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How to Interview a Person About Ethics

by Alejandro Russell

Misuse of company time, abuse of company resources and violation of Internet usage policies in 2011 were at 33 percent, 20 percent and 16 percent respectively, according to a study conducted by the National Business Ethics Survey. Such findings underscore the need to vet job applicants on issues surrounding ethics.

Workplace Ethics and Behavior

Allow candidates to explain what is meant by an ethical workstation and how they performed at a previous one. Find out about their willingness to stick to your workplace ethical requirements such as language and dress code. You may also run a background check on them and see if they have a criminal record or issues involving workplace ethics such as sexual harassment.

Ethical Challenges

Pose hypothetical questions to the candidate that relate to some of the ethical challenges they may experience as employees. Use questions relevant to your particular industry. This enables you to understand, not only their answers, but their hypothesis.You may ask them what they would you do if they found out the organization was not tax-compliant.

Ethical Qualities

While interviewing an applicant, ask the person to list their compelling ethical qualities. An individual should be able to list their personal morality values and how they intend to use them in your firm to bring about a positive impact. Look for answers that reflect a wide view of qualities such as fairness, integrity, honesty, resilience, sincerity, and empathy. Some employers use the Internet to research job candidates and their behavior.

Capacity to Sacrifice

Ask candidates if they are ready to accept a loss to protect their ethics. Ask the candidate to explain a situation in which they sacrificed personal gain for the sake of their ethics. Ask them to explain why they chose the approach they took to adhere to their ethics. How did the candidate relate to colleagues facing this dilemma? Analyze the responses carefully to determine if the candidate fits the ethical standards of your firm.

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