Saturday, June 11, 2016
One way to reduce interviewer leniency/severity
A persistent challenge in interviews is that certain interviewers tend to be lenient (i.e., score candidates highly) while others are consistently more severe (i.e., score candidates lower). This of course is not ideal as it introduces measurement bias as well as reduces the defensibly of the process.
One way to reduce these tendencies discussed by Hartwell and Campion in the June 2016 issue of Journal of Applied Psychology is to provide interviewers with what they call "normative feedback interventions." Basically what this means is giving interviewers data on how they rate candidates over time compared to how other interviewers rated. It can reveal to interviewers that they tend to rate candidates more harshly, or more easily, than others.
What Hartwell and Campion found in their study (of over 20,000 interviews using more than 100 interviewers) is that by providing this feedback to interviewers, it minimized interviewer differences and increased interview reliability--both obviously good things in terms of quality of the process. Interestingly, it did not seem to impact the validity of the interviews, but it did impact which particular candidates were hired.
Up until now, one of the most often recommended practices for reducing rating errors has been pre-interview instructions and guidance regarding these errors. What this study suggests is we can do even better by providing interviewers with objective data about their ratings over time. Listening to someone talking about rating bias probably feels a lot different than actually seeing how you do compared to your peers!