The topic of diversity is everywhere nowadays, and the workplace is no different. Depending on your workplace environment and the specific job that you are planning on going into, you may be asked questions on diversity in an effort to gauge your ability to work with different kinds of people, techniques, processes, and more. How do you prepare? Here are 10 interview questions and answers on diversity.
1. Do you have any experience with diversity in this field?
As always, be honest. The hiring manager wants to know what background you have with dealing and interacting with diversity. If you don’t have the experience, be honest about it, and use a real world example to show that you have dealt with diversity in some capacity.
2. What do you think the most challenging aspect of working in a diverse working environment is?
Once again be honest. Tell the hiring manager what you think the most challenging issue will be; do not lie. However, whichever aspect you answer with, be sure to follow-up by saying how you would overcome this challenge. Show that even though this will be a challenge, you know the steps to take to overcome it.
3. Have you ever had to handle a situation when one colleague was not accepting of another’s diversity? How did you do this?
Storytelling time! Tell the story of a time that this has happened. Speak of how you addressed the issue, and worked with all parties involved to solve the problem. If you do not have this experience, once again say this to the hiring manager, and instead tell a story of another applicable real world experience.
4. Can you give us an example of a time when you worked with or helped somebody of a different culture/background of your own?
Storytelling time once again! The same as above applies here. Talk about the situation that occurred, who was involved and why, how you stepped up to help out, how everyone responded to this, and what the final result was.
5. What strategies have you used to respond to diversity challenges?
Is communication your go to response? Talk about this. Have another way to solve these issues? Talk about that then. Just be sure to talk about the positives and the negatives of using these strategies.
6. Was there a diversity value at your past employer? If so, did you make an impact on this?
Talk about the policies at any of your former employers, even if you only have part time experiences. Furthermore be sure to talk about how you made an impact on this, even if it was in a small way.
7. What is your definition of diversity?
Consultant Claire Brown defines diversity simply as “the ways people differ and qualities of being unique at both an individual and group level.” Short, sweet, and to the point. Feel free to add to this definition as well.
8. How has diversity played a part in your career?
“It turned me into who I am today!’ Cliché, but true. Talk about how your past has shaped you, and how all the examples you spoke of above taught you different life lessons that you carry on with you into every job.
9. What is the most common mistake in an organization’s thinking about diversity?
Once again consultant Claire Brown provides us with a great answer.” The most common mistake I see is when an organization says they value diversity and have it written in their policies, but the organization does not reflect that in its actions. Leaders need to walk the talk. There needs to be congruency in what they do, what they say and what their policies say.”
10. Talk about a time that you had to alter your work style to meet a diversity need.
Our work styles change and adjust based on our environment, that’s just natural. Acknowledge this, and then it’s storytelling time again!