Interviews are an essential part of any hiring process, and like any major business process they come with their own set of problems. Good interviewers are aware of the biases that are inherent in traditional interviews and look for ways to proactively combat them. We’ve curated this list of tips to help eliminate bias in the hiring process and find the best people for your job.
1. Use Structured Interviews
In a structured interview, all applicants are asked the same list of predetermined questions and evaluated on the same scale, helping to standardize the interview process. This gives all applicants the same chance to showcase their talents and experiences while reducing interviewer bias. It’s always a good idea to give interviewees the chance to add any additional information they’d like you to know at the end of the interview, in case your questions didn’t cover something important to them.
2. Use a standardized point scale during the interview to measure candidate performance
Once your candidates have taken a pre-employment test and you’ve chosen which of the highest scorers to interview, it’s important to standardize the scale you use to judge those interviews. Just as a teacher should always use a standard answer key to grade a test, interviewers should have a standard scale to judge their candidates.
3. Assign a team (rather than an individual) to interview your candidates
Having a team of people interview each candidate gives you a few perspectives on the candidate’s fitness for the job and helps reduce the kind of subconscious bias that makes people hire team members who are just like them. If you have more people on your hiring team, the perspectives of your team members can help you determine if that person is really right for the job, or if they appeal to you because of your similarities. Best practices recommend at least 3 people on your interview team to avoid a tie.
4. Consider using group interviews for jobs that require strong interpersonal skills
It’s important to know when choosing a group interview is the right fit. Group interviews can be a great resource for understanding how candidates would work on a team and how they’ll work under the pressure of getting that big account you’re after. Alternatively, group interviews can keep quieter personalities from having a chance to shine even though they may be a great addition to your team. Remember that group interviews don’t have to be an elimination round for your candidates, but they can be a great tool for getting to know them, and learning how they could fit into your organization.
5. Use pre-employment testing to measure candidate job fit, intelligence, and personality.
Using a pre-employment assessment tool before the interview is helpful to the screening process. By testing candidates first, you can choose to interview those who exhibit strength in personality traits proven by decades of research to predict employee success. This eliminate time spent reading resumes and some of the bias that goes along with that. A good pre-employment test will not have obvious right answers, which can help you be sure that your candidates are answering honestly and giving you good insight into their potential.
This isn’t to discount the importance of interviewing in the hiring process - pre-employment testing is most accurate when used as an initial screening tool for candidates, allowing you to promote top scorers to the interview process where you have a chance to get to know them better. Pre-employment testing can also be extremely useful during the interview process. The Optimize Hire custom interview guide is automatically generated for each candidate who takes one of our pre-employment tests and will highlight specific traits candidates excel or struggle in, giving you questions curated by experts at the Wharton School to properly probe into weak spots.
6. Keep track of memorable moments to aid decision-making later on
Write down your favorite moments with a candidate during their interviews. Further down the road at decision time, you can take a second look at why exactly you liked them so much. Did they exhibit a strong growth mindset or a level of conscientiousness that you know is highly correlated with employee success? Or did you like them because they reminded you of yourself? If it’s the latter, consider referring back to Tip #3 and check in with a coworker.