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How to conduct inclusive interviews

  • By Ankush Jhawar
  • January 30, 2023
  • 10 mins read
Inclusivity in Interviews
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    Your organization may be hired only for a few roles right now. However, now is an excellent time to rethink your interviewing policies and practices (or create a formal one if you don’t already have one), especially by prioritizing inclusivity in interviews. That way, in the future, when hiring takes off, you’ll be well positioned.

    Diversity, equality, and inclusion are critical to the success of any organization. In your interview, it is essential to demonstrate that you understand how these values ​​serve the company. This article covers eight common diversity interview questions that an interviewer may ask, explains how to answer them, and provides sample answers.

    The problem

    We’ve all encountered where we interview someone and click right away. You may have attended the same college or shared the same bizarre passion for windsurfing. In any case, as you shared tales and became close, the interview veered off course.

    However, this is problematic since during the 15 minutes you spent discussing windsurfing with Candidate A, you were grilling Candidates B and C. As a result, you won’t be comparing like-to-like in your evaluation. 

    My colleague once told me he was interviewing 10 candidates and found some suitable ones for the role. He remembered a guy among all 10 whose viewpoint was different from that of my colleague as he was interviewing candidates for his team, so it left him in ả dilemma of how he will fit for his team due to different perspectives and thoughts about the same situation. Then my colleague took time to select and appoint that aspirant with other thoughts. I asked him why he did so, as it would affect his team’s work. Then by smiling, he just gave a simple answer: being a team leader and HR, it is important to welcome new thoughts in the company. It can be challenging to work with, but those ideas will (not can!) prove beneficial. And everyone should be given equal opportunities.

    Being inclusive is essential for a firm to remove biases and welcome new thoughts. But the question arises how?

    The solution

    Prepare your interview questions using the skills and qualities needed for the position. Ask the same questions to all candidates in the order. Refrain from letting natural conversations lead you astray. BarRaiser’s Interview Intelligence can help interviewers prepare better for the interview.

    Keep in mind that interviewing involves both sides. Candidates are interviewing you as well, and they are deciding whether they would suggest you to others in addition to determining whether they want to work with you.

    How does inclusive hiring work?

    The inclusive recruiting process actively acknowledges diversity in hiring and welcomes a variety of skills and viewpoints that applicants bring to the company. It’s not just about filling a box by hiring people from underrepresented backgrounds or with disabilities. Instead, to combat bias in recruiting and all forms of discrimination, inclusive hiring practices work to level the playing field for all candidates.

    Why is an inclusive attitude important?

    From a business perspective, inclusive employment practices have many benefits. Not only is it the employer’s legal responsibility to give equal consideration to all candidates, but it also puts the organization’s reputation at risk.

    Inclusive hiring practices enhance a company’s reputation and attract talent in a highly competitive market.

    And there are more. Inclusivity lays the foundation for a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects our customer base. This supports the brands of organizations that value diversity and inclusion. Building a foundation for hiring various candidates is the first step to creating an inclusive work environment. This has a positive impact on the bottom line of your business. Companies with a diverse workforce have proven to outperform the national industry average financially. 

    From a sustainability and growth perspective, diverse hiring practices and inclusive employment practices underpin the future of every organization. Many companies were already looking to hire from global talent pools before the pandemic, helping to overcome skill and knowledge gaps. Today, it is even more important to think globally when hiring. It is To do that, we need an organization that accepts diverse candidates from all over the world.

    How to create an inclusive interview process

    A diverse workforce benefits businesses and organizations. A comprehensive interview is an excellent place to start. An interview is often the first face-to-face interaction a candidate has with a company. By bringing in interview intelligence and making the experience fair and welcoming to all, you increase your chances of attracting a diverse team.

    1. Eliminate bias in candidate selection

    Inclusive interviewing starts long before you even talk to your candidates. To conduct fair interviews, applicants must be selected from a diverse pool.

    • Improve job descriptions

    The job description is the first hurdle in the hiring process. This is harder than it sounds, and many companies unwittingly use statements that exclude applicants. Read to learn about writing inclusive job descriptions.

    • Moderate how you use AI

    Large companies often use AI to screen applicants before conducting a final in-person screening to select interviewers. However, biases may be built into the algorithms that power these programs. Recruiting algorithms often look at historical employee data to predict which applicants will be successful. On the surface, everything looks fine, but what if you’ve had a diverse workforce? It may show prejudice. BarRaiser’s AI-driven intelligence tool is built keeping NYC’s Automated Employment Decision Tools (AEDT) law and EU’s AI Act (currently under deliberation).

