Posted Thursday July 23, 2020

Words & Action

Demonstrating Cultural Competence in an Interview

by Cheryl Hyatt

Diverse workplaces are of increasing importance to employers. Social reckoning has brought that value even more squarely to the forefront. Cultural competence should be something you not only seek to reflect in an interview, but are constantly developing in your own personal and professional life. We have three guidelines to demonstrate knowledge of diversity and inclusion in an interview:

Show perspective-taking. One of the foundational elements of strong relational skills is the ability and willingness to see something from someone else’s point of view. As you discuss your experience, show your awareness of and consideration for others’ perspectives.

Avoid token-ism. One of the worst things you can do is to try to prove your inclusivity by appealing to a singular situation or team member. Cultural competence is holistic and encompasses the entirety of your workplace practices and priorities.

Honor the contributions of others. The opposite of ego is appreciation. Even as you discuss your own accomplishments, highlight the colleagues who collaborated with you. Organizations are looking for employees that respect and celebrate those around them.

A key to ongoing growth is humility. Wisdom does not mean knowing everything, but having good judgment to handle the situations that come your way. Particularly on issues of diversity, many of us must seek out the insights of others that can enlarge our own perspectives.

About Cheryl Hyatt and Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search. With over 20 years of executive-search consulting experience, Cheryl Hyatt has been responsible for successfully recruiting senior-administrative professionals for educational and non-profit organizations. Before partnering with Dr. Fennell, she was the President and owner of The Charitable Resources Group and provided not only executive search services but fundraising consulting expertise to the clients she served.

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