Have you ever worked on a team where everyone looked, sounded, and thought the same as you?

Well, unless you were an agent in one of The Matrix movies, I highly doubt it!

A scene from The Matrix depicting clones of Agent Smith standing and looking up. Agent Smith looks down and to his left.

We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity, life would be very boring.

— Catherine Pulsifer, Canadian author

In an interview, if you're asked to explain what you learned about working in a diverse environment, be ready to talk about the value of diversity in the workplace.

What's the Point?

Work environments involve communication and collaboration within and across diverse teams. So, being able to work with others who look, sound, and think differently from you is important to the success of a business.

It's also important for a successful career.

A diverse group of people sitting at a table with their laptops open. Photo by Mapbox on Unsplash

Remember: An interviewer wants to know how you handle working with different people who have their own perspectives and ideas. There are going to be challenges and opportunities on any diverse team.

How to Answer

  • Pause and reflect on your past experiences.

  • Think about any situations you were a part of in which you learned something about diversity.

  • Narrow it down to the two or three most memorable situations.

Tina from the animated show Bob's Burgers shooting up to the sky as a big yellow star. Use the S.T.A.R. method to organize your thoughts before speaking.

  • Situation: What was the company, team, and your position?

  • Task: What did you need to get done?

  • Action: What exactly did you do to get it done?

  • Result: Did you get it done? Why or why not? How did diversity impact things, and what did you learn?

You Try!

A person writing on documents with a black pen. Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

You are about to have an interview for a sales representative job at a global company dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

The interviewer is reviewing your resume when they look up and ask, "Tell me, what did you learn from working in a diverse environment?"

Using the S.T.A.R. method you begin your response:

Situation: "A few years ago, I worked as a used car salesperson and had a boss who repeatedly made fun of a colleague's accent."

Task: "One day, a customer stopped by who only spoke Spanish. He kept pointing at a truck, but I only spoke English, so I was unable to offer assistance."

Action: "However, I knew my colleague spoke Spanish, so I asked him for help."

What do you say for Result?

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Option A:

"In the end, the customer got his truck, and I was able to complete the sale with help from my colleague. That day, I learned diversity is important because speaking more than one language would have helped me complete the sale on my own."

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Option B:

"In the end, the customer got his truck, but I also let my boss know about my colleague helping me complete the sale. My boss stopped making fun of my colleague's accent after that day. I learned to respect and value diversity openly."


In the scenario above, which is the best reply?

Take Action

A woman gesturing with her hands to move away. She says,

Interviews aren't easy — that's for sure! But, you know what?

You've just learned how to answer the question, "What did you learn from working in a diverse environment?"

Now, go on and prepare. You've got this!


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