Some of the most common questions asked in a job interview relate to a single idea: integrity. In the workplace, integrity relates to the consistency of your character, and knowing how to answer questions about integrity can positively influence the impression you make on the interviewer. Showing a commitment to honesty, responsibility and loyalty could make you a more hirable candidate for many jobs.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to respond effectively to interview questions about integrity.
Read more: Integrity: Definition and Examples
6 integrity interview questions
Below are six commonly asked interview questions related to integrity:
1. What does the word “integrity” mean to you?
Interviewers use this question to determine if you have a personal understanding of the concept of integrity. When interviewers ask this question, they might expect you to talk about your character and your values. This is an opportunity to show that you care about being trustworthy and responsible. Being able to express integrity in your own words will show the interviewer you know of your own values and moral code.
Example: “To me, integrity means having a consistent character, even when there is pressure to compromise. I believe in maintaining the same moral code in all areas of my life, and it is important to me I stay true to my values at all times. I work hard to show my honesty, responsibility and trustworthiness both in and out of the workplace.”
2. Have you ever had consequences for doing the right thing?
Interviewers who ask this question likely want to know how you acted in a real-life situation in which you had to make a sacrifice to stay true to values. If you can tell a relevant, honest story that shows you making a moral decision even when it was hard, you can assure the interviewer that if a similar situation arises at their company, you would still do the right thing. Think about a situation you can share ahead of time to make sure you tell it accurately and effectively.
Example: "In a previous position, I once had to report one of my coworkers for dishonesty even when I knew it might cost me his friendship. I witnessed this coworker falsifying a work-related document and I knew I had to report the situation to our supervisor. The coworker was a good friend of mine, so I worried about how my actions might affect our relationship. Still, I knew that I had to make the right choice. Afterward, the coworker stopped spending time with me outside of work, but I was glad that I had decided not to cover for him.”
3. What do you do when you need to admit your mistakes?
Interviewers ask this question because they want to know that a potential employee can admit when they are wrong. This is an important quality to have in the workplace because it improves the relationship between employers and employees and contributes to teams being able to solve problems quickly and efficiently.
Showing a commitment to honesty and taking responsibility for your actions is an important part of being a team player. How you answer this question will show the interviewer whether you will be as honest about your failures as you are about your successes.
Example: “When I know I’ve made a mistake, I go to the person or people my mistake affected and I tell them the truth. It is important to me I take responsibility for my actions. After I explain my mistake, I then do everything I can to solve any problems I may have caused. I know that if I’m willing to admit my mistakes, it will be easier for others on my team to forgive me and for everyone to move on without further conflict.”
4. Tell me about a time when a situation tested your integrity.
This question is another chance to share a personal story that proves your dedication to integrity. Use this question as an opportunity to share a past situation that forced you to choose between making an easy decision and making the right decision. How you answer this question will show the interviewer how you handled a difficult situation and will give them confidence that you will make the right decision if a similar situation arises in your new position.
Example: "A former boss once asked me to lie to his supervisor. He told me it wasn’t a big deal and that he would take the responsibility for any consequences, but I wasn’t convinced. I told him I couldn’t help him do something dishonest. He threatened to fire me, but I stayed true to my values. It was a difficult situation, but I know I made the right choice.”
5. How have you dealt with failure in the past?
This question is the interviewer’s way of finding out what you do in situations where you have to overcome a personal failure. You’ll need to show that you can cope with failure in a healthy and productive way that does not compromise your integrity. Think of a time in your past where you overcame failure with patience and determination.
Example: “When I was searching for a job after college, I struggled to find a position in my field. I knew I had the option to add false qualifications or experience to my resume, but I decided to keep trying instead of compromising my values. I persisted in my search and eventually found a position with a great company.”
6. Do others consider you to be trustworthy?
This question allows you to tell the interviewer about specific occasions when others put their trust in you in a professional setting. This could be a story about how a previous boss trusted you to lead a project or the time a coworker asked for your input when handling an issue in the office. Trustworthiness is an important quality in many workplaces and answering this question well will give the interviewer reason to believe they can trust you.
Example: “At my previous job, my manager allowed me to lead a small team in completing an important project. She trusted me to oversee and coordinate the project, without any input from her or our supervisor. This responsibility showed me that she trusted my judgment and had faith in my ability to complete the task.”