Interviewers have to be trained to manage their own natural biasness. Otherwise, the objectivity of the selection process could be easily undermined even with scorecards and structured interview questions prepared. Be self-aware and minimise the following common pitfalls:

Halo Effect:
Performance in one area or competency can influence the ratings for other areas. For example, a high rating on Oral Communication could potentially bias the rating on Problem Solving, irrespective of the candidate’s performance on Problem Solving. Be critical of your own evaluation for each competency to minimise unwanted influence from irrelevant areas.

Similar-to-Me Error:
People have a natural tendency to prefer people who are similar in various ways to themselves. Instead, concentrate on the candidate’s responses when making evaluations, rather than the candidate’s characteristics and personality.

Negative Emphasis:
Unfavourable information tends to be negatively (and disproportionately) more influential than favourable information. Many times, the willingness of candidates to share a negative piece of their past is also an example of courage. Focus on what the person has learnt from rather than the outcome of that experience.

Your best defence to such pitfalls is awareness of your own biases. However, even with awareness, note that no interview selection is fool-proof. Thus, it is important for supervisors to continue and closely observe employees during probation to mitigate the chances of a poor fit.


The above excerpt is our compilation of ideas for business leaders in the areas of people management, leadership, and workplace happiness. 

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