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Uncover a Candidate’s Ethical Standards from an Interview

March 23rd, 2012

What are the ethical standards of your potential job candidate? If you do not know, it could be putting your business on the line. While every organization needs to know this before they choose a candidate, not all professionals interview for this information. The right interview questions and design will produce the information required.

Top Questions to Ask

Depending on your need for information, you may or may not ask the questions below. However, this information will most definitely help you to gauge who the person across the table really is.

  • Do you believe it is okay to compromise ethics in the workplace? What do you believe would compromise an ethical workplace?
  • Would you every lie for a superior if asked to do so?
  • Have you ever worked with a company that had a code of conduct? If so, did you follow it, did you believe in it, and what were your positive or negative experiences with it?
  • What if your personal ethics are different from the company’s ethics?
  • When have you ever been part of a situation in which something unethical occurred? How did you handle that situation? (This happens to everyone. Encourage them to open up about it.)
  • Are there any ethics or values you have that are different from other cultures? What happens when your ethics are different from those of a co-worker?
  • Did you have a look at the company’s policies and ethics? What do you think of them?
  • Do you have any training in ethics for business?

It can be hard to get a candidate to open up about his or her experiences in this area. Ethics are often a personal matter. What you do behind closed doors is not something you may be willing to share with others. Encourage the candidate by instructing them to answer from a business point of view. How did they or would they react in the workplace when ethics became an issue.

In addition, do not show your cards. Be sure the interviewee understands that there is not a wrong answer here. You want to learn more about them than just if they have responded to an ethical situation. You want to know what they did, why they did it and if they will do it again. For example, everyone experiences times when the boss lies for them (“Tell them I’m not in my office today.”) That is not the question you need to answer. You need to know what level they will lie at and what they will not.

Ethical standards remain very important within the work environment and yet many hiring managers do not take the time to ask the important questions about ethics as a whole. This should be one part of your interview not to skip. Just asking a few of the above listed questions can provide you with the information you truly need to know to make an informed decision about the candidate.


Positive Employee Relationships Start with Great Interviews

November 19th, 2011

For many companies the hiring process can be a function that is necessary, but not a very pleasant aspect of being in business. Resources and man hours have to be put into advertising, recruiting and interviewing candidates. Even as the best candidate for the job is chosen, assets are put in to training employees. However, the next person to be interviewed could be a great employee.

With all the energy and time put into the hiring process, it is in the best interest of both parties to establish a good relationship in the workplace. This starts with providing effective professional interviews with candidates.

Avoid Turnover

One goal in the job interview is to provide information on what the company needs and expects from its employees. It is the first step in establishing a relationship between an employer and potential employee. A good interview experience can make a good impression on a candidate from day one. It can also help set a good reputation for the company helping to attract quality candidates. A good interview process is the first step in bringing in qualified and productive employees.

Preview Job Qualifications

When preparing to interview people for a new job opening, review the actual job duties of the position. Check to see if there have been any changes in the requirements of the job since the previous employee was in this slot. Many job descriptions and duties are updated due to market changes, technology and additional responsibilities. Preparing interview questions while taking these updates into account gives job candidates a better idea of what the position entails.

Job Related Questions

In order to be in compliance with anti-discrimination laws, questions should only be based on the candidate’s ability to do the job, not anything of a personal nature.  Questions regarding the applicant’s private life, age, relationships, sexual and religious orientation are inappropriate and in violation of state and federal laws. Questions can be asked about interests such as hobbies, but only as they relate to professional skills and achievements.

Attracting Employees

Bringing in good employees with potential for long term careers with your organization is an effective recruitment process. One thing to consider with this is where you want to attract employees from. Many companies have a vested interest in the local community and try to make an effort to recruit from their area. Industries like the high tech industries have relationships in research and development with local colleges. These companies may bring employees from these institutions. Taking advantage of established relationships can help the interview process by enhancing the company’s identity.

To improve your corporate image and interviewing processes, consider the advantages of partnering with Concorde Personnel today.


5 Non-traditional Interview Questions That Can Help You Select the Best Candidate

August 30th, 2011

Image source: photostock /

When it comes to interviewing, having an effective list of interview questions to pull from can make the difference between identifying a stellar candidate or ending up with a dud. By adding a few non-traditional interview questions into the mix, it’s easier to select the best candidates for the job because of how these candidates respond. Here are 5 non-traditional questions that can help you find diamonds in the rough among your candidate list.

Describe the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? While this question may seem a little unrelated to work habits, being somewhat of a risk taker signifies someone who is a natural leader. Calculated risk taking can indicate a person who is not afraid of taking chances in order to experience something better. This trait can benefit the workplace in those that encourage team work and creativity. The more in detail the candidate responds, the higher level of creativity one may expect.

Where do you see yourself in five years? This question often gets raised eyebrows from interviewees, but it’s a very important one from a hiring standpoint. If the candidate is just looking for temporary placement or is using this opportunity as a stepping stone, the answer will most likely focus on the candidate’s personal goals. If the interviewee answers that he or she would like to take on a role of more responsibility within your company, there’s a likelihood of being a more stable candidate who can be developed.

What are the signs that an employer is a good one to work for? Let’s face it; job seekers are usually looking for a career where they can shine. They are in it for the money, the title or the advancement opportunities. However, it’s rare that a candidate will step outside of his or her personal needs to choose a company based on it’s merits. Look for candidates who speak about wanting to work for an organization with high ethics, community responsibility and an environment where employees collaborate to create new and better things.

Describe your last job/ boss in three words? When you ask this question, be prepared for the client to either laugh or look stunned. This non-traditional interview question is sometimes better than an employment verification check as the reaction of the candidate speaks volumes. A candidate who has positive work experiences will answer with positive words and generally more than three will come to mind. Someone who has left on bad terms will have trouble with this one, or may refuse to answer it. Take note of the candidate’s verbal and non-verbal responses.

If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you be? This is a fun interview question to throw in, especially to break the ice with nervous candidates. Who the interviewee picks can say a great deal about his or her personal values. The best candidates will choose a super hero who is all powerful and then will go into detail how they will change the world in a positive way. Look for those who explain how being a superhero can benefit mankind and you have the makings of great employees.

Want more tips on effective interviewing? Check with the employment professionals at Concorde Personnel today.

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