Sept. 25, 2020Print | PDF
The Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations to Sara Murphy, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, “Let me tell you about a time: Exploring how storytelling and memory affect behavioural interview performance ratings” on August 4, 2020.
Murphy holds an Honours BA in Psychology from St. Francis Xavier University, where she developed an interest in understanding workplace behavior. That passion led to her completion of a Post-Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management from Algonquin College as well as acquiring her CHRP accreditation. Upon deciding to pursue these academic interests at a graduate level, Murphy found her research interests were well aligned with Vice Dean and Professor, Lisa Keeping at the Lazaridis School.
“For her dissertation, Sara embarked on a very ambitious and original line of research,” said Keeping. “She has been tenacious in her work and unyielding in her enthusiasm for pursuing this line of research, despite its complexity. In my 20 years in academia, Sara is the most hard working and diligent graduate student I have encountered and does it all while being kind and a joy to work with. She is extremely conscientious and has a strong sense of community and contributing towards building and maintaining a culture, embodying the values of a Laurier student and graduate.”
Keeping was Murphy’s PhD advisor and her dissertation exam committee included Lazaridis School professors Chet Robie and Greg Irving, and Laurier’s Department of Psychology professor Roger Buehler. The examination was chaired by Xu Wang, associate professor in Laurier’s Department of Mathematics.
"In my 20 years in academia, Sara is the most hard working and diligent graduate student I have encountered and does it all while being kind and a joy to work with. She is extremely conscientious and has a strong sense of community and contributing towards building and maintaining a culture, embodying the values of a Laurier student and graduate.”
- Lisa Keeping
In her dissertation, “Let me tell you about a time: Exploring how storytelling and memory affect behavioural interview performance ratings,” Murphy assessed the popular selection tool of behavioural interview performance ratings. She discusses how these ratings are based on the level of detail candidates can retrieve about their experiences (ie. autobiographical memory) as well as their ability to effectively convey those details to interviewers (ie. storytelling).
Her research included three independent studies to better understand what can contribute to more successful behavioural interviews. Two of the three studies concluded that memory predicted interview performance, and that this relationship was enhanced by strong storytelling skills. In her discussion of their findings, it’s suggested that interviewers may find that including probing questions can help to level the playing field for those who retrieve autobiographical memory less easily.
Beyond her graduate research, Murphy’s research interests look to understand how recruitment and selection systems work, with a particular focus on understanding factors that enhance and hinder interview performance and how e-recruitment tools such as social media, organizational recruitment websites, and online job boards are changing the nature of organizational recruitment processes.
“Completing my PhD is a milestone for me, but it is also a bookend to my career as a student. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from so many wonderful researchers over the course of my graduate work and hope to continue working with them as I move into the next chapter of my academic career as an Assistant Professor.” Murphy says. “The PhD program at the Lazaridis School was high quality and very supportive. The professors provided excellent training and guidance and the staff were always available to help with student questions or concerns. I also had wonderful colleagues to collaborate and discuss research ideas with, which was invaluable to my graduate work.”
Murphy has accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Winnipeg in the Department of Business and Administration where she is excited to continue teaching and advancing her research.
Read more about Sara in her UNITER Profile.