We are all different in varying ways and it is those differences that allow us to make our unique contributions to the world.
Explaining your difference lies at the very heart of a great interview, and that doesn’t have to be confined to your professional accomplishments.
Huge numbers of employers in all sorts of industries are waking up to the very real benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
So why are many candidates still nervous about “sell” their diversity during an interview?
A truly diverse workforce is a long way from achieving a representative critical mass in too many sectors, but momentum and contemporary thought are on the side of inclusion and equality. Your difference is another string to your bow, so give it some thought:
What tangible difference can your diverse perspective bring to your employer?
It isn’t something that you should seek to hide or play down, it is simply one of the qualities that you bring to the role, something that is core to your being and something that any employer worth their salt will welcome wholeheartedly. If you see any interviewer glaze over when you start to talk about it, they are not the employer for you.
If you choose to bring up the topic of diversity, you will need answers to some inevitably challenging questions. Here are a few that may come your way:
What do diversity, equality and inclusion mean to you?
How do you approach understanding people from different backgrounds?
What is one challenge about creating a more diverse workplace?
Tell me about a time when you advocated for diversity with a skeptical crowd?
What can we do to help you to bring your whole self to work?
We all need to talk about diversity more, and an interview is no exception. In fact, if talented diverse candidates were more selective about their choice of employer, competitive advantage and “survival of the most diverse” would only intensify.
Test the water. Talk about why your diversity matters and if you sense that it isn’t a priority for the person across the table, take your skills elsewhere.
A company that doesn’t value diversity, equality and inclusion doesn’t deserve to have you.