To ensure your workplace is diverse and inclusive, you must create a positive working environment. It includes knowing the types of questions you can ask in an interview for diversity and inclusion.
Remember that DEI is essential for everyone, including employers and employees. It’s also important to remember that not all people will feel comfortable talking about their experiences with diversity and inclusion. So, it’s best to ask open-ended questions like “What do you think makes a good work environment?” or “How would you describe yourself as a leader?”
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When going for an interview, the chances are that you will get questions relating to diversity and inclusion. This article will provide you with some great examples of these kinds of questions. You may even find that the interviewer asks you one of these questions during the interview itself!
Diversity and Inclusion Interview Questions and Answers
Here you can find a comprehensive list of the most common interview questions. If you want to master diversity and inclusion, you can also check out our diversity and inclusion course.
1. What Do You Know About Diversity?
This question aims at finding out what kind of person you are. It would be best if you answered it with confidence and enthusiasm. If you don’t know this topic, you might want to research online before answering. However, if you’re confident enough in your answers, there shouldn’t be any problem.
You could say something like: “Well, I’ve always been interested in learning more about different cultures and ethnicities. I’m fascinated by other people and their backgrounds.” Or maybe you could say: “I am very passionate about diversity because it helps us understand each other better. We learn from each other and become stronger when we embrace our differences.”
Use words like “culture” and “ethnicity” to leave a knowledgeable and enthusiastic impression.
2. How Does Diversity Affect Your Organization?
This question aims to see whether or not you have researched the topic at hand. The interviewer wants to know if you have done your homework and if you are familiar with the concept of diversity and inclusion.
You will get nervous and stumble over your words if you haven’t researched the topic. Do your best to talk about the benefits of having a diverse workforce. For example, you could mention that having diverse team members means having access to new ideas and perspectives that help you improve your product.
3. Why is Diversity Important to Your Company?
This question is similar to the previous one as it aims to figure out why you think diversity has such an important value. The difference is that instead of looking at the benefits, you’ll focus on why diversity is essential to your company.
Again, if you haven’t researched the subject matter, you might end up saying something vague such as: “We believe that diversity brings strength to organizations and companies.” But, if you have done your research, you could say something more specific like: “Our customers demand diversity. They expect products that reflect the world around them. Our customers demand quality products made by people who care about their job. Diversity is crucial to our business.”
4. What Can You Tell Me About Diversity and Inclusion in Your Current Workplace?
This question aims to determine how well prepared you are for working in a diverse setting. Focusing on your own experience shows that you are aware of diversity and inclusion issues.
It’s best to start by talking about yourself. Talk about things you’ve learned during your time in school or work. Then, move on to discussing the topics mentioned above. It will allow you to explain how diversity has affected your life.
5. Tell Me When You Experienced Discrimination Due to Your Race/Gender/Sexual Orientation/Disability.
This question tests your ability to handle difficult situations. It also tests your ability to deal with conflict, especially when dealing with someone else’s prejudice.
Start by describing what happened first. Ask the person to elaborate if you’re uncomfortable talking about the issue.
6. Describe How You Would Go About Addressing Discrimination in Your Workplace.
This question is about your ability to lead others and make decisions. You need to demonstrate that you know how to deal with difficult situations and take charge of a team. Also, it entails entertaining and bringing diverse perspectives to the business.
Talk about your past experiences and how you dealt with discrimination. Then, describe how you’d address it in your workplace. Be sure to include examples from your personal life.
7. How Do You Feel about Diversity?
This question will gauge how open-minded you are to different cultures and lifestyles. It is a tricky question because there isn’t a correct answer. However, this question is perfect if you don’t mind giving an opinionated response.
Even so, take caution before answering. Don’t just talk about how much you love diversity. Instead, try to discuss why you think diversity is essential.
There are many ways to answer this question. You can state that you think diversity is excellent. Or, you can discuss the importance of diversity in your country. You can even talk about some of the problems associated with variety. Generally, avoid answering questions like this one unless the interviewer asks you.
