Managers: how to avoid interview bias and errors

I enumerate 5 common cognitive biases and errors that employers and hiring managers will make during a job interview.

1. The halo effect

Avoid a subjective evaluation based on a single trait or characteristics such as attire and physical traits that will often unconsciously influence judgements with the actual interview performance of the candidate.

2. First impression

A hasty evaluation in the first minutes, this is part of our human nature and it is important to be aware of this cognitive reality.

3. Projection

An unconscious bias to want to recruit a candidate that most resembles the interviewer or the person to replace.

4. An overly structured or formal interview

Organise and lead a semi-structured and pleasant interview in order to reveal the true nature and personality of the candidate.

5. Present the real conditions of the position

Describe all the real challenges and the actual work environment, good or bad, in order to avoid unrealistic expectations.

How to avoid these biases and errors?

  • Identify specific evaluation criteria and skill sets with the hiring manager prior to the interview process to
    avoid hasty evaluations and to maintain an ethical decision-making process.
  • Organise several competency-based interviews with the various managers of the team in order to
    obtain several evaluations and opinions.
  • Complete all the interview process including the evaluation grid, competency-based interviews, aptitude
    and personality tests as well as the professional references before proceeding to the final decision.

Stefanie Rochford, CHRP, CRHA