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The essential checklist for inclusive interviewing
Tackling unconscious bias in interviewing
A fair, equitable, and consistent interview process is key to hiring the best-fit candidates and building a more diverse workforce. By making a conscious effort to be inclusive in the interviewing process, organizations can move beyond awareness and take action that will drive change.
Use this checklist as a guide when filling your next open position to ensure your interviewing process remains intentional, purposeful, and impactful. By taking these steps, your organization can hire the strongest candidate for every role and fulfill your commitment to fostering an environment of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
UP NEXT: DEVELOPING A DIVERSE CANDIDATE POOL
Unlock the full checklist to learn how to:
- Standardize and create a fair and consistent interview process
- Prepare your hiring team and how to uncover unconscious bias
- Utilize intelligent video technology to help identify potential problematic topics
Developing a diverse candidate pool
☐ Expand your search beyond just your networks and standard candidate pools. Actively seek candidates with skills and capabilities that can complement the team’s needs.
☐ Use inclusive language in job descriptions—for example, “you” rather than “he” or “she”—so candidates can see themselves in the role. One study found that using gender-neutral language increases the number of applicants by 42 percent.1
☐ Focus more on the tasks of the role in your job descriptions, rather than a specific list of requirements that may exclude potentially strong candidates from applying.
One report found women tend to apply for a new job only when they meet 100 percent of the listed criteria, while men usually apply when they meet about 60 percent.2
Standardizing the interview process
☐ Create fair, consistent, and insightful interview questions. Instruct interviewers to ask the same or similar questions of all candidates.
☐ Develop a scoring rubric or criteria that will be applied consistently to evaluate applicants’ throughout the hiring process.
☐ Assemble diverse interview panels to create a more comfortable experience for candidates from different ages, cultures, genders, abilities, and backgrounds.
☐ Utilize the latest technology, like intelligent video interview solutions that can help reduce unconscious bias in the interview process.
Preparing the hiring team
☐ Encourage all hiring team members to take the Implicit Association Test developed at Harvard University to learn what implicit biases they may hold.
☐ Coach hiring managers and panel members on how to be better interviewers, as there’s a big difference between being a great conversationalist and a great interviewer.
☐ Train hiring teams on complex interviewing techniques like combating biases, using structured interviews, and avoiding cliché questions.
☐ Provide practical examples of when, where, and how unconscious bias can appear in the interview process.
☐ Ensure interview teams have an up-to-date list of questions and topics they must avoid, such as those related to age, national origin, and marital status.
One CareerBuilder survey found that 20 percent of hiring managers have asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask.3
☐ Leverage structured interviews and skills tests to objectively compare candidates and reduce the impact of unconscious bias in hiring decisions. Research shows that structured interviews are up to twice as effective at predicting job performance then unstructured ones.4
☐ Be sensitive to candidate circumstances and make accommodations where possible to allow for all candidates to put their best foot forward in interviews.
☐ Focus on what the candidate is saying during a video interview, rather than their surroundings, service interruptions, or other distractions not within their control.
☐ Use intelligent video interview technology that notifies the interviewer in real-time if they—or the interviewee—start treading on potentially problematic topics.
Communicating after the interview
☐ Give hiring managers timely post-interview feedback to improve their interviewing skills and ensure they know how to most effectively probe for fit while remaining compliant.
☐ Ensure remote hiring teams have the communication tools and technologies they need to collaborate effectively on hiring decisions.
☐ Send post-interview surveys to ask candidates if they felt the interview process was fair and inclusive.
Research shows that 70 percent of candidates value a commitment to diversity in potential employers.5
Make the next hire your best hire
Great interviews matter—a lot. Your interview process speaks volumes about your company and who you are as a potential employer.
Adjusting your interviewing processes to be as inclusive as possible will not only improve your employer brand and the candidate experience, it will also improve the quality of your hires.
By implementing these inclusive interviewing practices, your organization can create a level playing field for every applicant and uncover candidates that might have not otherwise been considered.
1 Taylor, Tess. “ZipRecruiter study: Gender-neutral wording results in more applicants.” HR Dive. October 6, 2016. https:// www.hrdive.com/news/ziprecruiter-study-gender-neutral-wording-results-in-more-applicants/427697/
2 Youn, Soo. “Women are less aggressive than men when applying for jobs, despite getting hired more frequently: LinkedIn.” ABC News. March 7, 2019. https://abcnews.go.com/Business/women-aggressive-men-applying-jobs-hired- frequently-linkedin/story?id=61531741
3 “1 in 5 Employers Have Unknowingly Asked an Illegal Interview Question, CareerBuilder Survey Finds.” April 9, 2015. CareerBuilder. http://press.careerbuilder.com/2015-04-09-1-in-5-Employers-Have-Unknowingly-Asked-an-Illegal- Interview-Question-CareerBuilder-Survey-Finds.
4 Ladimeji, Kazim. “What are the Most Reliable Candidate Assessment Tools?” Recruiter.com. November 14, 2013. https:// www.recruiter.com/i/what-are-the-most-reliable-candidate-assessment-tools/
5 “2015 talent trends: Insights for the modern recruiter on what talent wants around the world.” LinkedIn. 2015. https:// business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/talent-solutions/global/en_us/c/pdfs/global-talent-trends-report.pdf.