Of the various ways we select new talent, interviews can be particularly bias-laden and susceptible to snap-judgments that get in the way of selecting the best person for the job. In fact, researchers believe that interviews are a valid predictor of job performance only 35% of the time.Common kinds of bias likely to show up during an interview include “affective heuristic” and “confirmation bias”.
describes our tendency to evaluate someone based on initial cues like appearance or body language or attitude and use those superficial criteria to make a conclusionabout their character or potential job fit. Psychologists and sociologists have proven over and over our tendency to select individuals who are like ourselves—we connect more easily with persons with whom we share an alma mater or neighborhood, and in turn may misinterpret those clues for how someone will perform in a job. The malicious inverse is that when we don’t recognize someone as reflecting our personal framework, we default to stereotypes to make unfounded conclusions about their character.
is when we take those heuristic-based snap-judgments and then spend the interview seeking out information that supports that notion. Help yourself side-step this bias by asking all your interviewees the same questions in the same order. Don’t skip any questions, and never cut an interview short. You can also keep at the forefront of your mind the criteria specified as most important for job performance when the requisition was opened – this criteria is reinforced when you score the interviewee following the interview and summarize your feedback.