Q1.  How is discrimination potentially involved in interview practice?

Discrimination can be involved in interview practice through multiple avenues, such as unconscious biases, stereotypes, and discriminatory questioning (Rivera, 2017).  Unconscious biases may lead interviewers to favour candidates who resemble themselves or fit preconceived notions, which can result in discriminatory outcomes (Dipboye & Collela, 2017).  Stereotypes can also influence the evaluating of candidates’ skills and qualifications, leading to discriminatory decisions (Derous et al., 2012).

Moreover, discriminatory questioning may involve asking inappropriate personal questions or making assumptions based on a candidate’s race, gender, age, disability, or other protected characteristics, which violates the Equality Act 2010 (Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2014).  To minimise discrimination risks in interviews, organisations should implement structured interviews with standardised questions (Highhouse, 2008).  This approach allows for a consistent and fair evaluation of all candidates, focusing on job-related criteria (Campion et al., 1997).

Additionally, providing interviewer training can help reduce biases and improve decision-making processes (Dipboye & Collela, 2017).  Training should focus on raising awareness about unconscious biases and promoting using objective criteria in the interview process (Barrick et al., 2012).  Furthermore, ensuring that interview panels are diverse and inclusive can lead to a more balanced assessment of candidates and contribute to mitigating discrimination (Dipboye & Collela, 2017).


  • Barrick, M.R., Dustin, S.L., Giluk, T.L., Stewart, G.L., Shaffer, J.A., & Swider, B.W. (2012). Candidate characteristics driving initial impressions during rapport building: Implications for employment interview validity. Journal of Occupational and Organisational Psychology, 85(2), 330-352. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8325.2011.02036.x
  • Campion, M.A., Palmer, D.K., & Campion, J.E. (1997). A review of structure in the selection interview. Personnel Psychology, 50(3), 655-702. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1997.tb00709.x
  • Derous, E., Ryan, A.M., & Nguyen, H.D. (2012). Multiple categorisation in resume screening: Examining effects on hiring discrimination against Arab applicants in field and lab settings. Journal of Organisational Behaviour, 33(4), 544-570. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.769
  • Dipboye, R.L., & Colella, A. (2014). Discrimination at the level of the individual: Cognitive and affective factors. In J.F. Dovidio, & M.R. Hebl (Eds.), Discrimination At Work: The Psychological and Organisational Bases (pp. 11-36). Routledge.
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission. (2014). Employment: Statutory Code of Practice. Retrieved 23 May 2023, from https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publication-download/employment-statutory-code-practice
  • Highhouse, S. (2008). Stubborn reliance on intuition and subjectivity in employee selection. Industrial and Organisational Psychology, 1(3), 333-342. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1754-9434.2008.00058.x
  • Rivera, L.A. (2017). When two bodies are (not) a problem: Gender and relationship status discrimination in academic hiring. American Sociological Review, 82(6), 1111-1138. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122417739294

Q2.  What are some of the interviewer biases that could potentially affect interview ratings?

Interviewer biases refer to subjective judgments or preconceived notions that can influence an interviewer’s perception and evaluation of a candidate during the interview process.  Some prevalent interviewer biases that could affect interview ratings include the Halo Effect, Horns Effect, Similarity Bias, Stereotyping, First Impression Bias, Confirmation bias, and Recency Effect.

The Halo Effect occurs when an interviewer forms a positive impression of a candidate based on a single positive attribute or experience, leading them to rate the candidate favourably in all aspects (Murphy et al., 2003).  In contrast, the Horns Effect transpires when an interviewer concentrates on a single negative attribute, subsequently evaluating the candidate negatively in all aspects.

Similarity Bias arises when interviewers favour candidates with similar backgrounds, interests, or experiences, resulting in a preference for those who resemble themselves (Huffcutt, 2011).  Stereotyping involves interviewers making assumptions about candidates based on their race, gender, age, or other characteristics, which can lead to biased evaluations (Kulik et al., 2000).

First Impression Bias occurs when interviewers form an initial impression of a candidate within the first few minutes of an interview, potentially affecting their subsequent evaluations (Barrick et al., 2010).  Confirmation Bias occurs when interviewers seek information that supports their initial impressions of a candidate while disregarding or downplaying contradictory information (Nickerson, 1998).

Finally, the Recency Effect transpires when interviewers disproportionately focus on recent or memorable events, such as the candidate’s last response or a standout performance, resulting in biased evaluations (Huffcutt, 2011).


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  • Huffcutt, A.I. (2011). An empirical review of the employment interview construct literature. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 19(1), 62-81. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2389.2010.00535.x
  • Koch, A.J., D'Mello, S.D., & Sackett, P.R. (2015). A meta-analysis of gender stereotypes and bias in experimental simulations of employment decision making. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(1), 128-161. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0036734
  • Kulik, C.T., Perry, E.L., & Bourhis, A.C. (2000). Ironic evaluation processes: Effects of thought suppression on evaluations of older job applicants. Journal of Organisational Behaviour, 21(6), 689-711. https://doi.org/10.1002/1099-1379(200009)21:6<689::AID-JOB52>3.0.CO;2-W
  • Murphy, K.R., Cronin, B.E., & Tam, A.P. (2003). Controversy and consensus regarding the use of cognitive ability testing in organizations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(4), 660-671. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.88.4.660
  • Nickerson, R.S. (1998). Confirmation bias: A ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Review of General Psychology, 2(2), 175-220. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.2.2.175
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