Have you ever gone into a job interview and gone out of your way to speak differently? I don’t mean speaking in a more formal manner, that’s a given, but have you changed the way you talk by toning down your accent?

Excuse me, the way you ”tawk.”

According to a study recently put out, that’s not an unheard of concept and a surprising amount of New Jerseyans do it.

Research done by the University of Chicago and the University of Munich shows that “people with strong regional accents face a wage penalty of 20% compared to those who speak with a ‘standard accent.’” In order to avoid what they call “dialect discrimination,” people will actually alter the way they speak when interviewing for a job.


The people most likely to soften their twang are those with Western New England accents. When they “pahk” their “cah” in the “pahkin’” lot of the interview, they leave their “wicked strawng” accent at the door.

51% of job applicants from Massachusetts will adjust their pronunciation.

After that is the south midland accent. The study says this would be the accent of states like Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and parts of Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky. “Y’all,” would you believe that 50% of them are likely to tone down their accent?


Which brings us to our very own Garden State. 45% of us will “tawk” differently while interviewing, especially if we’ve had our “cawfee” and are talking a mile a minute.

Think about that: nearly half of the people you work with hid their accents when they were interviewed!

According to the study, the industries where interviewees were most likely to be careful about how they speak are:

  1. Real Estate
  2. Tourism
  3. Public Service
  4. I.T.
  5. Engineering
  6. Hospitality
  7. Finance
  8. Retail
  9. Healthcare
  10. Media

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Kylie Moore. Any opinions expressed are Kylie's own. You can follow Kylie on Instagram.

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