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3 diversity interview questions you should prepare

Check out our article with diversity interview questions to prepare!

As you get ready for interviews, it is important to properly prepare for both your behavioral and technical sessions. When we work with job-seekers on their interview prep, we focus on a few main tasks.

The first step is to research the company. This helps you get an understanding of their mission, values, history, and goals. Then, you can insert that information into your responses. By personalizing your answers for each company, you can ensure the interviewer sees you as a good fit.

Next, you need to practice the questions you will likely be asked. Just like with your technical interviews, spending time working through common questions will give you confidence in your sessions. Luckily, companies often ask the same or similar questions. So, you should write down responses to these questions and then personalize elements for each company. This is where your research comes in! Review our list of behavioral interview questions from top tech companies to get started.

In this article, we want to outline 3 diversity interview questions that you should prepare to answer. Now, more than ever, companies are looking to increase their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. This often means they are looking internally and externally to ensure their employees match these values. Review this short list and our suggestions for responses that you can adapt and personalize to match your experience.

3 diversity interview questions to prepare

1. What does diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you?

This question really has 2 parts. To start, they want to know how you define diversity, equity, and inclusion separately and together. But, they also want to know why it is important to you. The goal is to explain to the interviewer why you feel DEI is such a valuable part of a successful work environment and how you ensure it is part of every team, project, and task you work on.

Here is a sample answer you can adapt:

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are extremely important to me, together and on their own. When I think of diversity, I think about representation across many categories such as race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, background, invisible and visible disabilities, and truly anything else that shapes someone into the person they are. It is important because the wider our breadth of experience, as a company and team, the stronger we are. 

In order for a company to be successfully diverse, they need to be inclusive. To me, inclusion means creating a space that is safe and welcoming to all people. If you create a diverse work environment that is not inclusive, people will feel uncomfortable sharing their ideas and being themselves. Therefore, inclusion is necessary for people to feel that their perspectives and unique ideas are respected and lifted up. Inclusion needs to be present in all elements of the company, including recruiting, hiring, operations, retention, promotions, and senior leadership.

And equity ties it all together. Equity ensures that there is fairness and openness in the workplace. Each employee can make their voice heard, receive fair compensation, and access the same opportunities for personal and professional growth. I value feeling safe and accepted at work and it is important to me that every person I work with feels that way as well. When a company successfully highlights diversity, equity, and inclusion in their practices, they are the strongest that they can be.”

2. Talk about a time where you advocated for diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace.

This type of question is best answered by utilizing the STAR method:

  • S = Situation: the introduction to the response
  • T = Task/Target: this is when you describe what you were trying to accomplish
  • A = Action: what did you actually do to solve the problem?
  • R = Result: explain how you achieved your goal

Here’s an example of how to utilize the STAR method:

“At my first job out of college, I worked as a product manager at a startup. Most of the employees were white men. Our app was getting mixed results and I felt like it was because we did not have enough diversity on the team. I decided to do some research to show my team members why different perspectives created a better product. After my presentation, my manager agreed with my proposal to diversify our hiring processes and begin doing user testing with a diverse group of people. After hiring a more diverse group of designers and engineers and testing it with different audiences, we were able to increase downloads by 45% and user engagement by 50%”

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3. How would you react to a situation in which a coworker was being insensitive or inappropriate?

Interviewers ask this question because they want to see how you would respond to a situation in which action is required. It is important to show them that you would not passively let something like this happen. But, you also will not be quick to anger or respond in a way that can put yourself or others in danger.

If you have a personal story of a time when this occurred, share that story when responding to this question. Just be sure to put a positive spin on it and avoid negative language as much as possible. 

Or, if this has not happened to you in the past, you can respond like this:

“If I witnessed this situation in front of me, I would put a stop to it immediately. I have done a lot of reading and research into anti-racist and anti-bias works and I put a lot of value into being a force for good in the workplace. I would say something to the perpetrator like, “What you are saying is racist/sexist/homophobic/insensitive and it is inappropriate for the workplace. It does not reflect the values of this company and it is hurtful to those around you. Please refrain from speaking like that around the office and in general.”

And if someone told me about an incident that happened to them or near them, I would first ensure that the person is ok. I would ask them if they feel comfortable with me reporting it to HR so that it can be properly handled in accordance with the company’s policies.”

With the above diversity interview questions and templates to answer them, you should be well on your way to success in your behavioral sessions. 

Pathrise is a career accelerator that works with students and professionals 1-on-1 so they can land their dream job in tech. With these tips and guidance, we’ve seen interview scores double for our fellows in the program.

If you want to work with our mentors 1-on-1 to get help with your interviews or with any other aspect of the job search, become a Pathrise fellow.

Apply today.

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Alex MacPherson

Hi I'm Alex! Since graduating from UC Berkeley in 2019, I have worked on the growth team for Pathrise helping job seekers hone their skills to land their dream role through curated content on interview prep, resume building and more.

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