Passing Interviews with an Accent (Foreign or Dialect)

Angela ChungResourcesLeave a Comment

Asian woman interviewing

Ever wonder about your chances of passing interviews with an accent? More specifically, passing with a non-standard accent, either a foreign accent or a dialect. The answer may surprise you.

Will having an accent affect your job prospects?

Carlson and McHenry (2011) studied the effect of foreign accents and dialects on employability. The researchers gathered three applicants that spoke English with an accent. The applicants read scripts out loud and were given employability ratings. The result was that when the accents were very noticeable, all three applicants had lower employability ratings compared to scripts with less noticeable accents.

Accent modification can help you pass interviews.

In conclusion, heavy accents “may benefit from accent or dialect modification”, regardless of ethnicity or accent type. If you think you have a non-standard accent, get a consultation to see if accent modification is suitable. Remember, improving your chances of passing interviews isn’t the only reason for seeking out accent modification. If your accent makes you harder to understand, you may not meet the communication requirements for your job.

Therefore when you’re building up your resume to get that dream job, consider accent modification as part of your professional development, even if you may not be aware of your accent.


Carlson, Holly & Mchenry, Monica. (2006). Effect of accent and dialect on employability. Journal of Employment Counseling. 43. 70-83. 10.1002/j.2161-1920.2006.tb00008.x.

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