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Tips (for candidates) in preparation for the interview (13-15)

Yes, we're nearing the end of our series. And yes, we still have some advice for you and helpful tips for your interview preparation from our Gender Equity Advocates. Their collected wisdom this week gets into the thornier stuff, with harder questions and contemplating readiness to talk about issues of diversity, inclusion, belonging and of course, equity.

13. Prepare for some of the tricky questions. Many interviews include tricky questions that are not exactly biased, but that don’t necessarily help to deepen an employer’s knowledge about how you work. They go beyond “tell me more about yourself” into probing your flaws. These questions might include “what is an area of weakness you might bring to your work” (or the better version, “what might be an area in which you want to grow”) all the way to “what would your previous coworkers say about you?” So many interviews include questions like these, even those that are using a standard set of questions and an equitable score cards model to document and evaluate their process. Consider how you might want to respond to these trickier questions. Remember that it is perfectly acceptable to say “this is a great question. Thank you for asking” as you buy yourself some time to take a deep breath and think about a response.

14. Only share or send materials that are requested. Employers will often ask prospective employees to share writing samples or other content throughout a process. Share exactly what they request–and only that. Don’t feel the need to share more, or more than one of what they request. By sending extra, you add to their workload, and invite them to consider that you might not know which one is best to send. Send the single item that you think exemplifies your best work, and let them know. Don't send extra stuff that they might not look at anyway. If you’re asked to do specific work-related assignments, we encourage you to think about how that fits into your–and the organization’s–approach to equity, as well: these tasks should always be compensated, and should appreciate your time and the balance of power that these tasks represent.

15. Be ready to talk about DEIJB. Many, if not most, non profit and mission-driven organizations are engaged in challenging conversations about equity, diversity, inclusion, justice and belonging in the workplace. And if they’re not, they should be–and they are likely aware of the need. Your prospective employer may want to hear you referencing issues linked to DEIJB in your interview, and even in your cover letter or communication, perhaps not overtly, but in ways that are aligned with organizational values and in ways that highlights the core areas of work outlined in the job posting. Your prospective employer will want to know that you are familiar with these core themes, that you take them seriously, and that you both walk the walk and talk the talk in your personal and professional life. Consider how you might make your commitment to these values clear. Do you want to make mention of particular language or ask questions about programs and projects that might align with your personal and professional DEIJB goals? If this organization is part of the Jewish communal orbit, you may want to ask if they are members of the Safety Respect Equity Network, a Jewish network of over 160 organizations that is rooted in a shared commitment to these values for all, both employees and constituents, inspiring meaningful change in workplaces and communal spaces by bringing people together to address gender-based harassment, discrimination, and inequity.

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