3 Interview Questions for Gauging Ethics

July 9th, 2015

A resume will tell you a lot about a candidate – whether they have the appropriate education, have paid their dues in the industry and have the skills required to succeed in your organization. But what a resume can’t tell you is if they are ethical. You’ll have to dig a little deeper and ask thoughtful, probing questions to really learn what a potential new employee is like.

Here are three questions that will reveal whether a candidate will make an honest, reliable employee.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t complete a job well on time?

This can be a real dilemma for an employee. His answer will tell you if he will come clean with his manager or is willing to turn in shoddy work just to avoid confrontation. Everyone knows that meeting deadlines is critical, but producing quality work is essential to the reputation of your business. The call on a situation like this should be left in the hands of a manager. This question will reveal if a candidate is prone to sweeping things under the rug to protect himself.

What would you do if your manager asked you to do something illegal or unethical?

It’s a reality in the workplace that people must sometimes decide between doing what is right or doing what they have been told. Every decision an employee makes should be to the benefit of the organization, your customers and your own moral code. Unethical actions tend to either be shortcuts or to the benefit of a single individual. Its best you learn now that the candidate can easily be swayed if the right pressure is applied.

Do you believe most people are honest?

Because dishonest people tend to assume that others think the same way they do, they are not shy about saying what they really think. They excuse unethical behavior because “everyone is doing it.” Honest people tend to be more trusting because they know how they would act in a given situation.

When evaluating the ethics of potential employees, look for candidates who can share real-life examples of ethical dilemmas and what they learned from the situation. If they claim to have never been in a situation that required them to make an ethical decision or try to blame other people to avoid accepting responsibility, they may not entirely honest.

The most important factors to rely on when gauging the ethics of a candidate are instinct and experience. If something about a candidate seems not quite on the up-and-up, trust your gut. And if you need to rely on experience, trust the experts at Select Group, Inc. With more than two decades helping companies like yours find the right people for highly specialized IT and analytic positions in finance, insurance and banking, there’s not much we have not encountered before. To partner with an experienced professional, contact Select Group, Inc. today!

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