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5 Ways to Support Diversity and Inclusion During Your Interview Process

Studies indicate that diversity and inclusion increase an organization’s performance. Research in the 2015 Diversity Matters report by McKinsey showed that companies with a diverse workforce are 35% more likely to outperform the competition. The same report also indicated that companies with a good balance of men and women were 15% more likely to have higher financial returns than their competitors.

It’s common for organizations and teams to talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace; however, many organizations aren’t sure where to begin or what steps to take to truly promote diversity and inclusion. Still, as the research indicates, mixing it up matters. The more your organization fosters an inclusive, diverse work environment, the happier and more productive your employees are.

Putting tools and strategies in place that promote diversity and inclusion takes time and an honest assessment of your current processes and systems. One key area of focus to support diversity and inclusion is your hiring and interviewing practices. After all, what better way to build a diverse workforce than with your candidate pool?

The following five tips will help your hiring team start the discussion about how to ensure diversity in the interview process.


1.  Assess Current Bias

Interviewers and hiring managers often are not aware of the personal bias that impacts their judgment. Confirmation bias, for example, is when someone tends to support information that aligns with their own beliefs and reject any information that doesn’t. It’s also common for individuals to hire people who are similar to them. These types of practices and unconscious biases hinder diversity and inclusion in the interview process.

Asking interviewers and hiring managers to do an honest self-assessment of their cultural biases can provide insight into thought processes or practices that need to shift. You can find cultural competence self-assessment questionnaires to employ for your organization by doing an online search.


2.  Identify a Diverse Hiring Team

It can be challenging to support diversity and inclusion during the interview process if you don’t have a diverse hiring team. Assess your current team of interviewers to ensure you represent different cultural backgrounds. This is especially important when assembling associates for panel interviews.


3.  Attend Networking Events That Attract Diverse Candidates

If your organization is struggling to attract a diverse candidate pool, consider attending networking events and joining organizations that attract underrepresented candidates. This approach can also provide insights into recruiting and hiring a diverse candidate pool, help you build brand recognition, and enable more diverse candidate referrals.


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4.  Ask All Candidates the Same Interview Questions

General interviewing best practices guide you to ask the same questions of all candidates. Doing so allows you to apply the same criteria to all candidates. Consider assigning weighted scores to the interview questions for easier comparison.


5.  Incorporate Diversity Training

Diversity training helps hiring managers and interviewers learn how to ensure diversity in the interview process, as they typically have the final say in hiring decisions. A comprehensive diversity training will cover how to support diversity and inclusion through the recruiting process, what diversity and inclusion interview questions to ask, the dos and don’ts of interviewing, and more.


Use these tips to better support diversity and inclusion during your interview process. For more hiring and interview tips, check out iHire’s Candidate Interviewing Tips and Templates resource library.

By iHire | September 18, 2020