Gender biases in interview questions

My mind has been blown in the last few weeks as I continue to read about how gender bias plays a role in interviews. Among other places. The simplicity of the placement of words impacts the results of an interview.

Women are more likely to attribute success to their team, hard work and good luck. While men are more likely to attribute success to skills and innate qualities. Thank you leanin.org for the intel.

I often ask an open ended, warm up question, like tell me about your path to here, right now. Boom. Just walked right in to gender bias if I’m not careful. Men are more likely to tell me about their skills and the qualities they possess that got them here. Think, my ability to close the biggest deal got me a promotion manager. While a woman might say, I’ve had really good luck with customers and the deal closed which led to the promotion. Would I walk away thinking that the man was smarter? I mean, the woman got lucky, but the man used his ability.

I learned to spend time thinking about what I want out of my questions. Why do I want to know about their path to here? I want to know about their interests professionally. I want to know about decisions they made during their career path. I learned to take these and make specific questions, to drive out the answers I want and to account for bias. Instead, I can ask, what skills do you think got you here? It specifically asks each candidate to talk about skills. Instead of relying on their own interpretation of what I’m asking.

Mind blown. Bring on the interviewees.