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Diversifying Interview Panels: 7 Essential Tips

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The first step to building an efficient diversity recruiting process is to conduct diverse rounds of interviews. 68% of candidates believe a diverse interview panel is essential for better hiring experiences and outcomes.

Diverse interview groups should consist of interviewers with different characteristics:

  • Old
  • Race
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Skills
  • Experience

When your interview panels are diverse, underrepresented candidates will feel more comfortable and encouraged to work at your company.

For example, Cisco created a diverse interview framework that helped hire 14% more women, 70% more Black applicants, and 50% more Hispanic and Latino applicants.

However, building diverse conversation groups is not a simple one-time step. In this post you will learn more about the benefits and 7 tips to help you put together your panel.

Let's dive in.

3 advantages of diverse discussion groups

Before we get to the 7 tips, here are the 3 advantages of diverse discussion groups:

  • Diverse discussion groups minimize unconscious prejudices

People often hire someone who is similar to them. The lack of diversity in the discussion groups can lead to the discussion group being influenced by prejudices. Even if the people you're interviewing are your best employees, they may still hire the wrong candidates because of their bias.

However, with a diverse panel, you get different perspectives on all applicants. This way, you hire the best candidates because they are qualified, not because they are similar to you.

  • Diverse interview rounds create a better experience for applicants

Many employers don't believe that candidates benefit from diversity in interviews, but they do. When interviewed by hiring managers with different worldviews and experiences, candidates have a better experience.

It also sends the message that your company values openness, which is an important factor for today's candidates.

  • Diverse rounds of interviews provide a comprehensive picture of the applicants

A diverse interview panel ensures that each interviewer has a different perspective on the candidate to share with the team. This allows you to hire a candidate who fits your company culture.

7 tips for putting together diverse discussion groups

Putting together diverse discussion groups is the first step towards a functioning diversity recruiting strategy. Here are 7 tips on how to best do this:


Diversity training is an important step in putting together diverse discussion groups. Even the most experienced HR managers need refresher training.

Diversity training programs should include:

  • Defined goals of what you want to achieve.
  • An interactive approach to hands-on learning (e.g. conducting mock interviews).
  • Training interviewers to recognize and combat bias.
  • Body language training.
  • Questions about race, age, religion, disabilities, etc. that should not be asked to applicants.
  • Lessons on conducting structured interviews.
  • How to write inclusive job descriptions. In this step, you can use diversity tools to create inclusive training job description templates.

For example, use IceHrm's Text Analyzer to find biased words in your job descriptions so you can remove or replace them. You can do this live so your interviewers can see why things are flagged as “exclusionary” and what recommendations are made for “better inclusion”:

Diversity interviewer training makes your team better interviewers so you hire the best candidates.


To ensure that your interview session is successful, you should define the individual roles.

For example:

  • Panelist A evaluates the personality of the candidates
  • Panelist B evaluates the applicants' skills
  • Panelist C examines her work ethic

Another factor is the assessment of the specialist knowledge of the individual participants in the conversation. To this end:

  • Check the work experience and achievements of applicants in your company.
  • Identify the specific skills that make them suitable for conducting the interviews.
  • Check how they contribute to the company's diversity efforts.

The framework described above will also help you determine the number of interviewers you need.


Inclusivity plays an essential role in creating diverse conversation groups. It is often limited to gender and race, but there are more.

Below are some factors to consider when putting together diverse discussion groups:

  • Race/Ethnicity: Consider people of different nationalities and ethnicities.
  • Gender: All genders should be represented, including non-binary and transgender groups.
  • Religion: Include interviewers of different religious affiliations.
  • Sexual Orientation: Consider people with different sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Education: Use interviewers with diverse educational backgrounds, both informal and informal.
  • Disability: Include interviewers with disabilities.

You don't have to use interviewers from every group above, but some of them will make your candidates feel included. Use your ERGs as a guide to identify employees from underrepresented groups who would be great candidates for diverse interviews.


Involving employees from all levels of your company creates a team-based interview process. This not only helps you create diverse conversations, but also shows that you value your employees' opinions.

Make sure they are trained in your interview process just like the hiring managers. Here are some topics that should be covered in the training:

  • Their role and the skills they will be looking for in a candidate.
  • Unconscious bias and how it can lead to negative attitudes.
  • Basic principles of psychology.
  • Essential interview skills.
  • Different types of interviews.
  • Legal considerations, e.g. Questions that should not be asked.

The more employees you train, the more diverse your hiring committees become.


Applicant feedback will help you evaluate your interview rounds. Most applicants are happy to talk about their interview experiences. And just the fact that they ask shows them that your company cares about diversity and inclusion.

You also have the opportunity to improve your offer for applicants through feedback from applicants. To collect feedback from your candidates, create a survey to send to them after the hiring process is complete. Ask questions like:

  • How did the interviewers make you feel?
  • How would you rate the interview process on a scale of 1-10?
  • What do you think could have improved the process for you?
  • Did you have the impression that the interviewees were well prepared for the conversation?
  • Did you feel like some of the interviewers were biased?

Once you've received feedback from the survey, don't wait to work on it. Implement the changes in your next interviews.


In this step, you should track the impact of your diversity training program and make regular adjustments. The worst thing you can do is have a static interview training program that doesn't change as your company grows.

Track the impact of your program using the following criteria:

  • The Satisfaction of Underrepresented Candidates: A successful interview program should be well-reviewed by diverse talent.
  • Confidence of hiring managers and interviewers: Interview hiring managers who have participated in the program to see if their skills have improved.

To gauge your interviewers' confidence, you can send out a survey with questions like:

  • Have you felt confident recognizing your unconscious biases?
  • What do you think about the types of questions you asked?
  • Do you feel confident identifying candidates from underrepresented groups who are not confident but can perform well?
  • Were you confident in conveying the details of the role?
  • Have you confidently identified a good candidate, an excellent candidate, and a “mediocre” candidate?

The feedback framework described above will help you identify where you need to make changes to your interview teams.


The final step is to evaluate the success of your diverse conversation sessions so you can continue to improve them.

To evaluate your success, you should track the composition of your workforce. Evaluate diversity based on factors such as gender, age, race, sexual orientation, education and religion.

Compare the current composition with the previous one to determine the rate of improvement. Also, check your employees' loyalty to your company so you know how long they will stay with your company.

Incorporate diversity into your hiring strategy with these tips. Improve your interview process and attract top talent. Use IceHrm for seamless implementation.

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