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Does Your Interview Process Support Diversity?

The route to a more diverse and equitable workplace starts with recruiting the right people. The Harvard Business School website shares this advice for structuring your interview process to attract a wide range of candidates to hire:

  • Use inclusive language in job descriptions. Remove any kind of gendered language when preparing job descriptions, as well as jargon or idiomatic expressions that make people feel excluded. Explicitly state your organization’s commitment to diversity in your post.

  • Counter recruiters’ bias. Many hiring managers have an unconscious bias toward hiring people who look and act just the way they do. They may screen out qualified candidates who don’t fit their preconceptions. Remind everyone how diversity makes your organization stronger. Tell recruiters to be proactive in seeking out and attracting a more diverse pool of candidates.

  • Don’t judge on Zoom backgrounds. If you’re conducting interviews via video, as many are these days, remember that many candidates are interviewing from their homes. Their surroundings may seem informal, but don’t assume they’re not capable of being professional. Be prepared for—and tolerant of—background noises, pictures and posters on walls, and other personal items, and don’t hold minor problems against candidates.

  • Conduct standardized interviews. Make sure every candidate has the same interview experience. Design questions that target experience, qualifications, and motivation. Ask the same questions in the same order to everyone. This reduces the possibility of bias in evaluating candidates. Have different people conduct interviews, or sit in on interviews, for a wider perspective on candidates.

  • Ask the right questions. When selecting questions for standardized interviews, make sure they address actual skills and performance—what the candidate has achieved and is capable of doing on the job. Focusing too much on past jobs and formal education can filter out people who have taken a different path to the same point.

Having a diverse workforce is an important factor for job seekers today. AOE has the expertise to help your organization get started with your DEI efforts, reach out today.

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