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Ethical Interview Questions

Rohit Malhotra | Mar 05, 2020
Rohit Malhotra
Ethical Interview Questions
Rohit MalhotraEthical Interview Questions

What are ethical questions? How do you answer them during an interview? Should you be true to yourself or say what the interviewer wants to hear? We discuss and answer all of these questions in this podcast.

Open transcript

It is somewhat ironic that you can question the ethicality of preparing answers for ethical questions in an interview.

Should you prepare them? Or is preparing them, in itself, an ethically questionable act? Shouldn’t you be able to answer from the heart and pass with flying colours?

But you probably also know some people, or maybe you yourself, struggle with staying calm in an interview. When an ethical question is thrown into the mix, you stop answering from your heart and go to what you think your interviewer wants to hear.

Welcome back to the Mindwealth MWAV Podcast. I am Rohit and we’re going to talk about preparing for ethical interview questions These questions were meant to make you think, and they’re not meant to be easy to answer immediately, so take some time to mull over them. Before you do though, let’s get to the tips for today’s podcast.

Interviews today don’t operate in the same way as they used to. Where credentials and accomplishments used to reign supreme, there is now a new big player, your personality.

Companies are realizing that having a personality that fits within the organizational culture is more predictive of high performance than a masters degree or award.

Deep machine learning tools which study your personality are now employed by organizations to interview and shortlist candidates. One aspect of your personality and value system is your ethics and how you apply it in an organizational context.

Don’t let this hold you back from being proud of your credentials and these accomplishments. They can still be an excellent source for stories and proof of your personality traits.

However, today we want to talk about the ethical questions that come up in an interview.

An investment bank like Goldman Sachs is known to have asked fresh graduates ethical questions such as What do you do if a client insists on making a trade or transaction that you know is not profitable for them in the long run, but it would benefit the bank?” ‘What’s your opinion about Adolf Hitler?’ And “You are a waitress at a restaurant with an employee policy that all tips are put in a jar and split at the end of the day between the wait staff. A satisfied customer gives you a large tip and tells you not to share it because you deserved it. You also know that some of the other waiters and waitresses have been pocketing their tips. What would you do in this scenario?”

Interviewers are trying to explore aspects of your values, communication, emotional competence and overall personality using ethical based questions. Specifically they are trying to find out:

1. How transparent you are in your dealings with people.

2. Whether your core values are aligned with the values of the organization.

3. How well you communicate your own ethical framework, and how it affects your behavior.

4. Not only whether you are a decent person to work with, but how thoughtful and intelligent you are when it comes to difficult decisions.

So how do you prepare? You might be tempted to look up common ethical questions and prepare each answer accordingly. But do not fall to the temptation.

An interviewer may alter a question to fit a new scenario specific to the company and the culture. Each question will be different, every time.

Instead, take these tips to heart when preparing for an interview.

1. Take a Deep Breath

Taking a deep breath and using some silence and time will allow you to think about the question, pulling on real experiences and your own values

When an interviewer sees a candidate answer an ethical question immediately, it tells them (or tells the machine learning algo video-interviewing you) that the candidate had a prepared answer and might not be showing their true colours.

Remember to breathe.

2. Use a real experience

Interviewers ask many candidates the same question. It is their job to gauge your personality. Don’t create a scenario on the spot, they will be able to tell you are being dishonest.

Many situations can be used in a multitude of ethical scenarios. There is almost always one you can use to highlight your personality and values.

3. See the question as another situational question

Answer in the same way you would a situational question. Use the STAR technique. Start with the SITUATION, move to the TASK, then to the ACTION you took to achieve the desired RESULT.

Ethical questions do not have to be a stress-inducing situation. In fact, they can be an amazing platform to showcase your personality to the interviewer.

If you come into your interview excited to share about yourself instead of dreading the questions, you’re sure to perform more confidently.

You now have a better feel for the WHAT and WHY of ethical questions your employer may ask you and know what to expect. Be genuine and relaxed as you answer these.

Our next podcast explores the nature of machine learning tools that some employers now use to digitally interview candidates.

MindWealth offers transformational coaching programs to a global audience helping you make it in your career, grow your wealth and achieve mindfulness mastery.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at mindwealthco. Connect with us at Elevate your story with MindWealth.

I’m Rohit, and I’ll see you in the next one.

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