Best practices: Diverse interview panels

AboveBoard | Mar 01, 2023

Integrate inclusivity into your hiring process

To add integrity and diversity to your interview process, look no further than diverse interview panels.

Diverse interview panels are beneficial for both hiring companies and prospective employees. They are a strategic tool for assessing how a candidate interacts in a group setting or even under pressure. At the same time, they can showcase your organization's diversity and culture, offering candidates an inside look at what it could be like to join the team. 

Ahead, we'll outline diverse interview panels best practices you can implement today, including how to build a diverse interview panel, equipping them with diversity and inclusion panel questions, and interview follow-up.

Why are diverse interview panels important?

Incorporating diverse interview panels into your hiring process is a guaranteed way to bring collaboration and inclusion into the executive recruitment process. One-on-one interviews only tell us so much, and as necessary as they are, they can often be inhibited by our own unconscious biases. And while it takes some humility to acknowledge that our individual perspectives are often limited, that's the necessary next step toward inclusion. 

Choosing a diverse interview panel rounds out the interview process, providing space for professionals of different backgrounds and areas of expertise to assess a candidate's fit and qualifications. Not only can diverse interview panels add integrity to the hiring process, they can also contribute directly to diversity-oriented hiring. If one of your goals is to increase diverse representation of minority executives and other team leads, diverse interview panels can help create space for such candidates to freely share their experiences and perspectives. 

Choosing a diverse interview panel 

Ahead, we've outlined some diverse interview panels best practices that can help you make the most of this diversity strategy, including selection, implementation, and follow-up.

Incorporate diverse representation

Diverse interview panels should be, well, diverse. When considering the diversity of your interview panel, be sure to consider diversity in all its forms, including: race and ethnicity, age, education, job title, and disability, to name a few. Ideally, each individual on the diverse interview panel will come to the table with a unique vantage point that can help make the interview more inclusive and thorough.

Engage and equip the diverse interview panel 

You've put together a diverse interview panel, great. Here's where some of the real work begins. To maximize the diversity and variety of perspectives on your panel, you'll need to engage and equip them with the tools they'll need to conduct a productive and inclusive interview. Outline the goals of the interview and ensure the interview panel is on the same page about the big picture goal, the types of questions to be asked, and how to ask them. If possible, ensure each member of the diverse interview panel has either gone through an implicit bias training or can do some reading on the subject prior to the panel.

Create space for feedback

A post-interview debrief can be an excellent way to capitalize on the diversity of your interview panel. If conducted digitally, it creates an avenue for each panelist to offer their perspective and feedback on the job candidate in a judgment-free zone.

The best questions for a diversity and inclusion panel

Offering a list of diversity panel questions to each panelist can prepare them for a successful interview. Below are some examples of questions you can offer to your diverse interview panel.

Questions that focus on capability rather than experience are more inclusive, according to Harvard Business School. Capability-centered questions and prompts include:

  • Tell me about a time when you took on a leadership role, whether formally or informally. 
  • Describe an occasion when you've made a mistake. What happened, and how did you learn from it? 
  • Tell me about a recent stressful work situation you navigated. 
  • How would you handle a conflict at work? (Best to include a conflict scenario specific to your organization) 
  • Share an example of using communication skills at work.

Diversity and inclusion matters more than ever to the next generation of employees, per findings from Deloitte. To gauge the prospective job candidate's understanding and value of diversity, ask them questions like:

  • What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?
  • Tell me about a time you worked across cultures or differences in the workplace.
  • How do you collaborate with colleagues who have different perspectives on you? 
  • How do you seek to be inclusive of others?
  • How would you handle seeing or hearing discriminatory behavior in the workplace?

When crafting questions for a diversity and inclusion panel, consider each individual panelist's background, career, and strengths. Ask them what types of questions they'd like to ask the interviewee. This can help you get a well-rounded list of diversity panel discussion questions. Human resources professionals, managers, executives, and other team members all come to the table with a different perspective that can help you make the most of the interview.

Prioritize diversity alongside AboveBoard

Perhaps putting together a diverse interview panel was easy for you. Or maybe, you struggled to find a handful of employees who exhibited diversity in its different forms. Whether you're making significant strides toward a diverse and equitable workplace, or are just getting started, AboveBoard is here for you.

At AboveBoard, we seek to put diversity first in everything we do. And our two-sided executive hiring platform is designed to do just that. We connect underrepresented executives, including Black, Latinx/Hispanic, and women executives, directly to opportunities at today's leading organizations. We believe in the power of access and transparency to diversify executive leadership, one hire at a time.

Transparent access to senior leadership and executive roles.

Join today for access to career opportunities and helpful resources.


AboveBoard is an executive hiring platform that connects qualified executives with board and full-time opportunities. We are expanding access for underrepresented groups of executives—particularly Black, Latinx, and women. To join visit

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