Bias-Free Hiring: Interview questions not to ask

An interesting but somewhat frustrating checklist of what to ask and what not to ask in interviewing candidates, as bias-free as possible. All too familiar to those of us in government, where the guidelines below are followed religiously and yet are deeply unsatisfying given the over-scripting that occurs. Sometimes it works out fine, sometimes less so:

  • Use the job description to identify the essential skills and abilities needed for the job. Determine which of these skills and abilities are best assessed through a written or practical test, through an interview, and from reference checks. From there, interview questions should be developed and clearly linked to the skills and abilities needed to do the job.
  • Develop the responses which you will look for in the candidates’ responses.
  • Attach a score to each question.
  • Use an interview panel when interviewing. Require each interviewer to write down each candidates’ responses to each question.
  • Ask each candidate the same questions.
  • After each interview, have the interview panel discuss the candidate’s responses and come to an agreed score for each question.

Bias-Free Hiring: Interview questions not to ask.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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