A behavioural expert outlined the worst ways to commit bias when interviewing a candidate

Iris Bohnet1
Prof. Iris Bohnet is a behavioural economist at Harvard Kennedy School. YouTube/Harvard Kennedy

The world of work is rife with bias when it comes to hiring, promotion, and pay but there are some key ways to prevent this from happening, says Professor Iris Bohnet.

Speaking at the FT Women at the Top event in London on Thursday, the professor of public policy and behavioural economist at Harvard Kennedy School said that removing traditional ways of interviewing people can lead to removing bias from a gut feeling, rather than hiring the right person.

“Panel interviews (when a candidate sits across from a line of interviewers) need to stop,” said Prof. Bohnet, who is also the author of “What Works: Gender Equality By Design.”

“Why? — These three people will not come up with independent assessments of the candidate. They will influence each other, so you are wasting that person’s time. You should do separate interviews to form your own opinion.

“You should in every interview make sure you ask the same questions, in the same order, and rank each answer.”

But Prof. Bohnet points out that bias is likely to happen by just looking at someone and used a famous example of five orchestras in the US.

The number of women in orchestras only grew massively once auditions were conducted behind a curtain. In 1970, less than 5% of the five orchestras were made up of women. Now at present day, since using a curtain to audition musicians, women make up 40% of the troop.

NOW WATCH: The ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ house is on sale for $4.45 million — here’s what it looks like 23 years later