    • Reduce bias in the review process

    Human reviews are also prone to bias. Reviewers may consciously or unconsciously prioritize certain applicants based on personal data. Luckily, there is an easy way around this problem. It is also beneficial to define metrics that measure the interviewer’s performance.

    Remember reviewers. Bring together a diverse group of people. When everyone comes from the same background, it becomes difficult to challenge assumptions and leverage new perspectives.

    2. Create a fair and inclusive interview

    For many companies, the practical aspect of the interview itself can be an obstacle. Try to include all types of candidates by keeping the following in mind:

    • Multiple communication channels:

    For remote interviews, consider offering phone and video options. This allows candidates to choose what suits their resources and comfort level.

    • Accessible materials:

    Interview materials should be accessible to everyone. Videos must have subtitles and transcripts, and images must include alt text. Documented materials use structured headings and descriptive link text. When asking you to fill out a form, make sure each field is clearly labeled.

    • The recommended course of action:

    Level the playing field by submitting a list of best practices on parking, dress code, travel times, and interview topics. This ensures that all candidates start with the exact expectations. For example, we recommend a solid background, lots of light, and a zone free of distractions for a video interview.

    • Flexible hours:

    We offer day, evening, and weekend interview slots to accommodate people with different schedules and commitments. Trip:

    If finalists need to travel to your location, consider paying the bills so they don’t give preference to those with free income. Or offer a video option.

    • Place:

    Choose locations that are accessible to people of all abilities.

    3. Use the same overarching interview process for each candidate

    If you’ve interviewed applicants before, you know that interviews can differ. The interviewer can click with the interviewee to provide feedback or ask different follow-up questions. The same happens with candidates with similar educational backgrounds, hometowns, and interests. This type of non-standard process can put certain applicants at a disadvantage. Personality differences cannot be eliminated, but steps can be taken to make the process more equitable.

    • Include and write interview questions

    Create a standard set of questions before inviting candidates. They should be the same for everyone.

    • Create a rating system

    Once you have questions, work with your team to agree on a scoring system. Determine the criteria used to rank candidates based on their qualifications and answers to questions. Use rubrics to take notes during interviews and refer to them when selecting finalists.

    • Standardize your experience

    We use a structured and comprehensive interview process to ensure all candidates have equal opportunities. Ask the questions in the same order and keep each interview within the preset time limit. 

    4. Adjust for differences in self-assessment tendencies

    During the interview, do you ask interviewees to rate their expertise? You are not alone; we often ask. These include questions such as, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how proficient are you with this software program?”

    It may be time to reconsider your practice if you rely on similar self-assessments. Individuals do not always accurately describe their abilities, often due to social norms and constraints. Gender, in particular, can affect how candidates market themselves. A person’s background can also affect self-evaluation. Consider outsourcing interviews to get an outside perspective.

    8 diversity interview questions and answers to bring inclusivity in interviews

    Here are eight common diversity interview questions to prepare for your next interview.

    1. What do diversity, equality, and inclusion mean to you?

    Interviewers ask this question to examine your approach to diversity, equality, and inclusion. Drawing on your own work experience is helpful, but it’s also a great opportunity to see what those values ​​mean to you and what those values ​​look like in your industry.

    Example answer: “To me, diversity means different backgrounds, people, and perspectives. I have worked in organizations that value diversity and those that do not, and the difference is clear. Requires diversity: valuing equality means everyone has an equal voice within the company, and companies that value this have fairer and more positive internal processes. It means everyone feels valued and welcomed in the workplace; without them, there would be no functioning workforce.”

    2. How would you react if you heard a colleague say something racist, ableist, homophobic, or otherwise inappropriate?

    Employers want to know more about how you handle conflict and how seriously you take your commitment to equality and inclusion. If you have already handled similar situations, this is a great opportunity to showcase your experience and skills using the STAR Method. Your response should reflect your commitment to diversity while demonstrating your understanding of the importance of professionalism in the workplace.

    Example answer: “One time, I overheard a new colleague make an insensitive remark. He was unfamiliar with the office and our work environment, so I thought this would be a learning experience. I calmly asked them to refrain from speaking and explained why it was inappropriate. At first, my colleague said I was too sensitive, but I pointed out that my comments could hurt others in the future. Eventually, my colleague apologized, and I never heard her make such a comment again. If my colleague had continued to make inappropriate remarks, I would have informed my manager of the situation. It’s important to stop your co-worker’s behavior before it becomes a serious problem. ”

    3. How do you perceive colleagues from different backgrounds?

    Employers ask this question to understand how your understanding of diversity, equality, and inclusion works in the workplace. This is a great opportunity to show your colleagues your style and personality. Your response should include listening, evaluating other points of view, and understanding the merits of differing opinions. This is an opportunity for the interviewer to see if you fit the company’s culture.

