As a candidate with a distinct set of skills, experience, and background, you’ll want to land somewhere that actively celebrates and respects what makes you unique. You’ll want to ensure you’ll be able to do your very best work in an inclusive environment that honors diverse perspectives, has an overwhelmingly positive workplace culture, and presents an equal opportunity for you to further your career.
We’ve teamed up with seven business professionals and thought leaders from Hunt Club’s Expert Network for their best advice to:
- Employers seeking to authentically improve DEIB efforts in their workplace in a blog here.
- Candidates on the top DEI questions they ask should employers during interviews.
For candidates, Hunt Club Experts gave their top insights to help you identify the work environments that will support your needs as a unique human. We asked them:
What is the one question you would suggest candidates ask employers during an interview process to evaluate a company's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Here’s what our Experts had to say.
1. Stela Lupushor, Author & Chief-Reframer @ Reframe.Work Inc.
“What’s the diversity of the leadership team?”
That should provide sufficient evidence of what gets rewarded and promoted within the company. Diversity of the leadership team will lead to diversity of thought and the ability to make more inclusive decisions. Diverse leaders will be more likely to support the growth of diverse talent and be role models for early career workers.
2. Isabelle Plante, Former Chief Marketing Officer @ Embark Veterinary, Mentor & Speaker @ MassChallenge
“What is the most challenging feedback from employees today regarding DEIB, and how have you responded to that feedback?”
This helps you assess how committed the organization is to ongoing feedback and improvement versus purely performative DEI efforts.
3. Anil Harjani, SVP of Revenue @ Hireology
“What are your DEI goals and what specifically have you done to make progress toward achieving those goals?”
Too often, DEI becomes a corporate imperative where the steps taken become lost or fall behind. This question will help you identify whether or not the organization takes timely and serious action behind its goals.
4. Farzona Pulatova, Sr. Director of Engineering
“What are the company’s diversity ratio numbers for individual contributors as well as leadership roles? If the numbers aren’t where they want to be yet, how are they going about improving them and holding themselves accountable?”
The makeup of the interview panel itself can also be a telling signal about the company’s commitment to DEI.
5. Shaykara Webster, MBA, Head of People @ Livepeer
“What truly matters to you? If diversity is something you truly care about, can you tell me about some of the things you’re doing to ensure diversity in the workplace? And what would you consider the biggest area of opportunity as it relates to DEI?”
I always advise candidates to ask the tough questions in an interview because candidates should be interviewing employers the same way employers interview them.
6. Leanne Loveday-Smith, Chief People Officer @ Earnest
There are several questions I’d suggest candidates ask to understand the company’s values and commitment to creating an inclusive and diverse environment. This is a great way to also show the candidate’s own commitment to DEI, which is an asset to the company!
Here are my top 3 questions:
- Can you describe the company's approach to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce?
- How does the company measure progress on diversity and inclusion initiatives, and what metrics are tracked?
- Can you share examples of how the company has supported underrepresented groups and addressed systemic inequalities in the industry?
7. Kate Aparicio, Director of Talent Development @ Upfront Healthcare
There are several ways to evaluate a company’s focus on DEI and I’d recommend starting with your own research. Candidates can learn a great deal about a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by looking at the makeup of the Board and Leadership Team. This will provide a starting point to ask further questions. I’d also recommend questions related to the Employee Journey. For example, they could ask:
- How does the company ensure equitable and inclusive talent acquisition practices?
- What is a recent win they’ve had in DEI?
- How do they measure themselves in this critical area?
It can also be illustrative to ask about challenges, given DEI is a journey that requires curiosity and a willingness to evolve.
To read what our Experts have to say about how employers should approach DEI and the ways they can promote a more inclusive workplace, read our article here.
20 More Interview Questions Candidates Should Ask Employers About Diversity in a Job Interview
Need more inclusion interview questions? Here are 20 more thought-provoking questions you can ask hiring managers during an interview to gain insight into their cultural competency, demographics, and understanding of diversity.
Feel free to use these diversity interview questions as a jumping-off point. Because we all come from different backgrounds, we want to provide you with just a handful of ideas you can take and tailor to your own experiences.
- Why is diversity important to your organization?
- How does your organization navigate or handle addressing discrimination?
- What does your employee retention look like?
- Can you give me some specific examples of your most recent DEI initiatives?
- How would your current team members describe your company culture?
- What strategies or programs are in place to ensure everyone feels a sense of belonging at work?
- What does inclusion mean to you?
- What are some of the most challenging aspects of managing a diverse team?
- How does the organization celebrate different cultures?
- How does the human resources team handle a situation in which an employee made sexist, homophobic, racist, or other insensitive remarks?
- What steps are in place to eliminate bias from your hiring process?
- What are some ways your company promotes collaboration among underrepresented groups?
- As a manager, how do you ensure your direct reports feel psychologically safe and part of the decision-making of the team?
- What does your hiring team look like? What about your executive leadership team?
- How would you handle a situation where two coworkers from different backgrounds disagreed on a sensitive issue?
- Are there accommodations in place for those with disabilities?
- What Employee Resource Groups currently exist at your organization?
- How does your company ensure equitable pay and benefits?
- Is there a flex holiday policy in place?
- In what area (related to DEI) do you think the company needs to improve the most?
Why Is It Important To Ask Questions About Diversity in an Interview?
It’s reported that toxic workplaces are 10.4 times more likely to contribute to attrition than compensation. While many things can make up a toxic workplace, a company’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion can be among the most important factors in making or breaking your desire to work there.
As a candidate looking for a happy, healthy, and long-term opportunity, it’s imperative to ask the right questions to get an accurate picture of a company’s DEI culture and how it can ultimately aid your success and tenure there.
Further, asking these important questions in an interview can help candidates:
- Determine if the work environment is one that aligns with your own viewpoints on issues that matter to you.
- Discern whether a company has policies and programs in place that serve diverse populations.
- Identify opportunities to build community and camaraderie with their future colleagues.
Learn More About DEI and Join the Expert Community Today
If you’re looking to connect with more Experts just like the ones featured in our blog, join the community today!
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Want to learn more about DEI and how it affects workplace culture, employee engagement, and more? Check out a few of our other DEI blogs here:
Building an Equitable Workplace Culture Starts With Inclusive Job Descriptions