aerial photo of the campus in the fall season

Holding Inclusive Interviews

Inclusive Interviewing Best Practices

  • Provide interview options, including in-person, through video conferencing, or via telephone.
  • Consider providing the interview questions ahead of time to ease people's anxiety and give them time to prepare.
  • When inviting the candidate to the interview, clearly state that the institution will respect and adhere to any accommodation needs. Prepare the candidate for the interview in advance with information, such as how long the interview will be, who the panel members will be and the types of questions that will be asked.
  • Standardize the interview process by giving the exact same questions and allowing the same time for each candidate.
    • Best Practice - Standardize the interview process for a common candidate experience. Standardized information provided to candidates, interview scheduling, interviewing methods, interview questions, etc., are essential for fairness to ensure that the only significant variable will be the responses by the candidates under the same interview conditions to compare apples to apples in evaluation.

Traditional behavioural interviewing asks, "What have you done as Director of Marketing?" However, unbiased behavioural interview questions drive the conversation from a specific work context into a more situational and life-related experience: "Tell us how you would approach the role of Director of Marketing?" Focusing on the second question will reveal insights into how a candidate approaches the role's responsibilities and solves complex problems. 

  • At the beginning of the interview, acknowledge that this can be a stressful experience and that the search committee will do their best to ease the candidates' stress level.
  • Speak simply and clearly, provide time for the candidate to reflect and answer.
  • As a part of the scoring process for candidates, take into consideration that for some positions, experience is just as integral as education, acknowledging that not everyone has equal access to post-secondary education.
  • Rule out body language for interviews, such as eye contact and handshakes. Do not assume that a person is slouching in their seat because they do not care, or that they do not have a firm handshake because they are not confident. You do not know whether the person has a medical condition, they have different cultural norms to you, or perhaps they are just nervous.
  • Consider that the best candidates may not have the most merits or years of experience. For example, an applicant may have gaps in their employment because of a child or family care leave.

Implicit Bias Online Training – learn what implicit bias is, how it impacts our lives and how changes in our attitudes and reactions can develop more inclusive communities.