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10 ways to make your interview process more inclusive and equitable

In our last article we addressed the application stages and now we move onto interviewing – the one time when the only person who can achieve this outcome is the person interviewing 😀

How they conduct that first meeting directly impacts the hiring decisions made. How many times have you heard “I knew they were the one for us in the first 5 minutes”?

Do your managers know how to park those first impressions and conduct a thorough data informed assessment?

Let's talk internal referral schemes...the quickest way to source talent but again is the process equitable? Is everyone assessed in the same way and do they have the same chances of being hired?

What happens if you are neuro-diverse and an interview process does not bring out the best in you? You might happen to be the best software engineer on the planet, but would you get offered and if you did, would you accept the offer if the process hadn’t shown a company’s commitment to accessibility? After all, if the process is rigid, does that reflect the company culture too?

Here are our top tips for the interview stages:

  1. Ensure each step has a clear purpose and is structured. Eliminate informal unstructured ‘meet and greets’ or ‘coffee/culture chats’ which encourage unconscious bias.
  2. Give candidates enough warning to book interviews - last minute bookings could prove stressful for some, especially if you need them to prepare something. If you are using competency-based interviewing, prepare your candidates in advance so they don’t have to think of examples on the spot.
  3. Use a data informed assessment & selection approach with the use of competency questions and score cards to prevent bias.
  4. Train hiring managers in inclusive hiring methodology and arm them with how to present your DEI work during the process.
  5. Panels – think carefully about who is on a panel and whether you are presenting the right image of your company.
  6. Try not to share interview notes or feedback between stages unless you are using data informed selection methods. Opinions can be formed before the interview has even started and could result in bias.
  7. Reduce small talk at the beginning to 5 minutes. The longer you spend getting to know someone the more bias can creep in. “I knew in the first 5 minutes they were right/wrong for us”.
  8. Remember not everyone likes to give eye contact, some find it hard to sit still, some may need their notes. First impressions do not count, if they are made based on things you personally don’t like to see at interview.
  9. Review your questioning technique. Asking 2 questions in one, unspecific questions, competency questions where the person has had prep time may not result in candidates putting their best selves forward.
  10. Give the candidate objective and detailed feedback using your scorecard so that they can learn from the experience. You want all candidates to leave as brand advocates, no matter what the outcome was. Train your managers in how to do this positively!

This is a huge topic, so we hope these simple tips get you started in the right way. Look out for our next article which will give you tips on nurturing.

When considering implementing any of these tips, remember that just hiring inclusively isn’t enough to achieving a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture. You have to walk the talk every day too 😀

AoD are committed to helping all our clients build accessible, equitable and inclusive recruitment processes. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about our consultancy services or ‘inclusive recruitment’ training sessions for hiring teams -

Posted by: Agility On Demand