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Creating an Inclusive Interview Experience

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The John Lewis Partnership recently announced that they have started to publish their compliancy-based interview questions online, in a move designed so applicants can take the time to think about their past experiences and skills, and prepare different examples to take to interview. It is expected to help the retailer attract people from a variety of backgrounds, and to have specific benefits for neurodiverse people, which can include autistic people, or those with neurodiverse ADHD or dyslexia.

Embracing diversity and inclusion during the hiring process as John Lewis are doing isn't just about ticking boxes or meeting quotas; it's about harnessing the power of varied perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences to drive innovation, creativity, and growth. In our latest blog, we discuss fostering diversity in your organisation through crafting an inclusive interview experience.

Embracing Diversity from the First Encounter

An inclusive interview experience starts from the moment a candidate engages with your organisation. It's about creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to showcase their true potential, regardless of their background, identity, or circumstances.

Steps Towards Inclusivity
1. Diverse Interview Panels
  • When candidates see a diverse panel, it sends a powerful message that your organisation values inclusivity. Aim for diversity not just in terms of race and gender, but also in terms of age, background, and experience.

2. Accessible Locations and Formats
  • Consider the physical accessibility of your interview locations, ensuring they're easy to reach for candidates with disabilities. Additionally, offer remote or virtual interview options to accommodate candidates who may face logistical challenges.

3. Unbiased Job Descriptions
  • Craft job descriptions that are inclusive and free from biased language. Use gender-neutral pronouns and focus on the essential skills and qualifications required for the role.

4. Training for Interviewers
  • Provide training for interviewers to recognise and mitigate unconscious biases. This could include workshops, simulations, or simply raising awareness about the importance of fair and equitable evaluation.

5. Flexible Interview Structures
  • Recognise that traditional interview formats may not suit every candidate. Offer flexibility in the interview process, allowing candidates to demonstrate their skills through various mediums such as presentations, case studies, or work samples.

6. Transparent Communication
  • Clearly communicate the interview process to candidates, including timelines, expectations, and next steps. Transparency helps to alleviate anxiety and ensures that candidates feel informed and empowered throughout the process.

Benefits of an Inclusive Interview Experience

An inclusive interview experience isn't just the right thing to do; it's a way to drive business growth. By embracing diversity and fostering inclusivity in your hiring process, you open the door to a wealth of benefits:

1. Broader Talent Pool
  • By removing barriers to entry, you attract a more diverse pool of candidates, tapping into a wider range of skills, perspectives, and experiences.

2. Enhanced Innovation and Problem-Solving
  • Diverse teams are proven to be more innovative and effective at problem-solving, thanks to the variety of viewpoints and approaches they bring to the table.

3. Improved Employee Engagement and Retention
  • Employees who feel valued and included are more engaged and committed to their work, leading to higher retention rates and lower turnover costs.

4. Enhanced Reputation and Brand Loyalty
  • Organisations that prioritise inclusivity in their hiring process are seen as more ethical and socially responsible, which can enhance their reputation and attract loyal customers and clients.


Inclusivity isn't just a checkbox; it's a journey towards building a stronger, more resilient, and more successful organisation. By crafting an inclusive interview experience, you not only open the doors to diverse talent but also pave the way for a more innovative, creative, and inclusive workplace culture.