Inclusive Interviewing at BT

BT has a strong commitment to ensuring a diverse and inclusive workforce and has made significant progress, building up a wealth of experience in this area.

Several teams in BT’s Enterprise division were due to carry out large amounts of interviewing. They saw an opportunity to upskill hiring managers and HR Business Partners to apply a D&I lens to their interviewing practice, ensuring it supported BT’s commitment to attracting and hiring the best candidates from the widest possible pool of talent. They engaged Pearn Kandola to provide a solution to make their interviews as bias-free and inclusive as possible.


We designed an Inclusive Interviewing training programme to equip the hiring managers and HR business partners at BT with the skills to identify the best talent. The solution focused on two elements:

  1. Understanding barriers to inclusion: The first element was to look at the behavioural science behind unconscious bias so as to better understand how the brain works and how, unchecked, it doesn’t always lead to the best hiring decisions
  2. Understanding the techniques that drive inclusive interviewing: The second element was sharing and discussing specific approaches to maximising fair and inclusive interviewing. These approaches all centre on the psychology of minimising ‘System 1’ thinking and maximising deliberate and objective ‘System 2’ thinking.
  3. Practice: The third element was to apply these tools in practice interview sessions, getting immediate peer feedback that embedded key learning points and further developed their skills.

The Inclusive Interviewing sessions were well received by participants who valued the combination of both theory and practice. The feedback from this program was outstanding:

  • 95% of participants said they clearly learnt new approaches and insights in the key skills of interviewing.
  • 79% of participants said they clearly understood their strengths and development areas in applying the key skills of interviewing.
  • 84% of participants said they clearly gained new approaches and insights into the tools they can use to minimize unconscious bias in assessments.
  • 100% of participants said they either mostly or clearly learnt new insights in all areas of inclusive interviewing.

Other sessions received the following feedback from participants:

“Great session. Really worked well to challenge many of assumptions. Great course design, will go away and read further. Very inspiring.”

“Excellent course and a really excellent instructor.. Thanks a lot one of the best courses I have done for a while”

“Very good and a great refresh both on unbiased interviewing but on getting the best out of the candidate. Would highly recommend.”

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