All interviews require intent.
Each job interview is different as companies have varying needs. Showing that you value diversity is critical in today’s job hunt. Here are three sure-fire ways to show that you’re inclusive during a job interview:
Say your pronouns to create a safe, open environment
An easy way to show that you celebrate diversity as a job candidate is by stating your pronouns to encourage others to share theirs when starting an interview. A big part of being open to diversity is creating a relaxed environment where others feel safe to be their true selves.
When starting an interview, you can say something like:
“Hi, my name is Alex. I go by the pronouns “they/them” or “I’m Laura, and I’m referred to by ‘she/her’ pronouns.”
It’s important to remember that sharing your pronouns isn’t required for a job interview or any conversation. However, it’s a wonderful idea if you’re trying to convey you’re a candidate who values diversity.
Jobseekers can also share their pronouns on their LinkedIn profiles, email communications, electronic signatures and even during phone screenings.
Ask about diversity and inclusion initiatives
During interviews, hiring managers often get a good sense of what’s important to a candidate by the questions they ask. What better way to show that diversity is important to you than to ask about it explicitly.
Lucky for you, there are a plethora of questions you can ask to highlight your interest in a business’ commitment to progress.
Here are questions to consider asking during the interview:
How important are diversity and inclusion to your company?
What is your company doing to prioritize diversity and inclusion?
What metrics do you use to determine diversity and inclusion progress?
Is there diversity among lower and executive-level leadership?
Do leaders take diversity and inclusion training?
Emphasize inclusion in your interview responses
Believe it or not, candidates have the power to craft their professional narrative, especially during the interview. If your goal is to show that you value diversity, emphasize that in your responses during the interview.
When a hiring manager asks questions about your strengths or how you can make a difference within a role, play up your passion for inclusion. Consider responding like this:
“My superpower is empowering others to be engaged. I make it my mission to include everyone, especially their talents, perspectives and experiences. I do this by doing the upfront work to recognize people’s unique qualities and building rapport with everyone. I make sure all people are heard. When there’s diversity of thought and rich ideas on the table, innovation and success are bound to follow.”
Likewise, when a hiring manager asks you behavioral questions, lean on past experiences that show your favor toward diversity. For example, if an interviewer asks you about a time you failed, a candidate interviewing for a manager position could consider a response like:
“I once made a mistake collaborating on a project when I didn’t remember to consider including my direct reports perspective on a timeline for execution of a deliverable. As a result, we missed a deadline. After my team informed me that the timeframe was too tight because of certain factors, I saw the importance of involving my team in decision-making. I made a consistent effort to have my team weigh in during project planning from that point on. We were then aligned with one another, and my team felt included because they had input on campaign execution.
These examples above showcase the effort of a candidate wanting to include and empower others, a significant characteristic of someone who values diversity.
Showcasing that you value diversity during an interview doesn’t have to be complicated. Candidates that prioritize their intent will see success.
Before any interview, do your homework and come prepared to make a lasting, positive impression. If you practice what you preach, your experience will lead the way.