Soft Skills
February 26, 2024

Hacks for Interviewers: How to Break the Code of Biases in Interviews

Did you know that our professional and personal decisions can be influenced by biases? Job interviews are no exception!

Biases are related to our values, culture, past experiences, and unknowingly can influence candidate selection, regardless of who is conducting the interview.

You might wonder… what are biases?

They are unconscious mental shortcuts, quick responses stemming from personal experiences, convictions, etc. That is, when we face a new situation, scenario, or a person we don't know, we usually approach it with a pre-existing idea.

But… why is it important to know about this?

Biases are inherent to our human condition and can lead us to lose objectivity when getting to know people, addressing situations, and making decisions.

There are several classifications of biases, however we will focus on those that we perceive as being most prominent during job interviews:

First impression: It represents the first image or demeanor we form about the candidate, such as when they are late or fail to activate the camera during virtual interviews.

Affinity: It arises when we discover shared experiences with the candidate, leading to a favorable assessment, such as attending the same university or having similar musical preferences, among other things.

Confirmation: When something in a CV or any data we have about the person catches our attention, either positively or negatively, and we steer the entire interview to confirm that preconceived notion.

So, what can we do?

There are different best practices we can follow during, before, and after the interview in order to manage and mitigate the impact of biases:

-Take time to prepare for the interview: Determine the questions to ask, the skills you need to assess, and the information you need to gather so you can focus on those and not on potential biases. This also helps in providing final feedback about the candidate.

-Pay attention to the job description: It's good to base ourselves on the job description and review it again when in doubt or when we feel biased. This is where the aspects that are truly important for the role are listed, and those are what we should evaluate in the interview.

-Re-ask during the interview: If you have any doubts or if the candidate wasn't entirely clear and you feel you didn't get the needed information, explore further. Don't be afraid to ask any follow-up questions during the interview!

-Rely on other interviewers: Creating spaces for discussion with other interviewers familiar with the role can help us fully understand the profile, whether it fits the position, and if there's any bias.

Finally, if you're currently conducting any type of interviews, it's important to keep in mind, be attentive, and acknowledge them when they arise, and finally manage them so that your decisions don't lose objectivity.

💪🚀Take the leap to overcome biases, evaluate candidates more objectively, and build a dream team of talents. 🚀💪

*Authors: Yanina Costero, Micaela Raimondi