How to remove bias from the interview process

In recent years there has been an enormous shift in addressing discrimination in every aspect of life especially professionally. Bias isn’t something that can be eradicated overnight and within business, there must be steps taken to focus on improving the hiring process.

Bias within the interview process can deflect the benefits of a diverse workforce. At every step of an interview process, there should be opportunities to promote a more inclusive hiring practice. The purpose of every recruiter should be to select and hire the best candidates possible.
To achieve the best hire, recruiters must ensure that certain persons and groups are not favoured over others throughout the whole interview process. But as humans, we can make impulsive judgments which can segregate certain individuals and whether you know you’re doing it or not it is important to be aware of how you and your processes are being perceived by different sectors of society.

Research written about in our own Diversity whitepaper shows that a diverse and inclusive workforce is necessary to drive innovation, creativity, and strategy.

Here are a few techniques to help reduce bias within the interview process.

Build Awareness

Implementing awareness training is the key to helping recruiters understand where some of their decisions come from. A lot of recruiters rely on gut instinct, however making sure that unconscious bias is not playing a part is important. It’s also an important starting point to note that you cannot stop doing something if you don’t acknowledge its presence and then accept that things can change for the better.

This can take some time, by teaching recruiters about the issues and behaviours at play and by drawing attention to this matter it will bring an understanding to what they are doing. Whether people agree with it or not, underrepresentation of candidates across race, gender, identity, neurodiversity and disability is real and if a recruiter can alter their behaviour, they will be minimising the risk of a biased based decision being made whether that is conscious or not.

Standardise every interview with every candidate

Do you have a standardised format for every interview being taken? Are there set questions to be asked regardless of who the person is?
Each candidate should be asked the same set of defined questions. The hiring panel will have a CV and will have spoken to each candidate prior to the meeting which makes the interview another data point. Having standardised questions allows the hiring panel to focus on the factors that will have a direct impact on their decision, making it fair for everyone.

Define the job, not the person

Job ads should have an accurate job description detailing what the job requires and what the candidate needs to do, not a list of things they should have in order to be successful in the role. Some skills are company or role-specific, while others can be utilised in any role you do, with transferable skills developing throughout your career. Having a clear job ad outlining what needs to be done will open the talent pool to a more diverse selection, reducing bias by assessing comparable work done by the candidate instead of certain or specific criteria.

Invest in Tech

The advancement in tech in recent years has led to a shift in tools being implemented to ease recruiters job load as well as reducing bias in the interview process. It can bring in further guidance and procedures from blind applications to automated sourcing.

AI can reduce bias from the interview process but there will always be a need to have that element of human decision making that must be taken into consideration especially when algorithms are being created. AI can play an important role in guiding the decision making into making it less biased, however, we must ensure that the bias has not been introduced during the programming phase.
Recruiting AI in the interview process will allow large quantities of data to be examined and predict who will be the best candidate with certain criteria of course. AI will assess those criteria through an algorithm objectively and eliminate any bias that humans are susceptible to

It is important to note technology has an element of human decision making and it’s vital that you check algorithms so that factors such as name, location, race, gaps in a CV and even hobbies can’t influence the screening process.

Remove gendered wording

There are many sources/tools out there to distinguish whether or not your job ad is written in a more masculine or feminine way. A job ad is the first communication a candidate has about the role so it is important to know how it is being perceived. With the most common bias being gender bias in hiring it is essential to get this right. Words such as challenging, autonomous, dominant, for example, can be very off-putting for women and data shows that they don’t even realise that it is the words that are putting them off. By running the ads through a gender decoder tool to look into how your written job ads are being perceived you will be helping to address that gender gap issue within occupations where there are less of one than the other.


Bias in and around hiring can be detrimental to employees, any future prospects and the company itself. Once you recognise what bias you could potentially hold, you can take the correct measures to work on them and train.

Every company should define clear goals and works towards a plan when it comes to diversity. No company is expected to change overnight but having realistic goals and meetings will bring about any areas of improvement. If you are interested in finding out more, we have written a full paper on diversity within the workplace where we explore this theme in depth.

Here at KDR, the team has gone through Equality, Diversity & Inclusion training, if you have any further questions on bias and how to remove it in the hiring process get in touch today.

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