The importance of building a diverse workforce is widely reported: enhanced creativity, innovation, positive employer branding, and increased productivity, to name a few. So, more and more employers are thinking about adding diversity questions to their interview processes.

As colleagues, customers, and businesses recognize the benefits of fostering DEI, it’s important to hire employees who know it well. To succeed at this step, ask the right diversity interview questions.

Interview in progress (Diversity questions blog)

Source: Photo by Mapbox on Unsplash

In this article, we’ll list 30 diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging questions to ask. We’ll explain the importance of those questions and the kind of answers to expect from your candidate.

Let’s dive in.

Inclusion Interviews with Diversity Questions

Assessing your potential candidates’ knowledge of DEI goes beyond asking, “Do you value diversity and inclusion?”.

It requires careful questioning that helps you delve deeper into your potential candidates’ experiences, commitment, and understanding of DEI principles.

Here are 30 diversity and inclusion interview questions to ask:

1. “How do you foster diversity and inclusion in the workplace?”

This question aims to find out how candidates work to make their workplace more diverse and inclusive. So, the answer can tell you if they understand why diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important and what specific actions they take to support it.

Response assessment criteria

The answer to this question should include the specific initiatives the candidate takes to build an inclusive environment. 

For example, initiatives such as:

  • Promoting open communication
  • Participating in diversity programs
  • And encouraging collaboration among employees of all backgrounds. 

Plus, the candidates could also explain steps they take to address their own unconscious bias.

2. “What approaches do you use to understand the perspectives of employees from different backgrounds?”

This question about diversity helps you know how the candidate works to make everyone feel included and ensures everyone’s voice is heard. So, as a recruiter, you want to hear what actions applicants are ready to take to make sure no one feels left out at work.

Response assessment criteria:

When assessing the applicant’s answers, consider:

  • Candidates who prioritize open communication and active listening to encourage colleagues to share their points without fear.
  • Candidates who talk about creating employee resource groups to create a safe space for everyone to share their experiences.

Plus, consider applicants who will talk about the use of team-building activities to help employees from different backgrounds bond well together.

3. “How do you advocate for DEI within your organization?”

The main idea is to ask the candidate about their previous job and have them talk about what they did there. So, make sure to ask about real situations where they worked on making things fair for everyone, and how it made a difference in that company.

Response assessment criteria

A good answer could be a story where the candidate saw a fairness problem and figured out ways to fix it. So, for instance, they might tell a story about how they worked to make hiring fair for everyone and also set up programs to help groups that aren’t represented as much.

4. “How do you respond to discrimination, harassment, or bias based on identity?”

This question wants to know if the candidate can handle problems like bullying, unfairness, and treating people badly at work. So, it helps to see how they deal with these issues and what steps they take to fix them.

Response assessment criteria

The person applying for the job could talk about how they handle fairness issues. So, for instance, they might say they admit when something wrong happened and show they support the person who was affected.

They might also emphasize the steps they take to create an inclusive workplace culture that minimizes discrimination issues.

5. “Could you share your strategies for handling disagreements and conflicts arising as a result of diversity issues?”

In any workplace, people might not agree on fairness rules. So, knowing how to handle these disagreements is important for making a workplace where everyone feels included. This question also checks if the person can solve problems and disagreements about fairness at work.

Response assessment criteria

A good answer might talk about how the person would deal with a disagreement. So, figuring out what’s wrong and saying they know it’s a problem. Also, it includes listening to what everyone thinks and helping them talk to find a solution.

6. “What approaches would you use to spread the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion to colleagues who aren’t aware of its importance?”

This question wants to see if the person can teach and make sure everyone knows about fairness at work. So, for instance, you might ask them to explain what they do to help others understand fairness, and how it makes a difference in the workplace.

Response assessment criteria:

A good answer might include the different approaches the candidate is familiar with. For example, organizing DEI training programs, providing diversity workshops, and sharing the benefits of diverse teams.

7. “What is the challenging part of working in a diverse environment?”

Having a workplace where everyone feels included is good. But it can also be tough because people from different backgrounds might not understand each other’s cultures.

