Tips for interviewers and hiring managers

Job posting



    • Karen Anderson, Chief People Officer at Mimecast

    • Karen Anderson joins for an informative session as we dive into how to implement inclusion best practices within your organization's executive search process.


    • Cathrin Stickney, Founder & CEO, and James Benedict, Co-Founder, Left Tackle Capital

  • Expand your own networks

  • Hold recruiting firms accountable, make them keep digging

  • Make sure to look internally! It's foolish not to grow your own employees - this does mean you may have to have formal mentorship and training for new managers etc.


Job Application

Initial Resume Review

  • Remove name, gender, race

  • Don't discount or remove candidates for gaps in jobs. There are plenty of wonderful reasons, or depressing reasons to take a break - raising children, exploring the world, caring for dying family members. Find out if they currently have the skills and knowledge you need, thats the only relevant item. Give these people a chance!

  • Don't punish people for lack of longevity - many people from underrepresented groups need to change companies in order to get raises or promotions.

  • Career Change - ideas and diversity come from everywhere, embrace career changes if they demonstrate they have the required skills.



Try to make sure any Panels are diverse, and not too large

  • The systems you have in place to make sure you are providing all candidates a consistent experience (for example being consistent about the types of questions asked for one specific role - you can iterate between openings but you shouldn't iterate within one opening)

  • The systems you have in pace should make sure each person knows what type of interview they are being asked to give and what their objectives are.

    • (i.e. are they assessing Subject Matter Expertise? Or Experience with your particular industry vertical?)

  • You should arrange it such that there are consistent set of interviews, for each job at each level. Each interview should be a specific type of interviews with a specific set of objective(s). For example managerial roles should include assessment by those who would report to the manager, and upper management should be specifically assessed for their inclusivity and practices around psychological safety. You should verify that you have covered all the requirements of the job through the planned series of interviews (these are the objectives and they should be split up). To accurately give a candidate time to warm up, and fully answer questions, you can not assess too many attributes in each interview. Additionally job job requirements should not be that extensive anyway!

Interview Training and Preparation

  • You should make sure to train all people who will be participating in interviewing as a condition of them beginning to interview people.

  • Training should include

    • How much research you are expected to do in advance of the interview. i.e. should or or should you not check their social media if they include it?

    • Types of bias (confirmation bias, etc.)

    • Asking good questions (see interview Questions below)

    • What to record in the interview notes

    • How your company utilizes their assessment rubric (for consistency, what precisely does. a yes mean, they met most of the objective of your interview type? all of it? do you have a multi point scale with yes and strong yes?)

Interview Questions

  • Ask open ended STAR format (situation, task, action, result) questions - use follow ups to dig in as needed.


  • You can utilize user research training and articles to improve your interviewing skills!

  • Do not ask leading questions.

  • Be clear if you are willing to provide additional information or if they can say what they would research or look for if they were in a situation.

  • Ask open ended questions, ask for them to tell you about a specific example or time when they demonstrated a specific skill or were in a specific situation. you do not want to ask yes/no questions. this is about getting a feel for their experience and behaviour in situations. You are not looking for one right answer.

  • Avoid trivia, or anything reliant on recall

  • No question should be a gotcha

  • Get comfortable with silence, some people need time to process and think, some people are having to translate languages, people can be nervous!

  • Remember to leave time for them to ask questions, interviews are truly a two way street

  • Be aware of cultural bias - some cultures you it's impolite to take personal credit, so you may need to dig in a little more to assess what that person did within that team. This also can apply to certain genders.


  • Unless you are paying a candidate any project given should not take a large amount of time. I highly recommend you provide as much information as possible up front, including consistent directions, and are clear about what resources people would have, and are permitted to use - no test should be unrelated to real life. synchronous and timed are stressful and horrible. denying people resources (search) is horrible. allowing and encouraging people to think out loud (i'd check if we had a pattern fo this UI in our design library? is there design library?)

Interview Scoring

  • Consistent rubric

  • Scoring criterion should be directly related to job requirements and the company values. Anything else is not relevant and should not be included in the score.

  • Make sure people are considering Cultural Fit vs Value Add - i.e. don't look for someone who fits in (beer test) thats a terrible way to pick - look instead for someone who adds some experience or skill to the team.

  • Make sure you and not being ablest or biased against neurodiverse individuals in your scoring and assessments.

  • Remind people to re-read their notes and score to remove anything they may have filled in or assumed, stick to facts only not stories, and to check for bias - just reminding people of the types of bias can be surprisingly effective!