Diverse Interview Panels
source: Photo by Mapbox on Unsplash

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

Diverse interview panels should include interviewers with diverse characteristics:

  • age
  • race
  • gender identity
  • sexual orientation
  • skills
  • experience

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

For example, Cisco created a diverse interview panel framework that helped them increase the number of women hired by 14%, improved the chances of hiring black candidates by 70%, and Hispanic and Latino women candidates by 50%. 

But building diverse interview panels isn’t a one-time easy step. This post shares the benefits and 7 tips to help you get started creating your panel.

Let’s dive in.

3 Benefits of Diverse Interview Panels

Before we get to the 7 tips, here are 3 benefits of diverse interview panels:

  • Diverse Interview Panels Minimize Unconscious Bias

People often hire someone who is similar to them. The lack of diversity in interview panels can lead to the panel being influenced by interviewing bias. Even if the interviewers on the panel are your top employees, they may still hire the wrong candidates based on their bias.

But by having a diverse panel, you get different perspectives about all the candidates. This way, you’ll hire the best applicants, because they are qualified and not because they are similar to you.

  • Diverse Interview Panels Create a Better Candidate Experience

Many employers don’t think candidates benefit from diversity in interview panels, but they do. Being interviewed by recruiters with different worldviews and sets of experiences gives candidates a better experience.

And, it sends the message that your company values inclusivity, which is a key factor for today’s candidates.

  • Diverse Interview Panels Offer a Well-Rounded View of Candidates

A diverse interview panel ensures each interviewer gives a different perspective about the candidate they can share with the team. This way, you get to hire a candidate who adds to your company culture. 

7 Tips to Create Diverse Interview Panels

Having diverse interview panels is your first step to creating a working diversity recruiting strategy. Here are 7 ways to do it well:

1. Offer diversity training

Diversity training is an important step in building diverse interview panels. Even the most seasoned HR pros need refresher training.

Diversity training programs should include:

  • Defined goals on what you want to achieve.
  • An interactive approach for practical learning (e.g., doing mock interviews).
  • Training interviewers to identify and combat bias.
  • Training about body language.
  • Questions to avoid asking candidates about race, age, religion, disabilities, etc.
  • Lessons on doing structured interviews.
  • How to write inclusive job descriptions. For this step, using diversity tools can help you craft inclusive job description samples for training.

For instance, use Ongig’s Text Analyzer to easily find biased words in your job descriptions so you can remove or replace them. You can do this live so your interviewers see why things are being flagged as “exclusionary” and the “more inclusive” recommendations:

removing bias from recruitment | Ongig

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

2. Define the skills, roles, and diversity contributions of your panel

To ensure your interview panel is successful, set them up for success by defining their individual roles.

For example:

  • panelist A assesses the candidates’ personalities
  • panelist B evaluates their skillset
  • panelist C studies their work ethic

The other factor is to evaluate each interviewer’s expertise. To do this:

  • Check their work experience and performance at your company.
  • Identify the specific skills that make them suitable to do the interviews.
  • Look at their contribution to the organization’s diversity efforts.

The above framework will also help you to understand the number of interviewers you’ll need.

3. Make inclusivity a priority

Inclusivity plays an essential role in creating diverse interview panels. Inclusivity is often restricted to gender and race, but there’s more to it.

Here are some factors to consider when creating diverse interview panels:

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

You don’t need to have interviewers from every group listed above, but having some of them will make your candidates feel included. Use your ERGs as a guide for identifying employees from underrepresented groups who may be a great fit for diverse interview panels.

4. Use existing employees as interviewers (from all levels)

Involving existing workers from all levels of your biz creates a team-based interview process. This not only helps you create diverse interview panels but also demonstrates that you value your employees’ opinions.

Ensure they are trained on your interview process, just like hiring managers. Here are some topics to cover in their training:

  • Their role and the skills they’ll be looking for in a candidate.
  • Unconscious bias and how it can lead to negative hiring.
  • Basic Principles of Psychology.
  • Essential interview skills.
  • Different types of interviews.
  • Legal considerations, for example, questions to avoid asking.

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

5. Get feedback from candidates

Getting feedback from candidates will help you evaluate your interview panels. Most candidates love sharing their interview experiences. And the simple act of asking shows them your organization cares about diversity and inclusion.

Plus, their feedback gives you the chance to improve your candidate experience. To start collecting feedback from your candidates, create a survey to send to them after they finish the recruitment process. Ask questions like:

  • How did the interviewers make you feel?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate the interview process?
  • What do you feel could have improved the process for you?
  • Do you feel that the interviewers were well prepared for the interview?
  • Did you experience bias from some of the interviewers?

After getting feedback from the survey, don’t wait to work on it. Implement the changes during your next interviews.

6. Create a feedback system

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

Track the impact of your program by looking at:

  • Underrepresented candidates’ happiness: A successful interview program should elicit good reviews from diverse talent.
  • The confidence of recruiters and interviewers: Survey recruiters who went through the program to learn if their skills have improved.

To understand the confidence rate of your interviewers, send a survey with questions like:

  • Did you feel confident in identifying your unconscious bias?
  • How do you feel about the type of questions you asked?
  • Do you feel confident in identifying applicants from underrepresented groups who aren’t confident but can perform well?
  • Were you confident in sharing the role details?
  • Did you confidently identify a good, excellent, and “so-so” candidate?

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

7. Evaluate and improve

The last step is to evaluate the success of your diverse interview panels so you can keep improving them. 

To evaluate your success, track the diversity composition of your employees. Evaluate diversity based on factors like gender, age, race, sexual orientation, education, and religion. 

Compare the current diversity composition with the previous one to learn the rate of improvement. Also, check the retention of your diverse employees so you know how long they’re staying in your organization. 


Ongig’s mission is to create effective and inclusive job descriptions. Book a demo today to learn how you our software supports diverse interview panels and hiring top talent from underrepresented groups.


  1. What is a Structured Interview? With Examples and Definition by (Indeed)
  2. Types of Interviewing Bias and How to Minimize them by (Indeed)
  3. Diverse Representation Framework & Diverse Interview Panels  by (CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion)
  4. Candidate Interview and Employer Brand Report by (Greenhouse)
  5. These Interview Questions could get HR in Trouble by (SHRM)

by in Diversity and Inclusion