Empowering Your Career Journey: 5 Vital DEI Questions to Ask During Interviews

More potential employees than ever care about a company’s approach to diversity and inclusion. With diverse companies known to outperform their peers, a diverse and inclusive culture becomes a strong indicator of better financial performance, higher levels of innovation, and more robust decision-making. All positive qualities for a future employer.  

For diverse leaders, knowing if you are joining a place that embraces DEI is even more critical as it can have a very real direct impact on career development opportunities, salary progression, and the overall enjoyment of your work.

So when interviewing for a new role, how can you tell the difference between an organization which says it embraces DEI and one that actually does?

In this article, we explore five key DEI questions to ask at interviews which can empower your career journey and help you make the right move.

1. How do you encourage your employees to honor the uniqueness of each individual working for the company?

Fostering an inclusive work environment starts with acknowledging and celebrating the unique qualities each employee brings to the table. By asking this question, you show that you value an organization that recognizes and respects individual differences. Look for responses in interviews that highlight initiatives such as diversity training for all employees, employee resource groups (ERGs), celebration of diverse Role Models, and mentorship or sponsorship programs that support diverse voices and perspectives.

2. How have you incorporated the viewpoints and perspectives of underrepresented groups into the organization?

An organization that actively seeks input from underrepresented groups is more likely to understand and address the real experiences and barriers faced by diverse employees. Common ways to achieve this are feedback surveys, listening sessions, and meaningful engagement with internal ERGs. However, alongside collecting this information, interviewers from companies who are more advanced on DEI should also be able to outline how this information has influenced current initiatives and decision-making.

3. What steps have you taken to reduce bias and champion diversity in this company?

Addressing bias is an essential step toward fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. Employers should be open about the actions they have taken to eliminate bias in recruitment, performance evaluations, and decision-making processes. As an interviewee, look for companies that have taken steps to remove bias from your own hiring process such as a diverse recruitment panel or a structured interview process that focuses not only on qualifications but also on transferable skills and experiences.

4. What responsibility do leaders and managers have to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in a meaningful way?

Leadership plays a vital role in shaping company culture and values. By asking this question at interviews, you show that you understand the significance of strong leadership in fostering an inclusive workplace. Look for responses that emphasize accountability, ongoing DEI training for managers, and the establishment of clear diversity goals with measurable outcomes. If your interviewer doesn’t know about their own responsibilities on DEI, then it should be a warning sign that DEI is far from embedded in the culture.

5. What role do you think the company has in championing diversity and inclusion in wider society?

A company that is truly committed to DEI will understand its role in driving positive change beyond the workplace. Look for employers who actively engage in community outreach programs, support minority-owned businesses in their supply chains, or advocate for DEI initiatives at the industry or societal level. Aligning yourself with a company that values social responsibility will make you part of a greater positive impact on society.

Asking thoughtful DEI questions during interviews empowers you to make informed decisions about your career path. It also signals to the company the importance of real action on DEI for attracting the best talent – becoming its own driver for change. Look for companies that not only talk about diversity and inclusion but demonstrate a genuine commitment to these values through concrete actions. By finding an organization that aligns with your own beliefs and aspirations, you can contribute to a workplace where every individual’s unique qualities are celebrated, and everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive.

Audeliss and INvolve support organizations with all aspects of their DEI and inclusive recruitment strategy to ensure they can attract and retain the very best talent. Please get in touch to learn more about how we can help you.

Audeliss also supports senior executives in finding opportunities where they can further grow their careers. If you are considering a new role, please visit the candidate pages of our website.