Diversity remains a priority for recruiters everywhere. First, it’s a matter of principle. Second, it’s simply good business. Companies with high diversity consistently outperform their less diverse peers in both profitability and innovation. No surprise there. Diverse workplaces mean the organization has access to a variety of perspectives to tackle any problem that comes that way.
But it can be difficult to build that diverse workforce. Recruiters of the past would sometimes make the excuse that they simply weren’t receiving diverse applicants, but this isn’t an acceptable answer. Low diversity in new hires is a symptom of a recruitment process that’s failed to provide an equal and inclusive experience.
Such problems appear particularly in how recruiters design their job postings and interviews.
Recruiting teams working to solve these problems must include DEI-focused interview questions. These questions are essential to showing candidates your organization’s commitment to inclusiveness. Choosing the right questions reflects your company values just as such as they shine insight into the candidate. Recruiters are responsible for finding ways to mitigating bias throughout the interview process.
And that’s why today we’re going to explore inclusive interview questions you should consider, as well as potentially biased questions and biased language in your job postings.
When designing your interview process, it’s important to design inclusive interview questions. These are questions that will work for all applicants, and not just those of a given group. And this is certainly harder than it sounds.
For example, the question “What are your strengths?” is a staple of the interview process. It represents an opportunity for the candidate to sell themselves to the recruiter. However, it doesn’t take into consideration individuals that, either due to personal belief or as a matter of their cultural background, may see this as bragging. As such, they become uncomfortable in this situation.
DEI interview questions for employers must account for such situations to create more inclusive interview questions.
Alternatively, rather than outright asking for the candidate’s strengths, consider wording it in terms of experience. What was their experience in the specific areas of their job or previous projects? Then include follow-up questions to obtain additional information.
As such, designing interview questions becomes rather complex. You must account for cultural differences in how candidates may present themselves.
In terms of our “What are your strengths?” for example, the phrasing favors groups comfortable with putting their accomplishments forward. However, groups that value concepts such as humility as part of their culture, may find this significantly harder to answer.
As we’ve established, it’s important for interview questions to be as unbiased and inclusive as possible. However, that’s not always easy. Bias and exclusive language can be hard to recognize.
That’s why we’ve put together a quick list of potentially biased questions for you to avoid in your own interview process:
Similar to the interview, it’s important to avoid biased language in your job postings. These adverts represent a candidate’s very first impression of you as an employer. Biased language and problematic language will only drive would-be applicants away from your hiring process.
To help you get an idea of what this language may look like, we’ve put together this list of potentially biased language in job postings.
This list is by no means exhaustive. Language is complex and people dedicate their entire lives trying to understand it. It is only important that recruiters are conscious of this reality and take steps to address the language in their hiring process.
How confident are you in identifying biased language? Put your skills to the test and check out our quiz, Can You Spot the Biased Interview Question?