Answering integrity interview questions
When looking to fill an open role, many employers seek a candidate who is both trustworthy and ethical. This means that you make honest decisions and think of others when you act. By knowing how to effectively answer questions about your integrity, you can make a lasting impression on an employer and show that you are a reliable candidate. Here we share some common integrity interview questions and tips for answering them.
Integrity interview questions with sample answers
These sample answers can help you craft your own effective responses to integrity interview questions:
1. What does integrity look like to you?
Having integrity isn’t always easy, especially when others are pressuring you into doing the wrong thing. Employers ask this question to determine if you truly understand that integrity means having strong principles and always acting honestly. In your answer, share some of the core virtues of integrity. Demonstrate that you understand having integrity means doing the right thing even under challenging circumstances.
Example: Integrity means that you consistently do the right thing no matter what. Someone who has integrity isn’t easily swayed by the opinions of others and operates based on their strong moral compass. Acting in an honest and goodhearted manner is crucial to having integrity. You need to have a strong set of ethics and aim to seek the truth of a situation rather than what is convenient.
2. What would you do if you saw a colleague commit an illegal act?
Employers need to make sure their employees are acting in accordance with the law. They ask this question to make sure you would notify them if you witnessed an illegal act. In your answer, make it clear that you would never overlook when someone breaks the law. Show that you can push past personal relationships to do the right thing. Pointing out wrongdoing is important in every industry, especially healthcare, finance, law, and public service.
Example: As a healthcare provider, I always remind myself of the core principles of the Hippocratic oath. It’s my duty to make sure patients receive confidential and quality care. If I were to see a colleague breaking their oath or other laws, I would report it to my supervisor immediately. I would also work with law enforcement to ensure that this colleague was reprimanded properly. There is no excuse for illegal behavior in our field, and my attitude would not change even if this person was my closest confidant.
3. Tell me about a time your integrity was challenged.
There may come a time in your career when another person or situation makes you question your ethics. Employers ask this question to see how you act under such circumstances. They want to see that despite the difficulty, you’d still make an ethical decision. In your answer, think of a time when it was hard to do the right thing. Explain why you moved forward with the right decision and share the outcome. Use your answer to show you have self control in such situations.
Example: One time my supervisor asked me to write fake reviews for our company. I felt quite uneasy being asked to do this since it is being deceitful. He told me it was no big deal and that every company does it. This explanation made me feel even worse, knowing that I could possibly contribute to this toxic culture of fake reviews. I spoke directly with human resources and told them what my supervisor asked of me. They responded by meeting with him and telling him he may not have us write fake reviews.
Although this situation was quite uncomfortable to me, I could not let myself cave in and write the reviews. Even after doing the right thing, my supervisor treated me coldly. I still don’t regret the decision since it was what I knew was right. I would rather be treated poorly than be persuaded to be deceptive.
4. Would you tell a client a little white lie to make them happy?
Although lying sometimes seems like the easy way out of a tense situation, lies often surface and make matters worse. Employers may ask this question to test your integrity and problem-solving skills. Show that you have alternative strategies to make customers happy rather than lying to them. Demonstrate that you only make promises you can keep.
Example: I used to work with another sales associate who always made false promises to get customers to leave him alone. Although these little white lies helped him, they ended up making life worse for our customer support specialists later on. To me, telling such lies is a selfish act. Instead, I want to work to find real solutions to a customer’s problem. It’s better to be honest and do more work now than to be deceitful and pay for it later on. I find that telling the truth can benefit both the company and its customers.
5. What would you do if you noticed you were overpaid for your time?
This question is a hypothetical situation that shows the steps you would take to resolve a situation that doesn’t benefit you but is the right thing to do. Employers want to see that you make ethical decisions even if it will cost you something, in this case, extra money on your paycheck. In your answer, explain that you would alert your employer about the extra funds. Explain that you shouldn’t benefit from someone else’s honest mistake.
Example: Getting an unexpected bonus would be exciting, but if it was due to a mistake, I wouldn’t feel right keeping the money. I would need to inform the payroll department about the extra funds. What many people don’t realize is that when you don’t address someone else’s mistake, that individual can suffer serious consequences. Imagine if the payroll employee was balancing the payroll budget and found it was short. I would never want to be the reason this employee gets reprimanded or that the company doesn’t have enough funds. Likewise, I don’t deserve the money if I didn’t work for it.