When interviewing candidates, it is important to make sure that you are focusing solely on their individual qualifications and skills. Too often, interviewers can get blindsided and choose people based on their biases which can result in a higher turn-over rate, decrease in team morale, or in some cases – even the loss of clientele. So why does this occur? There are many kinds of bias from the more easily recognizable: racial, educational, political, religious, etc. However, there are more subtle types of bias as well such as common hobbies, humor, or even a preference of how a person looks or speaks. While it is important to choose employees who have a great personality and get along with others well, they must also have the right qualifications to actually get the job done. Here are some tips for avoiding biases when interviewing candidates.
Compare All Candidates
You need to ask every fresh candidate the same exact questions and give them the same pre-qualifying tests. Don’t skip over them just because you like their sense of humor. This will give you a purely logical basis for comparing each and every candidate objectively, based on their performances alone. Focus on their education, skills, and history first and foremost, as well as their general attitude and work ethic.
Biases can make you conveniently forget negative aspects of a candidate. During the interview, make sure to write down your notes of both the good and the bad parts so that bias doesn’t color your memory.
Similarly, always check references. There are people who will give you a great impression at the beginning but will act differently once they get comfortable in the job. That’s why it is important to ask for references from previous employers.
Get a Second Opinion
Finally, if you are afraid that your bias may be causing you to choose the wrong person, get a second opinion. Ask your teammates or partner to compare your final candidates and see whether your choice makes sense based on their qualifications, history, and skills.
For more interviewing tips, contact us. You can also download our free whitepaper “Perfecting the Perfect Hire” below!
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