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20 Candidate questions hiring teams should prepare for in 2022-23

October 5, 2022
20 Candidate questions hiring managers should prepare for

While LinkedIn was once awash with advice for interviewees, today’s hiring managers must also be prepared to answer tough questions from candidates. As confirmed in one of our recent global surveys, top candidates want to know more about the workplaces they’re applying for — and they expect transparent answers.

So, what questions should hiring managers be prepared to answer over the next year? Today, we’re sharing twenty of the top responses we received. 

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The 20 top questions hiring managers should prepare for

1. “Tell me about the last time that you had to have a difficult discussion about diversity and how it changed the way you or others looked at it.”

2. Can you give me more insight into the last time a [woman] was promoted from within the company to a leadership role? And what percentage of the [women in your] workforce has been promoted to a leadership role in the past year?

3. “Are you willing to invest in a [woman] who has qualifications in your business areas whilst knowing that they qualified years ago but haven’t had the opportunity to utilize these?”

💡 To gain a clear understanding and actionable data around the benefits of investing time and effort into the career development of women within your organization, read our free report: Five Ways to Develop Diversity (Without Relying on Recruitment).

Download the free guide: Five ways to develop diversity (without relying on recruitment)

4. “Do you allow individuals associated with minority groups (POC, LGBTQI+, disabled community) to speak up about their experiences to better educate their peers, and allow them to express themselves in a way that makes them comfortable and accepted?”

5. “Is it possible to visit the work site?” 
Similarly, another survey respondent also asked:
“Would you be able to take me on a tour of the office? It  can be very insightful to observe staff engagement and get a feel for the environment and culture.”

6. “What has been a challenge recently within the past one year? How was it resolved or if ongoing, how is it progressing?” 

7. “Tell me about the achievements of other women in your organization and how your organization ensures women thrive?”

8. “Do you have existing portfolios of your current employees you could show me who represent the values and [diversity and inclusion] of the organization along with the stories about their time with the organization?
Reasoning: I would like to hear from the employees and find out some factors for example.”

9. “What would be your response to me if I tell you I am stressed out and overworked? What meaningful action would you take?”

10. Are you willing to ask all employees, including all leadership roles, to be active allies by asking them to ask why there are no women or people of colour included in the meeting and decision making in every meeting to ensure everyone is accountable, aware and invested in [diversity, equity, and inclusion]?”

11. “What are your Paternity Leave arrangements?
(I am not a man, and probably not going to have any more children, but how they address paternity leave shows me their values. To be equitable to women, they need to be equitable to men as well in non-traditional ways and this supports that equity).”

12. “How many primary carers do you have in executive leadership positions?”

💡 Wondering why this matters to applicants? Find out by downloading our easy-to-read and actionable report, Six Pressing Reasons to Update Your Parental Leave Policy.

Six pressing reasons to improve your parental leave policy
13. “If you were to be interviewed again for your role, what would be the questions you wished you asked?
[In other words], in hindsight, what would have or made your decision easier to stay/agree to join the company.”

14. “Can you [the interviewer] tell me if you plan to stay with this business for the next three+ years and why?
Note: I’d adjust the number of years according to the average retention of the business and target a little over their average.”

15. “What steps has your company taken to learn from outgoing staff in order to improve on the experience staff have within your company?”

16. “What would you want the children in your life to say or think about the company you work for?”

Do you know what makes your company a good, bad, or great employer for women and marginalized groups, and how can you improve? 

Our specialized engagement survey makes it quick and easy to find out by expertly raising the voices of marginalized groups already in your organisation

17. “What is the workplace culture like? Why did the last three people leave?”

18. “Can you describe how your workplace is flexible, and how can it accommodate a neuroatypical worker?”

19. “What has been a challenge recently, for example, within the past one year. How was it resolved or if ongoing, how is it progressing?”

20. “What is holding you back from having more diversity- beyond gender on your senior leadership team?”

Help your hiring teams provide the right answers, in the right way  

Hiring teams play a crucial part in any diversity strategy, which is why it’s vital they’re equipped with the latest DEI knowledge and practices. 

Leading employers get it and are preparing both internal and external hiring teams formally with WORK180’s Gender Equity Sourcing Accreditation.

WORK180's Gender Equity Sourcing Accreditation badge

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About the Author

Sophie Main is WORK180's Brand and Content Manager, with a background in business improvement and a determination to make the working world a better place. She regularly collaborates with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) experts to create content that will help companies support the careers of all women.

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