Quest for impartiality

How to avoid interviewer bias
By Brenda Brown
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/10/2010

Upon meeting, people naturally persuade, question and evaluate each other. In doing so, they come to conclusions about each other’s personalities, interests and more. These conclusions lead people to decide whether or not they like each other.

Yet human resource professionals are asked to set aside these idiosyncrasies — prejudices and preferences — during the hiring process to ensure they make an unbiased assessment of each candidate. While avoiding bias can seem contrary to human nature, ensuring each candidate is assessed fairly is a fundamental responsibility of the HR team. So how do they do that?

First, they must understand they are human and accept the fact they have likes and dislikes that do not fit with their professional duties. Without this acceptance, these feelings will inevitably lead to poor judgment and find their way into their professional effectiveness. Once they raise their self-awareness, they can use that understanding to check or control their questions and judgment and work towards achieving impartiality.