Diversity and inclusivity are priorities for most companies this year, and the interview process is a great place to start. If you’re planning to hire soon, here are a few tips for more inclusive interviewing.
Screen in, not out.
We always recommend screening in instead of screening out. This means that rather than looking for a reason not to hire someone, you instead consider all the things a candidate may bring to the table and add to your organization. During interviews and conversations about whether to advance candidates, this translates to allowing discussion around the skills and accomplishments a candidate does have, not just the ones they don’t.
Exemplify diversity on your interview panel.
Diversity attracts diversity, and your interview panel is the perfect place to demonstrate the diversity of your organization. Ensure the panel is inclusive of the many groups at your organization through diversity in roles, race, seniority, thought process and gender.
Use inclusive language.
In both your job postings and your interactions with candidates, avoid language that may exclude a group of people. For example, use gender neutral language in your descriptions and postings (you instead of he or she). Avoid using jargon or analogies that may not make sense to everyone who reads your posting.
Set candidates up to succeed.
If a presentation or project is part of your interview process, make sure that your candidate has the resources they need to understand any tools that may be new to them. For example, if you’re using Microsoft Teams, but your candidate has only ever used Zoom, provide them with a help guide or offer to run a test meeting.
If you are interviewing in person, reach out to a candidate ahead of time to see if they may need accommodations like a closer parking space or a route to the conference room that doesn’t include stairs. Offer to split all-day interviews across a few days, if possible.
Remember that your candidates may be caring for children who are not able to attend school in person right now, or working from a kitchen table during the pandemic. You can even remind candidates that virtual backgrounds are encouraged during video interviews! And be patient if you hear background noise during virtual interviews, like kids, lawn mowers or barking dogs.
Inclusive interviewing provides a great first impression of your company for candidates, and can be a good place to start when working to develop a more equitable and inclusive hiring process. We hope these tips help you when evaluating your own processes!