Personal bias can really get in the way of candidate selection. Recognizing that as Utopian, Zen and Feng Shui as we are, we all have personal biases. Identifying them allows us to acknowledge them. Once we acknowledge them we can consciously table them and not allow them to affect our decisions.
For instance, there once was a woman named Reina...... It's your lucky day for I will spare you the very gory details.
It's not a common name in the US and it had been a few years years since I had been subjected to it. About 7 years ago as a call center manager I received a calendar appointment to interview a "Reyna". The hair stood up on the back of my neck. Immediately, all I could think of was there was no way I was going to deal with that even though I knew with 100% certainty that it was not the same person.
I got up and took a walk. I needed air. And as I walked I talked with other personalities that reside in my mind and as we conversed and sorted it all out we came to the conclusion it was important to give this person a chance.
It's not the same Reina so what are you worried about? She doesn't even spell it the same way. You can't judge a person by her name, don't be ridiculous. What if you dismiss her because of something in your past that nothing to do with her, miss out on a great hire and do her an injustice? Just get over it.
I took some deep breaths, convinced myself to do the right thing and accepted the interview. Reyna turned out to have very high performance reviews over the next 5 years and in most respects really was a model employee.
This is a true story! I'm glad I recognized it wouldn't be fair to judge someone on something that wouldn't be performance related. Had I allowed my personal bias over a name to influence my decision it would have been a very big mistake.
What personal bias have you had to deal with? Was it difficult to recognize it existed? How did you overcome it?