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How Can You Avoid First Impression Bias in Hiring?

In today's world, everyone is biased. You, me, and everyone on the hiring team. Partiality can have a detrimental effect on your hiring and can cause you to lose out on talent and possibly hire the wrong people. There are simple and effective ways of avoiding bias in interviews.

First impression bias is a type of bias that allows your first judgment or first opinion of a candidate, good or bad, to influence your response or decision. Most discussions are decided by reviews made in the first five seconds. The questioner may be affected by the candidate's appearance, handshake, or tone of voice as to whether he likes the person or not. Every interview is spent trying to confirm the first impression. Sadly, we all do. Even worse, these judgments can lead to bad employment because no decisions you can make about the candidate in the first 5 minutes of the meeting will indicate their motivation or ability.

So, in this article, we will know how to avoid first impression bias in hiring.


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Howard Ross, a leader in the concept of unconscious bias, said in a Recruiting Future podcast interview, "We make quick decisions about people. The nature of how the mind works. We make decisions about who is safe and who is unsafe. This makes us decide to be interested. or of not being interested in a person based on things that have nothing to do with his ability, art or experience but rather that remind us of who reminds us or of what happened in the past that we had in such people. "

Meanwhile, in 2003 National Bureau of Economic Research Study faked a resume in response to a help-wanted ad. Except for one element, all resumes submitted to potential employers were identical. Each CV is given a stereotypically Black or African American presenting name or a stereotypically White or European-American presenting name to alter the hiring organization's view of the race. The findings found that Black or African American names were subjected to considerable discrimination. Callbacks for interviews were 50% higher for White or European presenting names.


Significance of Avoiding Bias in Interviews

Prejudice is a significant cause of many job mistakes. Because when we feel good about ourselves, we often ask simple questions. And when we feel bad right away, we ask the most challenging questions. In other words, we look to confirm (usually unknowingly) our first impression. This is the reaction of an old friend compared to the daily enemy in the chat room. Despite this, the fact remains that bias in hiring exists; it may be more subtle than one thinks. Still, it exists and varies from unconscious to implicit bias. So, you need to know how to avoiding bias in interviews can help the company as a whole.

By limiting your talent search, you limit your company. You need to take a hard look at your go-to hiring practices. Do you recruit from the same source consistently? Do you swear by a particular college or university? Do you go by only employee referrals? While these are options to source from, one should take a more diversified and innovative approach to hire as this could narrow down your choice of candidates. Look at untapped resources and remove first impressions and other subtle biases to get the right candidate for the job.


Why is the First Impression Important?

33% of hiring managers reported knowing whether they would hire or not within the first 90 seconds.

  • A candidate's first impression informs the examiner of the answers and knowledge. It is estimated that 30% of respondents decide on the interviewer in the first five minutes of the interview.
  • By making sure you make an excellent first impression, you leave all the time available to show off your skills and abilities. Avoid bias when hiring.
  • The reason why first ideas are so important is that they last longer than that moment. This is because of the so-called primacy effect, which means that when a person experiences something before other things in sequence, he remembers that first thing more.
  • First impressions are important, and HR is probably the first point of contact of the person being interviewed and acting as a firm representative.
  • We judge other people's characters and craftsmanship based on the first few minutes we spend together. The first impressions are vital because they are formed in seven seconds and are challenging to move afterwards.

Must Read: Headhunting And Recruitment—How Are They Different?


How Can You Avoid Bias When Hiring?

Here are some ways to avoid bias when hiring.

    1. Do the telephone interview first

    Bias is significantly reduced by avoiding the visual impact of first impressions. The phone screen naturally changes focus to work history and outstanding achievements. As part of the phone screen, find out why the person changed jobs and whether the change was successful, and dig out the projects and groups the person is assigned to, as well as when these groups or projects grow in size and importance. If the above is good and you invite the person to a local interview, your first impression of them will not significantly affect you.


