The questions that follow are samples only, and do not constitute a required list.
These are examples of ways to find out about an applicant's experience
with supporting diverse environments, or her/his thinking about how to
do so in a way that will be relevant to the functions of the job. Many
of the questions are based on the principles of behavioral interviewing,
which uses questions about specific past performance to predict future
on-the-job performance. Some candidates have not encountered behavioral
interview questions before, so be prepared to ask follow-up questions
that encourage them to give specific examples rather than general
These samples include a range of questions that might be asked of
people applying for all kinds of positions at institution, with various
levels of responsibility. Not every question is appropriate for every
position. Please review the questions to see how they are designed, and
see whether you find any that are particularly appropriate for the
position you are filling. You may also write your own questions that are tailored to the needs of your unit.
- (after giving them the university Mission Statement and drawing
their attention to the section on the value of diversity) How has your
background and experience prepared you to be effective in an environment
that holds this value?
- Tell me about a time that you adapted your style in order to work effectively with those who were different from you.
- What kinds of experiences have you had in relating with people whose backgrounds are different than your own?
- Can you recall a time when you gave feedback to a colleague who was not accepting of others?
- Can you recall a time when a person's cultural background affected your approach to a work situation?
- Have you ever realized you had said or done something that may have
been offensive to a colleague? How did you respond to that realization,
and what was the outcome?
- Give examples of times when your values and beliefs impacted your relationships with your colleagues.
- Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a wide variety of people by accepting/understanding their perspectives.
- In your experience, what are the challenges faced by members of
historically underrepresented groups in the workplace? What strategies
have you used to address these challenges, and how successful were those
- What does it mean for you to have a commitment to diversity? How
have you demonstrated that commitment, and how would you see yourself
demonstrating it here?
- Describe the climate for diversity at your present position. What impact have you had on that climate?
- What efforts have you made, or been involved with, to foster multicultural understanding and cultural competence?
- Have you encountered concerns about "chilly climate" raised by
members of identity groups that have historically experienced
discrimination? If so, how have you handled them?
- What measures have you taken to make someone feel comfortable when some people seemed uncomfortable with his or her presence?
- What have you done to further your knowledge/understanding about diversity? How have you demonstrated your learning?
- Tell us how you work with people to create or foster diversity in the workplace.
- In what ways have you integrated multicultural issues as part of your professional development?
- What do you see as the most challenging aspects of an increasingly
diverse academic community, and what steps have you taken to meet such
- Suppose that you encounter a pervasive belief that diversity and
excellence are somehow in conflict. How do you conceptualize the
relationship between diversity and excellence? What kinds of leadership
efforts would you undertake to encourage a commitment to excellence
- In what ways do you feel it is appropriate to incorporate topics
related to diversity and (your discipline) into the classes you teach?
How would you do this?
- Has diversity played a role in shaping your teaching and advising styles? If so, how?
- What is your vision of diversity at an institution like Oregon State University?
- Describe a specific situation in which you worked with a diverse
group of people over a period of time. Based on this experience, what
did you learn?