Therefore, asking this question doesn’t only test a candidate’s problem-solving skills. It also offers room for knowing how respectful the applicants are in accepting opposing views.

Response assessment criteria:

This diversity interview question might make candidates feel awkward initially because they didn’t expect it. This is normal.

When the candidates answer, check how they will resolve the problem. So, are they outlining the process for solving the issue? Or do they sound defensive and point fingers?

Also, check if the person talks positively. So, even if there are problems, it’s good if they still think having people from different backgrounds is good for a company.

8. “How do you measure the success of your diversity efforts?”

The success of diversity efforts doesn’t depend on setting goals. It also depends on continuous measurement of diversity and inclusion metrics to know the areas that require improvements. 

This question helps you see if candidates just try to make things fair without thinking, or if they use data to make their efforts to improve fairness better.

Response assessment criteria:

Find candidates who can explain in detail how they keep track of things like hiring, having a diverse group of people, promoting employees, and making sure employees are happy. They should also explain the steps they take to measure each thing.

For example, if they’re measuring the retention metric, what factors do they consider?

9. “How do you stay informed about inclusion and diversity issues best practices?”

This question helps you know if the person really cares about fairness and including everyone. Plus, you’ll see how they learn more about treating everyone fairly.

Response assessment criteria:

Find candidates who keep up with fairness issues by reading about them, going to meetings, and joining training programs. Also, look for people who take quick classes to learn more about fairness.

10. “How do you ensure your decisions are unbiased and fair?”

As a hiring manager, you want to know if the applicant you want to employ has experience with decision-making. Since you’re hiring a leader who will work with your diverse team, the applicant needs to make decisions that are fair to all the employees. 

Response assessment criteria:

A good answer to this question can explain how the person has made fair decisions in their past jobs. So, for instance, they might talk about asking people for their thoughts, using information, and following the rules to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

11. “What strategies would you implement to ensure your organization doesn’t recruit with bias?”

Recruiting with fairness is the foundation of building an inclusive organization. This question can help you understand how the candidate gets committed to a fair and inclusive hiring process. 

Response assessment criteria:

Look out for candidates who can share two or three inclusive recruitment practices aimed at reducing hiring bias. For example, they could talk about:

Moreover, they should share the measures they would implement to ensure the candidates feel comfortable in the company.

12. “In your opinion, what is a major mistake organizations make concerning diversity and inclusion?”

This question about diversity in interviews can show if the person will be a good leader by explaining where companies make mistakes with fairness. So, it helps to see how they can use what they’ve learned to make fairness better at your company.

Response assessment criteria

The applicants might talk about mistakes they’ve seen, like not checking if things are getting better, not having goals, and making goals just to have them. So, they could also say what they’d do to avoid these mistakes.

13. “What practices have you taken to encourage your leadership team to invest in DEI initiatives?”

Diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts work well when the top leaders in the organization support them. So, this question checks if the person can make reports that can convince the leadership team to give support and resources for these efforts.

Response assessment criteria:

The response should have real examples of things the candidates would do. So, for example, using information to back up what they say to the leaders and showing how fairness efforts can make the business do well. Also, it should include setting goals for these efforts that can be reached.

14. “Describe how you would approach a situation where you have to discuss a difficult topic such as sexual orientation, race, and religion in the workplace”.

Talking about tough things at work and knowing how to respond is important for making a workplace where everyone feels included. So, this question checks if the person can talk about sensitive topics with coworkers.

Response assessment criteria

A thoughtful response could include the candidate’s ability to create a safe space for open dialogue. The candidate should describe the steps they would take to make all employees of different backgrounds feel welcome.

15. “Can you share a period when diversity benefited your organization or team?”

This question in the interview about diversity is a chance for the person to give examples or stories about how their efforts for fairness made a difference in their last job. They should also talk about how they worked together with others to get good results.

Response assessment criteria:

Look for candidates who can share one or more examples that show how diversity made a positive and noticeable impact. For example, they can share how revising their hiring strategies improved their diversity hires by 30%.

16. “As a DEI manager, can you share examples of making your direct reports feel inclusive within your team?”