Always remember that the interviewer wants to hear your honest opinions. So, try not to lie! Also, try as much as possible to keep your answers brief. Don’t ramble. And, most importantly, don’t get defensive.
8. Why Should I Care about Diversity?
It is another trick question! Be careful not to say anything negative about other people. For example, if you have a friend who doesn’t want to hire women, don’t tell him he shouldn’t care about diversity.
There’s no correct answer here. You may not even know why you should care about diversity. So, don’t worry too much about giving a convincing explanation. Just state that you support variety because it is vital for the workplace culture.
State that you support diversity because it makes everyone better. You can give examples of how variety has benefited you or your family—both in business and private life.
9. What is Your Definition of Diversity?
This question will help determine whether you understand the concept of diversity. It will also show whether you have any misconceptions about it and the financial benefits companies reap.
It’s best to stick to the basics. You should explain that diversity means having differences and having as many diverse networks as possible. It includes coping with racial and ethnic diversity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, etc.
To answer this question, you’ll first need to define what diversity means. Next, you need to explain why diversity is essential. Finally, it would be best to discuss how you’ve experienced diversity in your own life.
10. Describe a Time When You Felt Uncomfortable Due to Someone Else’s Race, Culture, Religious Beliefs, Political Views, or Physical Characteristics.
This question tests your ability to deal with difficult situations. If you can’t handle these kinds of problems, then you won’t make a good manager.
The key is to pick something that happened recently. Focus on the person who made you feel uncomfortable rather than the situation itself.
If you have experienced overcoming discomfort, you know how to handle the situation. But, if you didn’t, you might want to rethink your career choice. Therefore, when answering this question, focus on the person who caused the problem.
11. Describe a Situation Where You Faced Discrimination Based on Your Race, Religion, National Origin, Sex, or Disability. How Did You React?
This question tests your ability to deal with discrimination. The interviewer is trying to see if you would stand up for yourself or take the abuse.
Try to find an incident from your past that involved discrimination. Then, describe how you reacted. Did you stand up for yourself? Were you afraid to speak out? Was there nothing you could do?
It would help if you emphasized that you stood up for yourself. However, you can still mention that you were afraid to speak out.
12. Tell Me When You Had to Work With a Group of Employees Who Did Not Share Your Cultural Background. How Did You Manage the Situation?
It’s asking you to discuss a situation or mention the most challenging aspects in your previous position or when you worked with people different from you.
Again, try to think of an incident from your past. Then, describe how it affected you. Did you get along? Why or why not? Did it have positive business outcomes?
There are two ways to answer this question. First, you can tell the interviewer about a specific experience that demonstrates cultural competency and maturity. Second, you can describe a general rule. For example, you may say, “I usually avoid working with people who don’t share my cultural background.”
13. Explain How You Plan to Address Issues Related to Diversity Within Your Organization.
This question is similar to the 11 above. It asks how you will promote diversity within your company’s human resources team, including how you assign management and leadership roles.
To answer this question, you need to give concrete examples of how you will help your company become more diverse starting from the hiring process, which should include diversity, equity, and inclusion. It also requires you to explain how you will create an inclusive environment. For example, you can say, “We have a program called ‘Women in Leadership.’ We offer classes on women’s history and leadership skills.” We offer training that delivers a welcoming and supportive environment.
Proper diversity, equity, and inclusion management is essential in any workplace. Since interviews with existing employees and during the hiring process can be sensitive, you must ask the right interview questions. Equally as important is that you ask them in the right way.
After you wrap up the interview, it’s good to assess yourself. Did you interview in the right way? What can you do to make it better?
Keep learning, keep growing, and best of luck.
If you are looking for how to increase diversity and inclusion inside your office, we recommend taking our Diversity & Inclusion Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, manage employees, and respond to any issues between employees and the leadership.