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Best Integrity, Ethics and Honesty Interview Questions


Recent studies and researches have shown that many recruiters tend to prefer honest and frank candidates as their new employees. It is also seen that candidates who are honest have an increased chance of getting selected and bagging the new job.

Also, these studies have also shown that honest candidates tend to strive hard and work with dedication and also try hard to improve their skills, talents, and capabilities while working in a new work environment.

Interview Questions to Assess Honesty

For effective results, it is necessary that the candidate should be honest with themselves and they should always be able to recognize their limitations and borders. This realization will help them to develop more and more as a working individual by instilling a sense of curiosity and dedication within the candidate.

Many authors and researchers have also stated that employees and candidates who are more honest and open with their skills and abilities often get multiple jobs as they provide complete customer satisfaction and they work hard to achieve what they are capable of.

There are no false hopes and empty promises during the process. These employees also do not end up wasting their time and energy finding the right job that is suitable for their skill set.

Honesty Interview Questions:

There are many questions that recruiters use, to check the level of honesty that a candidate has. Determining the integrity and honesty of the candidate is a very tough process.

Here are some of the questions and ideas that recruiters ask to candidates to test their level of honesty and truthfulness.

  1. Tell me about the time when you spoke up within a situation that was unfavorable to you.
  2. Was there any situation where you had to admit your mistakes to your fellow colleagues and coworkers?
  3. What kind of methods and tips do you use to earn the belief and trust of others?
  4. How do others describe you?
  5. Do people see you as an individual worth trusting? If so, why?
  6. Explain a time when you were seen as a disappointment by your employees and supervisors?
  7. Was there an instance when you had to question your truthfulness and honesty? If so, how did you curb that situation with proper control?
  8. Have you experienced any kind of loss for following something right?
  9. What was the most difficult thing that you had to tackle in your professional life and what all measures did you take for solving that issue?
  10. If you had to choose any three skills for a successful professional life, what would those be and why?
  11. Have you ever felt like you are not qualified for a job assigned to you?

Apart from the above-mentioned questions, there are other aspects that the recruiter can ask the candidates to assess their level of honesty and integrity. These include factors such as:

Hiring for Ethics and Integrity:

Using company policies and guidelines:

Many recruiters try to incorporate the working ethics and company policies and create questions that can be a measuring stick for interviewers and recruiters to assess the fact that, whether or not candidates consider the rules and regulations as mandatory aspects of their jobs that should be strictly followed.

These questions are also used to check whether or not the candidate will try to break these rules in the future when a dilemma occurs to them. An ideal and honest candidate will know the difference between a guideline and rule and will act according to company ethics.

This also shows the level of understanding the candidate has about the work ethic and the rules and regulations of the company.

Present company ethics:

Try to enquire about the candidate’s previous company rules and what all the activities they have done to support such ethics.

If the candidate fails to answer this question, then the recruiter will get a bad impression about them and will see them as dishonest employees. If an employee is unable to state the ethics and guidelines of their previous company, two conclusions can be formed.

Either the candidate is unaware of the various guidelines and policies or the candidate is not used to following such ethics and guidelines and often gets involved in malpractices.

If the employee does know about the policies and ethics, ask them to state a situation where they had to apply such guidelines for an effective decision.

About their mistakes and errors:

It is a known fact that making errors and mistakes is part of human nature. Making mistakes is important in the learning process and also ensures proper growth and development for the candidate.

Many recruiters try to ask questions to candidates that include stating their past mistakes and what all measures they took to control the situation.

Having regrets regarding to work is a part of professional life and it is natural that every employee will have a “what if “moment while working in a company or an organization. Try not to be intimidated by such questions as such questions can be a bit of a delicate issue to some candidates.

An ideal candidate knows clearly about the past mistakes and errors that she has done and will try to explain how she would have curbed the situation with the present experience.

This shows to the recruiter that the candidate is very much open to his or her mistakes and will always consider a room for improvement and learning.

Taking credit:

Many recruiters often tend to check for candidates who are truthful about their work and also try to give credit that is deserving to others. One of the essential features of an honest employee is that they give the rightful credit to other deserving employees and colleagues.

Taking credit for something that they are not responsible for is not an ethical and professional thing to do in a professional organization.

Interview Questions About Ethics and Integrity:

There are times when even smart, good communicative job seekers who perform well in an interview will not be able to get the job. The reasons for job rejection might be many, the most common one would be overstretching about the past work experience or not being honest.

Employers nowadays are smart enough to use the best methods for revealing the true ability and skills. The experience they have of interviewing the candidates would also help them in the interview process.

Also, it is not mandatory that job seekers who are over enthusiastic are not an exact fit for the job role.

The intensity during the recruitment process is always maintained by the employer, so as to hire the best candidate for their organization.

Behavioural type of questions are asked mainly to understand the insights of the candidate which are very important. Some of them are,

  • Attitude
  • Loyalty
  • Honesty
  • Managerial skills
  • Motivation
  • Work ethics

Interview questions assist in disclosing a candidate’s true potential. Here, the questions are mentioned along with the purpose of asking them in an interview.

