Inclusive Leadership Interview Questions

Job interview questions should help find the best candidate for a position while also supporting an equitable, inclusive environment. Many of the questions are based on the principles of behavioral interviewing, which uses questions about specific past performance to predict future performance.

These samples include questions that might be asked of people applying for all kinds of positions at an 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 determine whether you find any that are particularly appropriate for the position you are filling.

  1. How has your background and experience prepared you to be effective in an environment that holds diversity as core to our mission and values?
  2. 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?
  3. 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 through diversity?
  4. Describe the climate for diversity at your present position. What impact have you had on that climate?
  5. What do you see as the most challenging aspects of an increasingly diverse academic medicine community, and what steps have you taken to meet such challenges?
  6. What is your vision of diversity at an institution like Duke?
  7. 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 strategies?
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. Tell me about a time that you adapted your style in order to work effectively with those who were different from you.
  11. What kinds of experiences have you had in relating with people whose backgrounds are different than your own?
  12. Can you recall a time when you gave feedback to a colleague who was not accepting of others?
  13. Can you recall a time when a person's cultural background affected your approach to a work situation?
  14. Give examples of times when your values and beliefs impacted your relationships with your colleagues.
  15. Tell me about a time when you had to adapt to a wide variety of people by accepting/understanding their perspectives.
  16. What measures have you taken to make someone feel comfortable when some people seemed uncomfortable with his or her presence?
  17. What have you done to further your knowledge/understanding about diversity? How have you demonstrated your learning?
  18. Tell us how you work with people to create or foster diversity in the workplace.
  19. In what ways have you integrated multicultural issues as part of your professional development?
  20. In what ways do you feel it is appropriate to incorporate topics related to diversity and (your discipline) into the medical curriculum? How would you do this?
  21. Has diversity played a role in shaping your teaching and advising styles? If so, how?
  22. 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?
  23. What efforts have you made, or been involved with, to foster cultural competence?

Adapted From: Oregon State University “Sample Interview Questions” -