    2. Write an opening for the discussion to broaden your horizons

    When you start an interview, do not make a yes or no decision to hire for at least 30 minutes. This defeats the tendency to ask the questions of our loved ones to verify their ability to lie and people we do not like to question to prove their incompetence falsely. The Appendix to the Important Employment and Employment Guide contains a complete sample set of documents covering the first 30 to 60 minutes of interviews.


    3. Use reverse logic to rearrange yourself during the interview

    Our natural biology kicks in when we meet anyone for the first time. Compared to our enemies, a friend's response makes us more relaxed and open-minded with our loved ones and more understanding and intimate when we meet those we do not love. Fighting these prejudices comes to light when you realize they are happening and then act in the opposite direction. In this case, we must give the benefit of the doubt and be open-minded to the people we often dislike at first and be very sceptical of those we love. In this way, everyone is adequately assessed.


    4. Adjust your viewing angle by 180 degrees

    Assessing the team's capabilities before a person is one way to reduce the impact of initial bias. You can review your work history, ask group-related questions, and follow the fact-finding questions.

    By itself, this type of question and the discovery of the truth reveals much about the skills of the interviewee group. If you ask the same query in a few other significant achievements of the team at different times, you will be able to see the growth rates of the nominee team projects. This practice provides a wonderful insight into the candidate. The growth in size, breadth, scale, and importance of the team shows that they are respected and trusted by the company's senior members. How and why a person is selected ensures the quality of work, honesty, cultural addition, and interaction with customers, vendors, and managers and provides insight into whether a person has developed a diverse approach and strategic perspective.


    5. Rate the first impression at the end of the conversation

    Whether the impact of original ideas is crucial to a successful career or not, it is essential to check if you are not tempted by it. At the end of the interview, ask yourself whether the first impression you will make will help or hinder your work. If you can wait that long, you will find that in many cases, your adverse reaction to a chosen person is caused by a temporary panic or something of less extreme importance. In some cases, you will find that a candidate who has left such a strong impression has faded when examined closely. Postponing a yes or no decision for 30 to 60 minutes and asking everyone the same questions will help increase vision and reduce hiring mistakes. And by examining the team's skills first, you will quickly understand whether the candidate is a top player or not and why.

      6. Be self-conscious

      An increased sense of self-awareness is a great help in controlling your prejudices. Ask questions about your decisions and take detailed notes to make your decision-making process more transparent and clear.

      Remember that you can fall prey to many types of prejudices, and even if you are aware of some of them, it is usually not enough to overcome them. In addition to being aware of your biases, a more structured approach is needed.


      7. Make the resume anonymous and create some different categories

      Anonymous resumes can help you eliminate candidates' names, gender, age, and location biases. This is especially useful if part of your hiring process is automated. Alternatively, you can create a few different categories to select candidates. Research has shown that grouping resumes collectively (e.g. through a candidate's university) increases selection diversity without diminishing quality. This is because the appointed managers select the candidates from each category and still select the strongest candidates.


      8. Candidate screen on the phone

      Screening calls can help you overcome some of your prejudices. During a call, you don't get all the non-verbal cues in a live or video interview. Since you do not see the person, you are not in danger of being influenced by their physical appearance, style, or clothing choices. Design your interviews and take notes to get the most out of each call.

      Phone screening interviews are usually short, but unexpected interruptions can still occur. Don't draw biased conclusions about a candidate's readiness based on that. candidate


      9. Document the recruitment process

      Take detailed notes for each interview and phone call. Don't rely on your memory, which is not perfect, especially if you want to do a lot of interviews in a short period. Instead, take structured notes so you can easily compare them later. You can also use a scorecard to record applicant performance and organize your observations.

      Every decision must be documented and attached to the candidate's file during recruitment. Performance estimates can help you improve your interviewing process over time as you compare them to the actual performance of your chosen candidates.

    In this way, you confidently avoid hiring the wrong people.