A leader who cares about fairness makes the company a good place to work and makes more people want to work there, both now and in the future.

This question evaluates how the candidate welcomes employees with different cultures into their teams.

Response assessment criteria:

See if the person does things to make everyone in their group feel like they belong. For instance, do they talk to everyone and ask what they think before making a decision?

Finally, the candidates should share the impacts their teams have had on the organization to make everyone feel included.

17. “How would you handle a situation where a colleague said racist, homophobic, and sexist statements?”

This question about diversity helps you find out how much the person will join in on making the workplace welcoming for everyone. For instance, would they ignore mean comments about someone’s gender, sexual orientation, or race from a coworker? Or would they do something about it?

Or will they condemn the behavior and take the necessary action?

Response assessment criteria:

In the interview, check how much the person talks about the need to act right away. For instance, would they step in quickly if there’s a problem? And what would they do to fix it?

18. “What steps would you take if you noticed a high drop in the number of employees of color in our organization?”

This question in the interview about diversity helps you know how a person would deal with a tough situation at work. It also helps see if they can come up with creative solutions to problems.

Response assessment criteria:

The candidate should first explain the steps they would take to understand why the number of employees of color is low. And the strategies they would come up with to solve the problem.

For example, the strategies could include conducting interviews and surveys with former and current employees of color to understand the problem.

19. “When is it appropriate to implement affirmative action policies in the workplace?”

Affirmative action policies are an essential tool for promoting diversity and inclusion in an organization. When used correctly, they can help build a level playing field for all your employees regardless of their religion, gender, race, or other protected characteristics.

For example, suppose there’s evidence that your organization has consistently recruited more white male employees than any other group.

 In that case, it’s important to implement affirmative action policies to ensure all your potential candidates get equal opportunity.

Response assessment criteria:

Look out for candidates who first know what affirmative action policies are. The applicants should also manage to answer when it is appropriate to use these policies.

Moreover, listen to the examples of strategies they say they would use, for example providing mentorship programs to underrepresented employees, creating targeted recruitment strategies, and providing special training opportunities.

20. “What strategies would you implement to help your organization reach underrepresented communities?”

This question in the interview about diversity helps the person hiring understand how the candidate thinks about fairness and including everyone. So, it helps to see if the candidate has experience in making more people aware of a company’s services or products in communities that don’t have as many opportunities.

Response assessment criteria:

The answers to this question should include the specific initiatives and actions the candidate has taken to reach underrepresented communities. 

The candidates should outline how they would work with the leadership team to create an inclusive environment where all employees feel valued.

Moreover, they should outline how they would implement digital marketing strategies such as targeted advertising, and social media campaigns to reach out to people in underrepresented areas.

21. “How often do you think organizations should update their diversity, equity, and inclusion policies?”

Updating your organization’s diversity policies ensures you’re keeping up with the current trends in the DEI world. Moreover, it ensures you’re providing your employees with the tools they require.

This diversity question can help you understand if the candidate understands the importance of updating diversity policies and the steps to follow.

Response assessment criteria:

The candidates can use examples from their previous experiences to explain why they think it’s important for organizations to review their diversity and inclusion policies. 

For example, they can state how they experienced enhanced employee morale from minority employees once they started updating their DEI policies.

Additionally, they can outline the steps they take in updating the policies. For example, do they conduct focus groups and period surveys to get feedback from their employees about how they can improve the company’s diversity efforts?

22. “Let’s say there’s a high lack of diversity in our organization. What steps would you take to change this?”

This diversity interview question offers a good way to evaluate a candidate’s problem-solving skills and their ability to work with colleagues.

Response assessment criteria:

Consider the below elements when evaluating the candidate’s responses:

  • Creating an inclusive strategy: The candidates should talk about how they can make a plan to make things fair. So, they can mention things like changing how they hire people, making training about fairness, and creating groups for employees to help each other.
  • Addressing barriers and unconscious bias: A good candidate should describe the steps they would undertake to reduce bias in the company.

Moreover, they should talk about the metrics they would measure to ensure their plans are working.

23. “Share with us your experience in managing diversity and inclusion programs budgets?”

