Does your accent affect your chances of getting the job?

Everyone knows it’s illegal for an employer to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity and national origin. But what about how you sound?

From Geordie to Scouse, Cockney to West Country; Britain has a plethora of proud accents, and there has been some discussion lately as to whether an accent can help or hinder your chances of getting a job!

An ITV/Comres survey found that 28% of Brits feel discriminated against because of the way they speak.

But do accents actually make a difference when it comes to employers deciding who to pick?According to some surveys, it does!

8 in 10 employers admitting to making decisions based on regional accents, according to research from law firm Peninsula.

Victor Arias, co-managing partner of the diversity practice at executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles said: “A professional tries not to let an accent get in the way of hiring decisions, but subtle emotions can come into play, and they may make a difference. Clearly, people make judgments based on accents.”

The BBC has also long been criticised for a distinct lack of regional voices, whilst Cheryl Cole lost that X Factor USA job a few years back, amid fears America wouldn’t understand her – two very public examples of an underlying prejudice.

So, what we want to know is…

Do you think your accent has worked for or against you when interviewing for a job? Have you toned down your accent to help you progress your career? Or maybe your distinctive accent is who you are and helps you in your job?

Career Development, Interviews, Job Search, Telephone Interview