Effective tips to avoid interviewer bias in the hiring process

  1. The interview guide allows organizations to plan how they conduct their interviews. It also ensures that all candidates get the same experience, and it is appropriate to reduce bias. It helps to create a level playing field for everyone.
  3. For each activity, have a set of questions you will ask each baptism candidate. This way, you are not swayed by the same bias and objection. You will never forget to ask one candidate about X and then reject that candidate because X is an important skill.
  5. Instead of waiting until the candidate goes to write down the impressions, write down your impressions as you go. Preparing a standard sheet with a feedback area can help keep things accurate and is key to a systematic process.
  7. Before starting the interview process, determine what skills are essential and look at those skills individually. This will help you avoid thinking in the same way, with the first impression bias and the effect of brightness, among others.
  9. All candidates receive the same assignment, whether writing a piece of code, analyzing a data set, or writing a brief description of how they would handle the problem. Judge the product of the job without identifying the candidates. This helps eliminate almost all bias, as long as the job is directly related to what the job requires.
  11. Each interviewer should pose questions about their skills and job requirements. Baptismal candidates may feel they are answering the same questions with different interviewees, but the idea is to get a clearer picture while minimizing bias.
  13. If your business is focused on political studies and candidates, share these beliefs and focus on skills only. Provide candidates with your code of conduct so they know how your business is doing, but do not ask for their opinion in popular discussions of the day. Be specific about job requirements instead of asking candidates to try to guess what you like.
  15. Sometimes, you may want to get baptized or feel that the other person is good. If you use the above methods to test candidates, you will have a measurable answer about the best candidate. Your gut is simply your hidden bias as thought.

Should You Avoid First Impression Bias Interview?

Situations of initial bias or first impression bias interview will see the hiring person, hiring manager, or team of inspectors make hasty judgments or speculative opinions about the applicants they have just met. While an excellent initial reaction may cause a person to be unloved, someone who begins to look down on you may be offended. As a result, recruitment agencies are more likely to hire bad people, make biased decisions, and discriminate against applicants for disadvantaged groups. To combat preferential bias during the hiring process, employers can use various strategies, including anonymous resume testing, written interviews, and skills testing.


Trending Article: Which are the Candidate Experiences that Hiring Managers Should Focus On?


Through this article, we can understand that Situations of initial avoiding bias in interviews during the hiring process will see the hiring person, hiring manager, or team of inspectors make hasty judgments or speculative opinions about the applicants they have just met. While an excellent initial reaction may cause a person to be unloved, someone who begins to look down on you may be offended. As a result, recruitment agencies are more likely to hire bad people, make biased decisions, and discriminate against applicants for disadvantaged groups. To combat preferential bias during the hiring process, employers can use various strategies, including anonymous resume testing, written interviews, and skills testing. Reducing the importance of how someone comes to you the first time you meet them and increasing the importance of gathering evidence that they will succeed in doing the job.

For example, Employers may choose a candidate who can confidently enter and shake hands with a candidate who appears nervous and sweaty. Unless the work requires a recruiter to meet new people regularly (such as a retail outlet), this initial bias can eliminate quality candidates. This inexperienced negotiation often leads to poor employment decisions followed by high-profit margins. Therefore, there is a negative impact on the efforts of companies to bring diversity to their employees and become more involved.



  1. How can you define first impression bias?
  2. Prejudice bias refers to the limitations of one's processing of human knowledge. they are strongly influenced by the first piece of information they are exposed to. They are biased in evaluating the following information regarding the initial influence.


  3. Why do first impressions stick?
  4. First impressions may change other people's visual perception, behavior, memory, and behavior. Next, these influences reinforce the first impression and make it much harder to resist.


  5. How do first impressions affect us?
  6. First impressions have a profound effect on our daily lives. We use them to determine who we should talk to and avoid. It can be a decisive factor in choosing a partner, fidelity judgments and hiring decisions.

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