The organization gives money to fairness efforts to make sure they work well. So, this question in the interview about diversity helps you see if the person has experience managing money and budgets.

Response assessment criteria:

The candidates should show how they can handle money and decide where to spend it. They can talk about their experience and give examples of how they decide how much money each fairness effort should get.

24. “What kind of challenges do you anticipate once we offer you this role?”

Every new role has challenges. This question can help you understand the candidate’s ability to anticipate challenges and how they develop strategies for overcoming them.

Response assessment criteria:

Firstly, the candidate should acknowledge that there will be challenges. They should also list three or four challenges and outline how they would approach them. 

For example, they can talk about the challenge of creating an inclusive culture that values all colleagues regardless of their background. After that, they can outline the procedures they would take to ensure everyone feels welcomed.

25. “What processes or steps do you take to ensure your organization’s diversity goals succeed?”

This question helps you know how the person plans and organizes their work. It gives you an idea of the steps they take and examples of how those steps worked well in their past jobs.

Response assessment criteria:

Look out for the processes that the candidates will mention. Some of the processes can include:

  • Creating clear expectations and objectives on how to achieve diversity goals.
  • Implementing the strategies to promote diversity and inclusion in retention, career development, and recruitment.
  • Assessing the steps to identify areas for improvement.

And educating employees on the importance of diversity and inclusion.

26. “Have you implemented a successful employee resource group before?”

Employee resource groups are an important initiative that supports an organization’s commitment to diversity. Asking this diversity interview question will help you know the experience the candidates have with that type of project. 

You’ll also get to know the steps they take to build the employee resource groups.

Response assessment criteria:

A good answer would be a candidate explaining why they created an employee resource group. Moreover, they should outline the impact it had on their organization’s diversity efforts. 

Moreover, they can mention the number of times they held meetings, the topics they discussed, and the success they achieved.

27. “How do you ensure your communication style is inclusive and respectful towards different employees in your organization?”

Effective communication in an organization’s meetings is the foundation of a harmonious work environment. So, this question aims to evaluate the candidates’s ability to use a communication style that ensures all employees feel understood and valued.

Response assessment criteria:

Listen to how the candidate shows their approach to inclusive communication, such as avoiding jargon or slang, using clear language, and considering cultural sensitivity.

Other approaches include validating other’s perspectives, active listening with empathy, and openness to feedback.

28. “During your first day here, which tasks will you tackle?”

There’s no perfect answer for this but rather an opportunity for the candidates to showcase their priorities and personality.

Response assessment criteria:

Look out for candidates who talk about how they would set up meetings with the senior leadership team to understand the level of diversity in the organization. Moreover, they should also mention how they would meet up with employees experiencing DEI issues to find solutions.

29. How could you contribute to our workplace to elevate DEI values?

This is a great opportunity for you to know if the candidate has researched your company’s mission and values.

Response assessment criteria:

The person can talk about how their past job experience will help them in this new role. For instance, they might say how they helped the old company reach its fairness goals by linking them to what the company wanted to do.

30. “What do you see as a major change, trend, or event that will change diversity and inclusion in the coming years?”

This question is different from explaining the current DEI trends. It’s an opportunity for you to know if your candidate can look at topics such as artificial intelligence and discuss its future impact on DEI.

Response assessment criteria:

Look for a candidate who can mention a few studies and industry research that can back up their claims. Moreover, they should state how they’re preparing themselves to deal with those particular trending topics.


Ongig supports diversity and inclusion by helping organizations write inclusive job descriptions. These diversity and inclusion interview questions are a great resource to help you know what to ask your candidates.

Please request a demo to learn more about Ongig’s Text Analyzer.


  1. Diversity wins: How inclusion matters by (Mckinsey)
  2. 5 Types of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace & How To Eliminate Them by (Indeed)
  3. Ways to Implement an Affirmation Action Plan by (Indeed)
  4. Effective employee resource groups are key to inclusion at work. Here’s how to get them right by (Mckinsey)
  5. 10 Tips For Effective Communication In The Workplace by (Forbes)

by in Diversity and Inclusion