Employees, management teams, and executives should all be held accountable for promoting a healthy workplace culture and diversity and inclusion. That’s why it’s crucial for a company to bring in talent that aligns with their workplace culture and values.
As the interviewer, it’s important to ask the interviewee diversity and inclusion interview questions that will reflect your company’s commitment to inclusiveness. The right interview questions about diversity and inclusion will give the applicant insight to your company values just as much as their answers will give insight into their character.
Types of Diversity and Inclusion Interview Questions
Personal Values Related to Diversity
- What personal values are most important to you?
- Describe what you consider an ideal work culture.
- Describe your understanding of diversity and inclusion and how it’s related to this position.
These diversity and inclusion interview questions for leaders may seem basic, but they can speak volumes. Their answers will highlight cultural beliefs and differences, and at the core, give you a better idea of your applicant’s overall motivation and goals. This can help you determine whether their values sync up with the company’s and if they would be a long-term asset. Keep in mind, what they didn’t say can be just as telling as what they did.
A diverse work community is beneficial for many reasons including increased profits, new and various viewpoints, less employee turnover, and a wider range of skills brought to the table. It’s important to make sure your team, not just those in management roles, help to cultivate a supportive atmosphere.
Connections to Others
- What are ways you feel included in your work community?
- Describe your experience with diversity and inclusion in past workplaces. How have you strived to make others feel included in your day-to-day activities?
Organizations that encourage inclusion strategies have happier employees and less employee turnover, increasing their profits overall. Ask your interviewee ways he or she likes to be included in the work community, and what ideas they have to improve overall office inclusiveness and morale. In their answers, did they talk about inclusion in just their work projects, or did they mention team lunches, company events, and coffee breaks as well?
Capabilities to Foster Inclusion
You’ll want to be sure that the candidate understands how diversity plays a role in their position at work. Their communication between team members or customers may be affected by diversity, like in customer service roles for example.
- Describe an example in your previous work experience where you have worked with diverse populations or communities?
- Describe a situation where you helped resolve an issue or conflict related to diversity and inclusion.
Teams that comprise of people who are mindful, open-minded, and who are thoughtful communicators are naturally more inclusive and promote a happier, calmer workplace. These last DEI interview questions will allow your candidate to showcase their skills working across differences.
More Diversity & Inclusion Questions
An interview is a chance for a potential employee or client to get to know you and your company, so be prepared to answer questions as well. The quality of the DEI interview questions you’re asked is a great indicator of someone’s priorities, involvement, and future goals. A candidate should be prepared by expressing their own understanding of diversity and what your company values are in alignment with that. This helps to promote a working relationship that has comfortable communication and a sense of community.
Of course, there is more to creating an inclusive environment than simply knowing how important diversity is. Actions always speak louder than words, and you want to be sure that the person you hire for the open position does not just see DEI issues as something that exists only in the abstract. You need to get a sense that the candidate is ready and willing to put his or her ideals into practice in a real, tangible way that contributes to the workplace you want to see. Some examples of diversity interview questions you could ask along these lines could include:
- Can you tell me about a time when you were an advocate for diversity and inclusion at your previous workplace?
- How would you approach advocating for a more diverse and inclusive working environment with a colleague who downplayed its importance?
- What action would you take if you witnessed a coworker exhibiting racist, sexist, homophobic or culturally insensitive behavior?
The answers a candidate gives to these DEI interview questions should provide you with some insight into how he or she will take an active role in the development of the atmosphere you want to see in the office. You want the people you hire to do more than recognize a problem — you want them to be part of the solution.
Be mindful to express authenticity and use language that attracts a variety of backgrounds and talents. Look for applicants that have experience or education that has helped them to develop their diversity skills such as training, studying abroad, or studying a second language.
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