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Questions to Ask During an Interview to Gauge DEI

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

As job seekers from diverse backgrounds or who value diversity, we are tasked with not only finding the right fit for our skill sets and career goals, but we also have to find the right company who meets our individual identity and inclusion standards.

Universum data has shown consistently over the past few years that job seekers want to add their talents to an organization that values and advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Each person must make a personal decision about what the best decision is for them. To help you find the right company surrounding DEI, we've brought together reasons why it is important to ask questions, questions you may want to ask, and what you should be looking for in answers from your possible future employers.

Talent wants to see how their daily contributions serve the greater good. (Universum, 2017)

Why Should You Ask DEI Related Questions During an Interview?

Asking a company about their diversity and inclusion initiatives is important for many reasons. Here are a few reasons why it should be top of mind when choosing your next opportunity.

  • It demonstrates your own commitment to diversity and inclusion: By asking about a company's diversity and inclusion policies, you signal that you care about working in an environment that values and respects diversity.

  • It helps you assess whether the company is a good fit for you: Companies that are committed to diversity and inclusion are more likely to have a culture that is inclusive and welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds. Understanding a company's approach to diversity and inclusion can help you determine if it's a place where you would feel comfortable working.

  • It can help you identify potential red flags: If a company is hesitant to discuss their diversity and inclusion initiatives or doesn't have any policies in place, it could be a sign that they are not committed to creating an inclusive workplace. This could be a red flag that the company may not value diversity or that there may be issues with discrimination or bias.

  • It allows you to hold the company accountable: By asking about diversity and inclusion policies, you're putting the company on notice that these issues are important to you. This can help hold the company accountable for their actions and policies, and signal to them that their approach to diversity and inclusion is important to their employees.

  • Asking a company about their diversity and inclusion initiatives is an important step in evaluating whether the company is a good fit for you and holds the company accountable for creating an inclusive workplace.

Questions to Ask

You can ask a variety of questions to measure DEI. Questions can be specific about identities, initiatives of focus, and more. Here are a few examples:

  • Does your company have a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) plan or policy in place?

  • What steps has your organization taken to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace?

  • How does your company handle complaints of harassment or discrimination?

  • Are there any DEI initiatives or programs in place to ensure the recruiting and promotion of diverse candidates?

  • How does your company measure and report on progress towards DEI goals?

  • Does your company offer any DEI training programs or workshops?

  • What role do leaders and managers play in driving DEI initiatives in your company?

  • How does your company ensure that current employees are regularly educated and informed on DEI topics?

  • Does your company have any processes for evaluating the impact of DEI initiatives?

  • What feedback does your company receive from employees, customers, and other stakeholders about DEI initiatives?

What Are You Looking for in Answers

When you ask an employer about their commitment to diversity and inclusion, there are a few types of answers that demonstrate a genuine commitment to these issues:

Specific Examples

Employers who are committed to diversity and inclusion should be able to provide specific examples of initiatives they have implemented to promote diversity and inclusion in their workplace. For example, they may describe their recruitment practices to attract a diverse pool of candidates, their training programs to address unconscious bias, or their employee resource groups for underrepresented communities.

Data and Metrics

Employers who are committed to diversity and inclusion should be tracking data and metrics related to diversity and inclusion. They may be able to share statistics about the diversity of their workforce, the representation of underrepresented groups in leadership positions, or the success rates of their diversity recruitment efforts.

Transparency and Accountability

Employers who are committed to diversity and inclusion should be transparent about their goals and progress towards achieving them. They should also be willing to hold themselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace and addressing any issues that arise.

Ongoing Commitment

Employers who are committed to diversity and inclusion should demonstrate an ongoing commitment to these issues. This may include regular training and education on diversity and inclusion, ongoing review of policies and procedures to ensure they are inclusive, and a willingness to adapt and evolve their approach as needed.

What questions have you asked to gauge the DEIB of an organization you're interested in working for?

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