How to Interview to Uncover a Candidate’s Ethical Standards
Are you an ethical person Few people would say no to this question regardless of their personal integrity, but when you are looking to hire a new employee you need to know whether you can trust her to represent your company well. Learn how to interview to uncover a candidate’s ethical standards by asking the right questions and listening carefully to what is said and what is left unsaid.
Interview Questions to Uncover Ethics
Instead of asking about a candidate’s ethics upfront, invite him to describe experiences from his past or imagine how he would react to a fabricated scenario. The following questions can give a great deal of insight into a person’s ethical framework.
1.Tell me about one of your greatest successes/biggest failures. These questions are often asked to get a sense of a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, but they can also give you clues about where she places credit and blame. Does she claim sole responsibility for the success of her projects, or does she describe the efforts of the team or the mentors who were also instrumental in her success Does he blame a failed project on others, or can he admit that he, too, played a part
2.Would you be willing to overstate a claim or indulge in creative accounting if it was in the company’s best interests Some candidates may answer that if they were hired they would do anything asked of them. These are not the people you want working for your company. An employee who will lie for you will also lie to you. Knowing how to interview to uncover a candidate’s ethical standards can protect your company from the dangerous repercussions of a dishonest employee.
3.Tell me about a time when you chose to go against a company’s policy or guidelines. Many candidates will struggle with this question, and for good reason. No one wants to admit to a potential employer that she has broken rules in the past. However, an employee who breaks a rule is not necessarily lacking in business ethics. Look carefully at which policy was compromised and why. An employee who makes an exception to a budgetary limit one time to pursue a promising opportunity may be an asset. One who regularly breaks rules that he feels are unimportant is not.
4.Have you ever run into an ethical conflict when working across cultures This question is particularly important for those working in multicultural and multinational industries. Some ethical standards are not universal, and it’s important that you understand how a candidate will balance the company’s expectations with his own values and those of the people he will interact with.
5.What is the difference between an ethical person and an ethical corporation If you really want to know how to interview to uncover a candidate’s ethical standards, consider asking her directly. This question forces a candidate to consider ethics in greater detail than simply asking what it means to be ethical. Does he hold corporations to a higher standard than individuals, or vice versa Does she make excuses for one or the other Her answer will give you a sense of her integrity as an individual and as an employee.
Ask Carefully, Listen Carefully
Plan the course of the interview carefully to maximize what you’ll learn. These questions show you how to interview to uncover a candidate’s ethical standards, but they should be asked at the right time and in the right way. It’s best to leave ethical questions for the end of the interview, when you have established a rapport with the candidate and have a better sense of his personality. If the interview has gone well, the candidate will be more at ease and more likely to speak freely.
You don’t need to condemn or condone the behavior described, but reflect what you hear to ensure you have understood and to encourage the candidate to share more. (ïSo you felt good after that sale,ï or ïSo you struggled with that decision.ï) Wait until the candidate has finished speaking to take notes on what was said. If you jot something down as she is speaking, she may worry that her response is ïwrongï and retreat, leaving your questions unanswered.
Now that you know how to interview to uncover a candidate’s ethical standards, you will be better prepared to find employees who fit your company’s culture and values. To learn more about making all-star hires, check out all the resources here at Mighty Recruiter.