The Recruiting Bias You’ve Never Considered: Introvert vs. Extrovert

Good hiring managers know it’s essential to put personal biases aside during the hiring process. But even the best can fall victim to a bias they may not even realize they have: favoring an introvert over an extrovert, or vice versa. 

Certainly, recruiters consider a multitude of factors as they vet candidates, from skills and experience to demonstrated success in the workplace. It’s when they embark on the interview process that a difference in personality type can sway the perception of a candidate – and, unfortunately, lead to an organization passing on a great employee.

How introvert vs. extrovert bias works

Consider two scenarios. In the first, the hiring manager is an extrovert, with a gregarious personality, a gift for conversation, and a public presence that flows naturally. As that person interviews an introvert, they’re likely to see a candidate that’s not comfortable with small talk, is quiet, and gives matter-of-fact answers to questions. The interviewer may conclude the candidate is aloof, lacks a suitable personality, and is simply a bad fit for the organization.

Now, think of the recruiter who is an introvert tasked with interviewing an extrovert. The same principles apply. As the candidate responds to questions easily, the hiring manager may interpret them as overly self-confident or arrogant, and because of that, rule them out for a position.

In both cases, the candidate may be perfect for the role, with a great skill set, relatable experience, and a track record of getting the job done effectively. However, because their personality differs from the interviewer, they never get the chance to prove it. The result is a lose-lose situation in which both the candidate and the employer miss out.

Overcoming personality-based biases

Getting past the introvert vs. extrovert bias starts with understanding that each candidate approaches an interview differently. A strong interviewer knows there’s no one-size-fits-all way to interact. They recognize that it’s possible to read between the lines of responses, and know how to do that. And they have the ability to ask questions that dig deeper and provide additional insight into the candidate’s suitability, for both the position and the organization. 

Understanding that this bias exists, and knowing how to get past it, are acquired skills that are not possessed by all hiring managers. However, with the proper education and training, they can learn to set their own biases aside in the interest of making the best hires. Alaant’s team of professionals is experienced at working with recruiting teams to provide that guidance, and if needed, to help fine-tune a company’s recruiting process. Interested in learning more? Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Miriam Dushane

Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner

Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the Capital District grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping talented professionals find the right job and her work in the community is focused on furthering our area as a center of economic vitality. Miriam likes to garden and care for her pets. She is a member of an adult-only skate group where she rollerblades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.