Every HR team is looking to make their hiring process as fair as possible. Biases often stand in the way of that. Worse, they’re difficult to spot without help. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to address them to improve your hiring process and create a more diversified workplace. This includes addressing biased language in your interview questions.
Interview biases can stem from the interviewer or from the interview format itself. Regardless, bias may influence the decision to move a candidate to the next stage without objectively considering their qualifications.
And the worst part is these biases are typically unconscious, requiring a mindful approach to solve. To help you along, here are some examples of common interview biases.
- Generalization - The human mind naturally tries to complete and simplify incomplete data sets. As such, it is common for an interviewer to take a candidate’s interview behaviors to be a reflection of their complete self.
- Nonverbal - Communication is highly dependent on body language. In fact, 55% of communication is nonverbal. Nonverbal bias occurs when an interviewer prioritizes this communication to the extent they overlook skills and qualifications.
- Stereotyping - Many stereotypes exist, and no one is really free of them. Stereotyping in interviews occurs when an interviewer allows preconceived notions of a given group to cloud their judgment.
Offer Equal Opportunity in How You Assess Candidates
To help combat interview bias, you’ll need to take a conscious approach to ensure every candidate receives an equal opportunity. Let’s look at some simple steps that can help.
First, recognize that experience and education are not mutually exclusive. Practical experience can easily equate to training. Recognizing this in your hiring process will open your recruitment process to candidates that have the skills for the position regardless of how they obtained them.
It’s also important to recognize that even candidates who struggle to articulate themselves in the interview may nonetheless have the skills you’re looking for. Focus on skills and work history. Have they achieved desirable results? Efficiency and experience are just as important as finding someone that’ll fit in your workplace culture.
Likewise, don’t limit your applicant pool by only reviewing the candidates that meet every qualification. Candidates that meet most of the criteria have the potential to make excellent hires. It’s only a matter of taking the time.
How Virtual Phone Interviews Can Help Address Bias
It can be a challenge to address bias in the interview process. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. Whereas traditional interviewing requires particular care, virtual interviews can make combatting bias easy.
Mitigating bias in the interview process takes standardization. An unstructured approach will consistently fail to reveal a candidate’s qualifications. Rather, it’s important to use the same questions for every candidate. Virtual interviews make this as simple as recording a single interview and distributing it to likely applicants.
Virtual phone interviews take this a step further. The virtual audio format removes the opportunity for visual biases to affect your hiring process. What’s more, this format is the most accessible of all interview options, requiring candidates to only have access to a phone – tremendously helping diversify your candidate pool.
Want to see if you can spot the biased interview question? Take our quiz here.