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Interview questions

Diversity and Inclusion Officer

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What has been your journey so far?

Why did you choose to become a Diversity and Inclusion Officer?

Behavioral Questions

  • Could you describe one of the toughest challenges you’ve faced at work?
    • Strong candidates will show resilience and perseverance when facing a challenge. Bonus points for passion and a sense of pride when delivering results.
  • Tell me about how you would reassure our team members that they can come to you if they face any unfair treatment.
    • Part of the candidate’s job is to create a safe space for everyone in the organisation. Find out how they would approach creating such an environment.
  • Tell us about a time when you took clear, deliberate steps to ensure that everyone on your team/in your organisation felt included.
    • The candidate should be able to describe the situation, list the actions they took, and what the result was.

Soft Skills

  • Are you comfortable explaining your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies in an easy-to-understand way to large groups or senior management?
    • Presentation skills are important for the role, as they will have to convince management to give go-aheads and explain campaign results.
  • How do you stay up to date with new processes and policies in your field?
    • An important question, a good candidate should be passionate and proactive enough to stay aware of any changes in the discourse (and related policies and processes). For example, is the preferred initialism right now LGBT, LGBTQIA, or rather LGBTQ+?
  • How would you teach a colleague about diversity, equity, and inclusion when they clearly think it is a waste of their time?
    • This will give you a sense of their communication skills, teaching techniques, and how they will try to keep people engaged.

Hard Skills

  • Do you have any relevant certifications?
    • In order to provide professional training on DEI, the candidate potentially needs to have completed certain classes.
  • Can you explain the difference between equality and equity?
    • These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. Your candidate should be able to easily explain this difference.
  • What is your definition of diversity?
    • Again, a question of basic yet important terminology. Find out what diversity means for the candidate.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • How would you try to make a boring subject more engaging and interesting?
    • Good candidates will be able to come up with creative solutions in a short time frame, as well as being able to communicate complex issues in an easy-to-understand fashion. 
  • A female employee shares a story of being harassed at work by her direct manager. She asks you to keep it to yourself because she’s too afraid the manager will fire her. What do you do?
    • This poses a tricky situation. On the one hand, the candidate should respect the employee’s decision not to pursue further steps. On the other hand, it’s hard to knowingly have a harassing manager in the company and not do anything about it. Find out how the candidate handles such a situation.
  • Imagine you are faced with strong opposition from one of your colleagues. How do you handle the situation?
    • Not everyone is equally eager to implement DEI practices. For example, some might find it too exaggerated or unnecessary. Find out how the candidate would deal with a similar situation.

Best interview questions for a Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Diversity and Inclusion Officer interview questions

Diversity and Inclusion Officers are responsible for owning a company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy, including all related policies and processes. Depending on the company’s size, they may also manage a team of Diversity and Inclusion Managers.

They should be:

  • Incredibly empathetic, open, and values-driven as they should “practice what they preach”
  • Strong communicators, both verbally and in writing, with the ability to present DEI topics in an easily understandable manner
  • Organised and structured as they have to create, implement, and oversee the DEI strategy for the entire organisation

Interviewing a Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Are you searching for an excellent Diversity and Inclusion Officer? Then it will soon be time to get to know the candidates a little better in an interview. With our Diversity and Inclusion Officer interview questions, your interview is prepared quickly and easily.

Please note:
Our interview questions are suggestions for the earlier stages of the interview process and for candidates with average work experience. They are therefore a little more general.

How to open the job interview

Interviews can be scary, regardless of the level of experience or how good someone is at communicating. And once a candidate is nervous, the answers they provide might not be as good as their actual knowledge and skill.

That’s why we always advise you to start your interview with a few easy opening questions. These should be general and easy to answer, allowing the candidate to settle into the interview.

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What has been your journey so far?

Why did you choose to become a Diversity and Inclusion Officer?

Behavioral Questions

  • Could you describe one of the toughest challenges you’ve faced at work?
    • Strong candidates will show resilience and perseverance when facing a challenge. Bonus points for passion and a sense of pride when delivering results.
  • Tell me about how you would reassure our team members that they can come to you if they face any unfair treatment.
    • Part of the candidate’s job is to create a safe space for everyone in the organisation. Find out how they would approach creating such an environment.
  • Tell us about a time when you took clear, deliberate steps to ensure that everyone on your team/in your organisation felt included.
    • The candidate should be able to describe the situation, list the actions they took, and what the result was.

Soft Skills

  • Are you comfortable explaining your diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies in an easy-to-understand way to large groups or senior management?
    • Presentation skills are important for the role, as they will have to convince management to give go-aheads and explain campaign results.
  • How do you stay up to date with new processes and policies in your field?
    • An important question, a good candidate should be passionate and proactive enough to stay aware of any changes in the discourse (and related policies and processes). For example, is the preferred initialism right now LGBT, LGBTQIA, or rather LGBTQ+?
  • How would you teach a colleague about diversity, equity, and inclusion when they clearly think it is a waste of their time?
    • This will give you a sense of their communication skills, teaching techniques, and how they will try to keep people engaged.

Hard Skills

  • Do you have any relevant certifications?
    • In order to provide professional training on DEI, the candidate potentially needs to have completed certain classes.
  • Can you explain the difference between equality and equity?
    • These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they don’t mean the same thing. Your candidate should be able to easily explain this difference.
  • What is your definition of diversity?
    • Again, a question of basic yet important terminology. Find out what diversity means for the candidate.

Operational / Situational Questions

  • How would you try to make a boring subject more engaging and interesting?
    • Good candidates will be able to come up with creative solutions in a short time frame, as well as being able to communicate complex issues in an easy-to-understand fashion. 
  • A female employee shares a story of being harassed at work by her direct manager. She asks you to keep it to yourself because she’s too afraid the manager will fire her. What do you do?
    • This poses a tricky situation. On the one hand, the candidate should respect the employee’s decision not to pursue further steps. On the other hand, it’s hard to knowingly have a harassing manager in the company and not do anything about it. Find out how the candidate handles such a situation.
  • Imagine you are faced with strong opposition from one of your colleagues. How do you handle the situation?
    • Not everyone is equally eager to implement DEI practices. For example, some might find it too exaggerated or unnecessary. Find out how the candidate would deal with a similar situation.

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