Reducing Racial Similarity Bias in Interviews by Increasing Structure: A Quasi-Experiment Using Multilevel Analysis

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Abstract

We used a quasi-experiment to examine the relationship between interview structure and racial bias in simulated employment interviews. Although recent meta-analytic findings suggest that high-structure interviews (as compared with low-structure interviews) reduce same-race bias in interview ratings, this claim has not been tested using research designs that allow for stronger inference about the potential links between interview structure and bias. We showed videotaped interviews to 386 business students and, within both high- and low-structure conditions, determined levels of racial similarity bias using multilevel analysis. Our study used a fully crossed design within each condition, where all raters evaluated all applicants. As we expected, findings indicated that interviewers favored racially similar applicants less in high-structure interviews than in low-structure interviews. Our findings provide quasi-experimental evidence that increased interview structure may be effective to suppress racial similarity bias in employment interview ratings.

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