Earnest Robinson

Prep yourself with these examples of integrity interview questions

Interviewing

Prep yourself with these examples of integrity interview questions

Artwork by: Nadiia Zhelieznova

  • What is integrity in the workplace?
  • Why is integrity important in the workplace?
  • How do you answer interview questions on integrity?
  • Five integrity interview questions with example answers
  • Key takeaways

Learn how to properly answer integrity interview questions that will boost your chances of landing your dream job. There are sample questions with answers to help you get started and eliminate guesswork.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 brought to light the illegal and unethical actions of many in the corporate world. Today, companies want to know that new hires will act and represent the company with integrity. That is why you should be prepared to answer integrity interview questions. 

Learning how to correctly answer integrity interview questions will not only show you as someone with the skills to perform the job but also as someone with high moral character, and this combination will boost your chances of landing your dream job.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • What is integrity in the workplace?

  • Why is integrity important in the workplace?

  • How do you answer interview questions on integrity?

  • Five integrity interview questions with example answers

What is integrity in the workplace?

There is an old adage that states, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” This could not be truer than in the workplace.

Integrity in the workplace means that you are of strong character, trustworthy, law-abiding, and ethical. You are willing to do what’s right no matter how difficult the situation is. Workplace integrity is an extension of personal integrity. It starts from the top down and is (or should be) the fabric of the organization’s culture.  

Why is integrity important in the workplace?

The best brand endorsement for a company is its name and reputation. No matter the role, all employees are representatives of the organization. One bad apple really can spoil the bunch, which means hiring employees who have a high level of integrity is a must in today’s business climate.

When conducting interviews, the hiring organization must ask integrity interview questions. As such, candidates must prepare to answer these questions as well.

How do you answer interview questions on integrity?

During an interview, when faced with integrity questions, it is important to answer using your moral compass.

Frame your answers using the PAR method (Problem, Action, Result). Identify a problem you have encountered, the action you took to resolve said problem, and the result of the action taken.

An article by Meghan Casserly on NBCNews.com, quotes Chuck Pappalardo with the following reasons for companies to ask candidates about integrity.

  • “A good interview requires more than just good questions. It also requires a deep understanding of the traits and behaviors you’re seeking or avoiding.” 

  • “By crafting questions designed to elicit ‘evidence’ of the desired characteristics, you’re able to draw conclusions about candidates’ ability to perform in an authentic and meaningful way.”

As you prepare your answers, keep in mind what the company really wants to discover so you can convince them of your integrity.

Five integrity interview questions with example answers

1. What does professional integrity mean to you?

Answer:

For me, professional integrity means doing what is right and what is legally and ethically expected of me, no matter the consequences, even if no one is around to see me do the right thing. This is who I am as a person, no matter if I am at work or in my personal life. There are many things you will be able to count on me for, and doing the right thing with a high level of integrity is a character attribute I will bring to [Company Name].

 2. How would you describe yourself?

Answer:

I describe myself, and I am sure others will agree, as conscientious, hardworking, trustworthy, and reliable. I am loyal and committed to the mission of the organization. I am driven to be the best, and I want success for me and my team. But I never let my drive to win push me to do anything illegal or unethical.

3. Have you ever been asked to do something illegal or unethical in the workplace? How did you handle it?

Answer:

Unfortunately, yes. I was asked by a superior to change an employee’s timesheet and not tell anyone. The change was not to correct an error but to shortchange the employee on time worked.

I handled the situation by first asking the reason for the change. I was not given a reason but was told to make the change as directed. I then explained that I could not change the employee’s timesheet by removing hours worked. By law, the employee must be paid for all hours worked.

My superior at the time stated that I was insubordinate and threatened to fire me if I did not comply. I calmly restated my reasoning for not changing the timesheet, documented our conversation, and met with HR. While it was a very difficult and uncomfortable situation, my integrity would not allow me to do the wrong thing.

4. How would you handle a situation where a co-worker has done something illegal?

Answer:

I hold myself and others to certain standards with a high level of integrity. What I expect from myself, I also expect from others. 

If faced with such a situation, I would immediately meet with my manager and explain what I witnessed.

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5. Tell me a time when you made a mistake that no one knew about and how you handled it.

Answer:

I was the leader of a cross-functional team effort to resolve a software bug. At one point during the project a mistake was made, and the action of a team member was thought to be the reason. Soon after, I realized the mistake was due to something I had done and not the result of the team member’s action.

Not wanting the team member to get into trouble, I sent an email to my boss, the team member’s boss, as well as the team member, explaining what happened. I apologized for the mistake and assured all involved that once I realized what happened, I brought this to everyone’s attention.

Doing the right thing is important to me. We all make mistakes, but at that moment it was important to clear up the confusion and ensure that the team member was not blamed for something he did not do.

Key takeaways

  1. Learning how to correctly answer integrity interview questions will boost your chances of landing your dream job.

  2. Integrity in the workplace means that you are of strong character and are willing to do what’s right no matter how difficult the situation.

  3. When answering integrity interview questions, use the PAR method (Problem, Action, Result).

  4. When faced with integrity questions during an interview, it is important to answer using your moral compass.

Earnest Robinson

Earnest is an experienced Career Coach and Resume Writer with expertise in providing professionals with the tools to effectively navigate the job search and prepare for a successful career. He specializes in training, coaching, and mentoring career seekers on how to gain and maintain a successful career filled with passion. Earnest believes true career success comes from being holistically balanced, and he blogs on health issues related to nutrition, physical fitness, and positive lifestyle change.

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