversational practices in L2 job interviews as they relate to the assessment of a candidate's qualification for a particular position. The data consisted of 27 audio-recorded job interviews for the position of student assistant in English classes at a Japanese university. The analysis of these interactional data, conducted using conversational analysis methodology, revealed that the inadequacy of a candidate's response is constructed by means of the interviewer's subsequent pursuit of a relevant answer from the candidate. In addition, a candidate's ability to build rapport by providing sequentially linked joke-serious responses evoked a positive evaluation from the interviewer. The findings indicate that a candidate's understanding of expected behaviors and ability to accommodate his or her behaviors in a manner relevant to the interaction result in a positive assessment.


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