    Example answer: “The best way to understand a colleague is to get to know them and develop a relationship that goes beyond work. I think it’s important to understand that we respect each other, and building these relationships can be as simple as chatting for a few minutes each day in the break room or inviting them to lunch, exchanging ideas. Sometimes, I try to allow room for the employee’s personal experience in the conversation.”

    4. What do you see as challenges in a diverse workplace?

    This is your chance to discuss how you deal with problem-solving at work. The interviewer will make sure that you are aware of the challenges associated with diversity and have a plan on how to overcome those challenges. While you want to acknowledge the challenges of a diverse workplace, be careful not to cite complaints about your previous job.

    Example answer: “More employee diversity means more opinions and perspectives to solve problems, which is great most of the time. This can lead to arguments and disagreements, and I think the time and effort will be worth it because there will be a stronger consensus-based solution and a respectful relationship with your colleagues. Conflict is easier to manage when you are building.

    5. How would you advocate diversity to a colleague who doesn’t understand the importance of diversity?

    Some employees do not understand the value of diversity. Interviewers will want to see how you interact with such people. If you have had this experience before, use the STAR (Situation-Task-Answer-Result) Method to provide a response demonstrating your professionalism and communication skills. Your response should address both statistics showing that diversity in the workplace is beneficial to the organization as a whole and how diversity hiring has improved your work experience.

    Example answer: “Some people don’t understand the benefits of diversity and inclusion. But as an employee and a believer in diversity, it’s my job to help these people understand the value they bring to the company. I want to start by mentioning the research that shows the economic benefits that diversity, equality, and inclusion bring to companies that adopt these ideas. Diversity has made me a better problem solver than I would think.”

    6. What mistakes do organizations make when thinking about diversity?

    In this answer, please demonstrate that your organization understands what it means to embrace diversity. Some companies say they value diversity and include it in their policies, but the actual culture of the organization does not reflect these values. And provide advice on how the organization can implement its diversity policy.

    Example answer: “Telling clients and potential candidates that they value diversity but failing to do so is a big mistake many companies make. I think it’s important that any organization doing so also has actionable elements that help integrate those ideas into its workplace culture. We need to make sure that the opinions and ideas of others are heard and considered.”

    7. Discuss examples of you championing diversity or inclusion in your workplace.

    Interviewers want to see how much initiative you take at work and how your values ​​guide your actions. It’s important to be authentic. Therefore, choose an example where your actions had a tangible result.

    Example answer: “At my previous job, we had morning briefings. During these meetings, we sometimes advise each other on solving problems. During these meetings, the meetings were collaborative, but the same 3 It was impressive that people gave most of the teachings, so when I was leading the morning assembly, I always listened to the opinions of those present and also tried to come up with more diverse and interesting solutions that would benefit the group as a whole. I advised my fellow managers to do the same, so I could get work done more efficiently.

    8. How do you promote diversity, equality, and inclusion in your direct reports?

    Leaders play a key role in driving corporate value. Interviewers want to see how you promote friendly and diverse company culture. Your response should focus on how you can use your leadership position to drive and grow the diversity and inclusion initiatives your organization values.

    Example answer: “As a manager, the input process is one of the most valuable tools for connecting with team members and making projects more successful. It makes sense to prioritize inclusion. I try to get input from all team members when gathering feedback on a product or after a product is launched. In addition to departmental meetings, I welcome 1:1s and emails, etc. We are also working to incorporate feedback in a variety of ways.”

    Inclusivity in interviews conclusion

    At BarRaiser, we empower companies and foundations with recruitment platforms that help them stay ahead of the curve. We also help develop strategies that enable future growth and prosperity. Our goal is to make the workplace more inclusive and diverse because we understand why diversity hiring is important. It enables organizations to adapt to rapidly changing demographics and equips them with the skills they need to collaborate and interact successfully. By implementing inclusivity in interview practices as part of diversity recruitment best practices, we take a significant step towards building diverse and inclusive teams that reflect the rich tapestry of our society.

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    People also asked for

    Q1. How can I make my interview more inclusive?

    • Ask questions related to specific job requirements.
    • Avoid language that targets a specific gender, age group, race, culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, political affiliation, or ability.
    • Don’t make assumptions about candidates.

    Q2. How do you talk about inclusion in a job interview? 

    Give examples of how team members from different backgrounds are made to feel included and welcomed. Example answer: “One of the ways I help my employees is by chairing meetings.

    Q3. Why Inclusive Interviews Matter

    Inclusive hiring is designed to eliminate as much bias as possible in hiring open positions. We all have unconscious biases that can affect how we interact with others, including who we hire.

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