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You can expect a diversity question when applying to an organization with a diverse workforce. The best answer typically centers on sharing specific experiences you've had servicing a range of different people or interacting with a diverse population.
Point of Diversity Questions
Companies ask diversity questions to ensure that you fit well with the work culture. Businesses that cater to a diverse population need employees who are comfortable interacting with different types of people.
Teachers commonly hear interviewers say, "Give an example of a time you have worked effectively with a diverse population." For someone transitioning from the corporate world to teaching, a good answer is, "My current company was recently given a diversity award by the city council. I've had a great chance to experience the financial and cultural benefits of valuing differences among people."
Enhancing Your Answer
Some people avoid addressing diversity directly. This approach is not wise, says Nicole Matos, associate professor of English at the College of DuPage. Hiring managers often prefer that you give specific examples and convey clear understanding of diversity rather than dodge a sincere response.
An example of a specific answer is, "I deal with a diverse population in my current role as a special education aide. Not only do I work effectively with clients from many ethnic and cultural backgrounds, but our clients also have very different family backgrounds and life situations."
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.