Interviewing the interviewer – 5 questions to help you know if they are really inclusive

You probably already know that asking quality questions of your prospective employer at the end of an interview can give you bonus points when it comes to your probability of being hired. Among many things, good questions show your knowledge, interest level, and receptiveness of the employer’s needs. But what about your needs – asking questions just for the sake of asking may leave you in a lurch later on when it comes to decision making.

Taking the time to think about what has mattered to you previously, and what matters to your vision of an ideal workplace and work life will help you craft questions that make sure you have everything you need in order to choose a company where you will thrive.

When you are from a unique background, however, the stakes are even higher when it comes to the questions you ask, since it could impact not just your success but also your potential risk for forced failure. In other words, will you be discriminated against at all, whether blatantly or inadvertently? Could you be, in fact, risking your career instead of accelerating it with this new gig?

According to Glassdoor, “a full two-thirds (67 percent) of active and passive job seekers said that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.” Even though most want a diverse workplace, inclusion and cultural acceptance are not a strength of today’s modern workforce. It has made headlines in recent years that silicon valley, for example, lacks acceptable diversity and inclusivity in its workforce and workplaces.  Hence, when doing your evaluation – why not have all the data you need to make good decisions?

Here are 5 questions you could consider asking. Some of these may make you nervous to ask, especially if you suspect those interviewing you may not be inclusive themselves. Being brave, however, and approaching these questions with a confident, professional, and friendly genuine openness can set the tone for positive conversations.

  1. I’m from a multicultural background, what steps do you regularly take to create an inclusive work atmosphere?
  2. What percentage or your employees are currently “diverse”?
  3. What are your goals for multicultural inclusivity?
  4. Do you consider multiculturalism in your hiring decision-making?
  5. What successful events (i.e. meetings or trainings) have you had relating to developing inter-employee acceptance and appreciation specifically related to diversity?

These questions are only just the beginning to a whole plethora of questions you could ask. Remember to stay focused on what will make you feel like you can thrive. So go ahead, ask these, develop more of your own, and be brave enough to interview the interviewer!

Cherise Tolbert

Cherise Tolbert enjoys being an influencer for DiversityJobs.com and LatPro.com, both part of a network of award winning employment websites working to connect talented job seekers with employers who value diversity. She has written articles for countless top-ranking employment-related blogs including CareerMetis, Latino LA, The Voice of Jobseekers, CareerPivot, and Hispanic Trending. Cherise has her Master’s in Media Studies from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and a B.S. in Public Communications with a minor in Community and International Development from The University of Vermont. She has worked in communications for almost a decade including in higher education and non-profits and owns her own Communications company Arivida Systems. She also is a collegiate adjunct instructor teaching courses in Mass Media, Digital Culture, and Professional Writing.

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