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How to ensure your interviews are fair

In my years of interviewing candidates in London, Cape Town and Milan I have had the pleasure of coming into contact with thousands of interesting individuals each with their own value to add. During my time coaching and mentoring people I noted that how they chose to present themselves and their backgrounds at the interview may have differed greatly but one thing they all had in common was they all arrived at my office with the hope (and expectation) of being considered fairly for the job.

As an interviewer our core role is to evaluate the person based on past performance and not the university they attended, their membership to exclusive clubs or volunteer work they put on their cv. Just like we should not evaluate a person based on their beauty or looks or which part of the city they reside in. We are all human and sometimes we confuse seeking common ground with bias. It doesn’t make us terrible people but it is important to realise that our job is important and the decisions we make when interviewing and selecting a candidate can make a huge impact on people's lives.

When interviewing your ultimate goal is to ascertain how that person will fit into the team, the company culture and the client target. It’s simple; what is their experience, what have they proven to have achieved and will they fit into the team? Perfectly put:

“Past performance speaks a tremendous amount about one’s ability & likelihood for success”. Mark Spitz

So here are 3 easy tips on how to conduct an UNBIASED INTERVIEW which I hope you will find useful:

1. interview with a checklist

Compare traits and experience to job description ensuring that you are evaluating the person based on the experience they bring to the table and matching it to what is needed to be successful in that particular role. This will mean that the decision you make is fair and in line with the company’s best interests.

2. take extensive notes

By jotting down answers to questions posed, feedback given by the candidate and examples of successes and failures will ensure that when you go back to evaluate each candidate post interview, you remember it all and not just what appealed to you the most as a human being.

3. involve other decision makers in the process

By including others in the management team in the decision making process you expand the pool of feedback and thoughts and ideas are shared ensuring that the candidate is evaluated in a fair and democratic manner.

Many large corporations are investing in professionals who are employed to research and implement diversity inclusion, a hot topic at the moment! Whether you, as the interviewer, are focused on eliminating bias or increasing the awareness of diversity inclusion remember that we are all human and all make mistakes. Take little baby steps and in time you will see the positive results filtering through the organisation by hiring the right people in the right jobs and including all cultures and backgrounds from our beautiful rainbow nation!

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