  • “What do you mean by a stressful situation? Did you ever experience one such and how did you handle it? – To check the ability to work under pressure
  • Have you ever done something going out of the way for work to get completed? – To check your motivational spirit at work.
  • Did you ever leave your work incomplete because of some serious personal issues? How did you cope up with it – To understand the ability to balance both work and life.
  • “What is the reason for leaving your last job” – To find out any kind of fabrication
  • “One thing which you wished to change if you are made a manager?”- To detect their managerial skills
  • “Describe about any of your best job position you had and reasons for it?” – To know their favoured work culture
  • “Tell me about your ideal position in an organization” – To find out your enthusiasm, ambition, and goals

Questions To Test Honesty and Integrity:

Every company looks for some core values in every candidate during the interview process, some of them are honesty, trust, and integrity. Not only these but there are also many other features which one should possess to gain a high level of integrity.

Questions to examine your way of looking at integrity and honesty:

  • Describe an incident where you had to pay high to maintain integrity?
  • How confident are you to do, what you say?
  • Are you secretive kind of person?
  • Would you cover up for your coworker who leaves early very often, and your boss being unknown about it?
  • Would you inform the authorities, if you are overpaid on your paycheck?
  • Did you ever take sick leave from office, when you actually weren’t?
  • Was your honesty been tested in office ever at any situation?
  • Ever been in a point where you had to make things better than it actually was?
  • Did your honesty ever cost you a loyal friend?

Honesty in Job Interviews:

Many job seekers and candidates always have the dilemma of whether or not they should lie when the recruiter asks them an uncomfortable question. The answer depends on how the situation is in your favour.

Try to be as truthful as possible about unfavourable and undeniable instances that might have happened to you in your previous jobs, these include instances such as:

  • Fired from your previous company by your supervisor
  • Having a below-average reference
  • Having a criminal record
  • Having an under-qualified skillset
  • Having a fair share of secrets that have the potential to give you a bad impression

First and foremost, keep in mind almost all the employees have experienced at least one of the above-mentioned experience.

Recruiters see such type of employees on a daily basis and to be set apart from this lot, is to ensure that, as a candidate, you should be always honest about your experiences and situations from your previous occupation.

To ensure that you bag the job by being honest, here are some of the following options and methodologies that you could use for creating a good first impression to the recruiter.

Having an honest and real resume:

One of the most common mistakes that many rookie candidates do in the thought of impressing the recruiter is that they try to lie about the details included in the resume.

Even if you fear that you are under-qualified and that you do not have enough experience, educational qualifications, and skills for bagging the job, try not to wrongly interpret the details as this can lead to a huge disaster during the interview process.

Once the recruiter finds out that the candidate is lying about themselves, most probably the candidate will be eliminated from the selection process due to dishonesty.

So always ensure to not lie about your qualifications and skills as these will be known during the background checking process and when the references are checked.

If you feel like you have an unimpressive resume because of under qualification, then try to form a functional resume where you can state your experiences and emphasize voluntary work that has relevance with the job position.

Also, another tip that you could use is to include an impressive cover letter that shows the recruiter how much of a valuable employee you were in your previous organization, this is also a great method to create a good impression to the interviewer.

Omission of important points and aspects:

This is also one of the most common mistakes that many first time candidates and job seekers hope of impressing the recruiter.

Omission won’t be a huge problem if the recruiter has not specifically asked you about a situation. If asked about a specific situation, the best option is to answer the question as it is.

Avoiding the topic because of nervousness and stress won’t help the candidate to get the job. The main reason being that the recruiter will see you as a person who prefers to run away from the problem rather than facing it straight ahead.

Interviewers do not want to select candidates who are not capable of facing and solving personal and professional problems as this can affect their work performance.

If the candidate is the type of person who gets talkative and hyper under stress and pressure then try not to wander away from the subject topic that the recruiter has asked you to answer.

Try to answer clearly what has been asked and expected from you and try to frame the answer in such a way that you can show the recruiter how beneficial you can be to the company as a potential employee and how you can use your skills and qualifications to provide gains and profits to the company.

There are many ways that you can follow to provide a satisfactory answer without feeling the need of omission and experiencing stress. These include:

1. Rehearsing for the interview with the help of a friend or colleagues and asking them for proper feedback
2. Try to research and know more about the commonly asked questions
3. Try not to show that you are nervous in front of the recruiter
4. Try to be as calm as possible during the interview

Try to be as truthful as possible:

If the recruiter tries to ask you detail specific questions related to your previous jobs and if you are not comfortable talking about it, then try not to add any unwanted facts and degrade the integrity of the answer.

As mentioned before, having a perfect job record is not always possible especially for highly active and dedicated employees. So, with keeping that factor in mind, always try to answer such overbearing questions with honesty and pleasing behavior.

Try not to be too defensive and get angry at the recruiter as this can potentially eliminate you from the interview process.

If the recruiter sees that you are handling the situation with utmost maturity and gusto, then it will actually impress the recruiter and it will give an impression to the interviewer that you are able to handle any kind of unwanted situation under pressure and stress.

Another tip for being honest during interview sessions is to be yourself and try to be as truthful as possible.

Try to show the employer that you are the right choice for the job position and that you have a positive mindset that is capable of handling any forms of dilemma and emergencies within an organization.

Also, if the recruiter tries to ask you any unrelated questions, then try to be as polite as possible and try to curb the question by asking how it is relevant with the job position.

Try to be proud of your skills, experience, and talent and use these factors to show the recruiters that you are capable for the job.