Asking the right questions is key to gaining an accurate understanding of the company culture and team dynamics, as well as assessing if the opportunity is a strong match. In fact, 3 in 10 new employees leave a job within the first 90 days because they do not have a strong understanding of the role or company.
To help prevent a mismatch, we’re sharing 4 questions candidates can ask during a job interview to best understand the true DEI efforts of a company.
What is your company doing to address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?
An interviewer should be able to discuss, to some degree, how the business has had conversations with staff regarding DEI, new policies or practices implemented, or new groups or initiatives created to help support DEI. Note that some companies may not have a formal DEI program established. In this case, are they open to creating DEI policies/programs in the future? Are they open to supporting employee-led DEI committees or clubs?
What’s the makeup of the management team? The executive team?
For many companies, there is a long way to go in order to achieve equality and create stronger representation of diversity in leadership roles. However, many companies also have goals for improving representation at various levels of the business. Asking about the current makeup of leadership positions can help better understand what to expect if accepting the role and asking about the company’s plan to add more diversity to leadership teams can help show a business’ progressiveness.
Where do you think the company needs to improve the most as it pertains to DEI?
No company is perfect - even companies with robust DEI programs still have areas to improve on. If the answer is ‘none,’ that is a red flag. Leaders should always have their sights set on ways to improve. Answering this question with a thoughtful response shows the leader’s desire to support and grow DEI within the company.
What tangible goals does the organization have surrounding DEI? Who is responsible for making sure these goals are met?
DEI goals should go beyond hiring. What about supporting a sense of belonging for all people or educating all employees about DEI? Are they working to make DEI more visible, or improving diversity in leadership? Consider if they are actively creating employee resource groups, supporting training around DEI or surveying their people to gauge if they’re feeling supported. These are a few action items that point to future action that will be taken.
Not every company will have a robust training program in place, and that is okay! If they’ve started to create one, or are open to launching one, see that as an opportunity to get it and help the company build something great for its workforce.
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