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Five steps toward recognizing and mitigating bias in the interview and hiring process

Rosalie P. Chamberlain (Rosalie Chamberlain Consulting & Coaching, Denver, Colorado, USA)

Strategic HR Review

ISSN: 1475-4398

Article publication date: 10 October 2016




This paper aims to build awareness of the impact of unconscious bias when interviewing and hiring new employees so that employers can hire diverse talent with multiple aspects of diversity to build a workforce that excels toward excellence.


The five areas discussed in the paper delve into understanding bias by creating a broader sense of understanding to support inclusion for difference by recognizing subtle beliefs and behaviors that exclude potential candidates.


Specific strategies include examining the subtle biases and beliefs that block the ability to see candidates’ potential; identifying thoughts, interpretations and beliefs that create misconceptions about people; exploring verbal and non-verbal communications that send implicit cues borne from or reflecting bias; recognizing the danger of comparisons using biased criteria; and establishing a checklist that helps the interviewers recognize bias in their thoughts and assumptions.

Practical implications

The marketplace is competitive, and the ability to hire the best candidates is impacted by what the organization has to offer. If biases are not addressed, the organization can miss out on those candidates by not seeing the value added by hiring them or because the message being sent by those in recruitment and hiring is unwelcoming and/or off-putting.

Social implications

Addressing bias has been brought to the forefront in the news because of the past few years of incidents dealing with diversity and inclusion, especially exclusion. Organizations need to be aware because of potential Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) implications; focusing on the inclusiveness of the culture is the smart and right thing to do.


The information and suggestions in the paper are original and taken from the author’s work as a diversity and inclusion consultant and leadership coach. These tips have been utilized with success at organizations and helped improve the inclusivity of the organizations.



Chamberlain, R.P. (2016), "Five steps toward recognizing and mitigating bias in the interview and hiring process", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp. 199-203.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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