How to Eliminate Bias During an Interview

Many researchers have found out that hiring processes are unfair and biased. They are usually laced with unconscious sexism, ageism, racism, and nepotism.these unconscious biases may have a problematic and critical effect on judgment, and they play a big role in determining who finally gets hired.

If you are practicing such bias, you may favor one interviewee, thus ending up hiring the wrong person. And the result is that your bottom line will be impacted negatively. But how do you eliminate these biases so you can get the best employees? Read on.

1. Try To Understand The Hiring Process

On matters of hiring new employees, you need to think of ways in which you can standardize and simplify the process. The starting point is for you to understand the hiring prejudices and how you can deal with them.

Experts recommend that you provide your human resource team with training and education on this topic. Awareness training is necessary to unravel unconscious bias and allow the HR team to appreciate that they also have these biases and should be bold enough to deal with them. Once they recognize that they have their own biases, you can let them freely discuss ways in which they can eliminate or minimize them.

2. Standardize Your Interviews

By standardizing your interview process, you will reduce any chances of bias. Rather than allowing each interviewer to ask random questions to the candidates, you can come up with a set of questions to be asked and a scoring system.

Let all the questions focus on the factors that impact on the candidates’ performance. You can then grade each candidates’ responses according to a predetermined scale. The candidate who scores the highest would be the best fit for the job. Your team of interviewers should be transparent and honest in awarding the scores. If any of them has a wide variation, the team can ask him/her to explain the variation.

3. Go Blind When Reviewing Resumes

When you hold a resume in your hand for review, what information are you looking for? The moment you start by looking at the gender of the applicant, his/her age, where she comes from, the race, or religious background, etc., you’ll already be building a foundation for bias. For example, you may shortlist a candidate just because of where he/she comes from, the race, or gender, rather than looking at the qualification.

That’s why recruiting experts advise that you turn a blind eye on these unnecessary details and focus on qualifications and experience. This way, you’ll be leveling the playing field for all the applicants. Look at what value each applicant can add to your organization rather than looking for a way in which you can favor them.

4. Work On Job Descriptions

Biases begin right from the job descriptions. When you put up a job advert, what words do you use? Certain words may make some people feel they don’t qualify to apply.

For example, using a masculine language with words like “determined” and “competitive” may make women perceive that the job is not for them. On the other hand, using words like “cooperative” and “collaborative” will attract a larger number of women.

Some statements that encourage a particular gender to apply for the job show outright bias. So you have to eliminate statements such as “men/women are encouraged to apply for this position,” or any statements that are unpalatable on disability job boards. Also, including age brackets in your job adverts can make you lock out some of the best candidates.

5. Use a Sample Test

This is perhaps the most effective way of eliminating bias in the hiring process. By giving the candidates work-related tests, you can easily pick those who perform well and eliminate poor performers.

Asking candidates to undertake a skill test, solve a work-related problem, or practically demonstrate their skills, you’ll more insights on each candidate. Whatever the kind of skill the job requires, you can let each candidate demonstrate what they can do before the interviewing panel. You’ll then hire them based on how they perform and not on their personality, age, gender, or appearance.

Before You Go

To further minimize bias in your interview process, ensure your hiring team includes many people from different backgrounds and worldviews. Don’t leave this work to a single individual. Making hiring a collaborative process will ensure each candidate gets a fair deal. For example, when using the scoring system, it is good to get the average score from a large number of interviewers rather than having the scores from one person.

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