Sample Interview Questions for Faculty Positions

Faculty Search: Sample Interview Questions to Promote Diversity, Inclusion & Equity

  • What kind of experience have you had conducting research with historically underrepresented or underserved communities?
  • Describe your opportunities to teach students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.
  • What is your approach to infusing diversity, inclusion, and equity into your teaching? Follow-up question: Has your approach changed over time? If so, in what ways, and why? Second follow-up question: Given your teaching experiences, what is your current working definition for diversity? Has it changed over time? If so, in what ways, and why?
  • In your experience, what are the most challenging aspects of working in an increasingly diverse campus community? Follow-up question: What initiatives have you been involved in to meet these kinds of challenges?
  • What is your understanding of the relationship between diversity and excellence? Follow-up question: In your experience, what kinds of leadership efforts are most effective in encouraging a commitment to excellence through diversity?
  • How has your own identity affected your work with diverse faculty, staff, and students?
  • Describe an experience in which you responded to a colleague, staff member, or student who made an insensitive remark.
  • Describe how you would work to help create a classroom and department environment that is welcoming and inclusive.
  • How would you advocate for diversity education and diversity initiatives with individuals who don’t see its value?
  • Sometimes there is a belief that a commitment to diversity conflicts with a commitment to excellence (i.e. we will have to lower our standards to achieve or accommodate diversity). How would you describe the relationship between diversity and excellence? What kinds of leadership efforts would you undertake to encourage a commitment to excellence through diversity?
  • How has your [education] [previous work experience] prepared you for [working with] [teaching] a diverse population?
  • What experiences have you had in increasing faculty, staff, or student diversity? What strategies were most helpful?
  • What areas of diversity do you think you have to learn more about and how would you go about doing it?
  • Have you ever realized you had said or done something that may have been offensive to a [colleague] [student] [co-worker]? How did you respond to that realization, and what was the outcome?
  • In your experience, what are the challenges faced by members of historically underrepresented groups [in the workplace] [in successfully completing their education]? What strategies have you used to address these challenges, and how successful were those strategies?


University of Washington

Northern Illinois University

Curated by Kwadwo Poku, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, MIT SA+P | December 2019