Diversity Interview Questions and Answers

diversity interview questions

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Diversity in the workplace has been a hot topic recently, and with good reason. Study after study shows the benefits of diverse teams for not only the company, but for customers and employees as well. It helps to understand a naturally diverse customer-base and creates a wider pool of ideas and innovation.

Now if you’re looking in the mirror thinking, “how do I fit into diversity?“, you may be surprised to find that diversity has a much wider definition than you may think. Beyond just race and gender, diversity also includes veterans, the LGBT+ community, distinct professional backgrounds, those with disabilities, and essentially anything that makes you unique!

Several best companies like USAA and Charles Schwab are avid supporters of a diverse workforce. So, if your differences are in high-demand, how do you show off diversity in an interview?

These diversity interview questions and answers will give you an idea of what to expect.

Measuring Candidates’ Potential for Innovation

What do you bring to the table that sets you apart?

Are you applying with a nontraditional background? Veterans, for example, enter the workforce with a much different set of skills and experience than the average civilian. How can these distinctions add value to the company and your future teams? Maybe you’re on the hunt for a customer service position and boast a colorful cultural background. Your heritage is a great advantage for understanding the diverse pool of customers that the company serves.

Describe a time when you took the initiative to present a new idea or process to leadership.

Explain the ways that you’ve leveraged your unique identifiers to challenge the norm. Did you increase value by taking a different spin on existing processes in place for a past position? Perhaps you’ve gone out of your way to better serve a customer with knowledge distinct to your diverse background.

How would you work to create an environment that is welcoming, inclusive and increasingly diverse?

Think about specific situations in which you’ve worked together with people of different values and backgrounds than your own. Then, explain how you were able to encourage those team members to feel included. Even if you haven’t been in a leadership position, you may have had experience in your personal life or with coworkers.

Assessing Candidates’ Ability to Thrive in a Diverse Environment

Describe a situation in which you had to work within a culture different than your own.

Culture doesn’t necessarily have to tie into ethnic background. Working in a company culture with values different than your own or serving time in the military expose you to a new way of doing things. As a result, you can express how you learned to adapt and shared your own background with others.

Has there been a time when working with people of diverse backgrounds brought increased value to your work?

Describe how diversity has brought value to your professional career. Then, break it down to explain what specifically about diversity contributed value. Did this experience teach you anything about the value of diversity as a whole?

Teamwork is a key to leveraging diversity. Explain how you work effectively in a team.

Interview questions almost always have some mention to ability to work in a team setting. Diversity of thought naturally comes into play with a group of individuals. Describe your experiences working with others. How do you work around common issues, such as disagreement, group think, or leadership that doesn’t encourage a devil’s advocate?

If you’re interviewing at a company that outwardly encourages and seeks out diversity, then these diversity interview questions and answers will help you shine! Check out these best companies for diversity and inclusion to find a workplace that embraces what makes you unique.

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