Interview Question on Diversity and Inclusion
Kelli Newman Mason, TheMuse 325 Times 233 People

The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.

Consumers are also starting to hold companies accountable for insensitive statements and biased blunders. Companies want employees who will represent them well and demonstrate cultural competency.

With those goals and concerns in mind, interviewers are starting to ask all candidates about their thoughts on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Here’s one question and a sample answer to help you.

Q. Please Share With Us What Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mean to You and Why They’re Important.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have much broader meanings than most people assume. Employers want to know that you not only grasp the true meaning of each term, but that you also find merit in each of these concepts and share a commitment to fostering them in the workplace.

How to Answer

If you really want to score points with the interviewer, make sure you address how each term—diversity, equity, and inclusion has its own distinct definition and importance to you.

Acknowledge that diversity doesn’t just refer to race and gender, but also encompasses categories such as age, sexual orientation, religion, military service, people with disabilities, and other traits and experiences that are reflected in a company’s workforce.

Ultimately, you want to make it clear to your future employer that you not only have a clear understanding of what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean, but also that you’re a champion for those concepts.

Beyond that, your relationship to DEI is just that: yours. So don’t be afraid to find your own language to talk about how and why it’s important to you.

Your answer might sound something like this:

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion are three very important topics to me. I believe that diversity means representation across a wide range of traits, backgrounds, and experiences. When we can connect and engage with coworkers with different perspectives than our own, we can more successfully achieve our overall goals.

Inclusion refers to a sense of belonging in any environment. For a company to really achieve the benefits of diversity, it has to work to be inclusive in recruiting, hiring, retention, and promotions.

Employees in inclusive workplaces feel more comfortable sharing their unique ideas and perspectives because they can sense that their differences are genuinely respected and appreciated.

“Finally, equity is important for making sure that every employee’s voice is included in the decision-making process, that everyone feels fairly compensated for their work, and that everyone has access to the same opportunities.

It’s very important to me that everyone I work with feels safe, accepted, and valued and has an equal opportunity to grow and succeed. Together, the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion help create a workplace culture that drives the business forward.”


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