Uncover a Candidate’s Ethics During an Interview

Every action your employees take directly reflects on your company. It only takes one bad apple to sully your brand, so the importance of hiring people with a strong moral compass cannot be emphasized enough.

Of course, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a candidate who outright admits to unethical behavior during a job interview, so you have to get a little creative. Asking behavioral interview questions that scratch the surface will allow you to see their true colors. Here are four questions that should help you decide if they’re the kind of person you want on your team.

Would you ever lie for me?

This one really puts candidates in the hot seat. Since they don’t know you, they’ll be unsure of exactly what you want them to say. Consequently, it will take a strong person to look you in the eye and declare an unwillingness to lie on your behalf. When you find someone with enough self-confidence to make this assertion, feel confident they’re the kind of person you can count on to always do the right thing.

Tell me about a time you found yourself in ethical challenge at work.

Chances are, just about every seasoned candidate you interview has found themselves in a tricky ethical situation at work at least once. In fact, if they claim they’ve never been privy to wrongdoing, they’re probably lying.

Employees can’t control the actions of others, but they are accountable for their own behavior. The most trustworthy candidates will admit they’ve been aware of illicit activity, but refused to participate in it themselves. It’s possible being put in such a trying situation is even the reason they’re searching for a new job.

Who did you consult when you faced ethical challenges at work in the past?

In addition to refusing to engage in corrupt behavior, the best employees speak up when they see others acting in an unprincipled manner. Having someone on your team who isn’t afraid to defend what’s right is crucial, because try as you might, you can’t be aware of everything going on at your company.

This question will allow you to gauge both the candidate’s moral compass and backbone. Refusing to participate in unethical behavior is great, but you need someone willing to take it a step further by letting you know what’s going on.

What would you do if your personal ethics differed from your employer’s?

Despite holding themselves to strong moral standards on a personal level, some people are willing to bend a bit at work to appease their company culture. They might think this is the admirable thing to do, but compromising your own values is never advisable. If their response displays a willingness to waver from their moral beliefs, move on to the next candidate, because you want team members who stand their ground.

Skills can be learned, but a candidate’s moral code won’t likely change. To learn more about how we can help you find top behavioral health talent, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at info@psychpros.com.

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