Here is a list of things I would look for to help me make that “first-impression” assessment:
- What do your initial interactions (visiting the website, screening interviews, etc.) feel like? Are the images used to represent the company displaying diversity of any type (race, gender, disability, etc.)?
- Are you treated with respect from the start? For example, are people with whom you interact making eye contact, calling you by your name (accurately), responsive to, and not dismissive of your questions?
- Are you (and your experiences and education) given the same level of consideration as is provided to other candidates? For example, do they know about your college or other educational institution, or do they grill you as if your education is lesser in some way?
And I might ask the following questions in the interview process:
- What are the stated goals of your company’s diversity and inclusion strategy? Will you share that strategy with me (or point me to it on the Internet)?
- How does the company’s overall workforce look in comparison to the labor force in the broader community?
- Have you previously hired anyone from my college?
- How does your company let employees know about promotions and other career opportunities?
- What do you imagine my career path might look like if I were to start at your company in this job?
- Will you introduce me to some of your current employees so I can learn more about what it is like to work here?