As an interviewer, it’s important to get a good sense of an entry level job candidate’s employment ethic from other things than a long work history. Discovering the work ethic of a potential hire is as simple as lining up a few questions that will provide insight into their character. Here are just a few such questions:
1. Would you be willing to miss a deadline if it meant compromising quality?
This employment interview question allows the interviewer to see what type of experience a candidate has with high pressure situations and their reactions to them. It also will tell them if they can think on their feet or be more content taking shortcuts that might not be ethical. Keep in mind you’ll be interviewing recent graduates, so they may not know how to answer this question properly and be hesitant. Don’t hold reluctance against them, but rather pay attention to what they say and how they say it.
2. Do you have an example of a time when you went above and beyond your call of duty on-the-job?
This gives the interviewer insight into whether a job candidate has a strong inner motivation to work hard or whether they’re just showing up to get a paycheck. It will also show what type of initiative they have and their style for getting things done. If the candidate doesn’t have a lot of on the job experience, consider asking them about their experience in clubs or on projects where they had to go a step further in order to ensure success. Adjust this employment interview question as you see fit based off the candidates resume before they sit down to hone in on a particular job or experience you’d want them to elaborate on.
3. If your supervisor asked you to do something illegal, what would you do?
This is a tricky employment interview question that will gather a lot of data on what types of unethical behavior a candidate might not see as unethical or whether they’re willing to be ethical under pressure. It might also lead into a prior situation in the past that they dealt with and how it was handled. You can also bring up a specific instance of something that straddles the line between acceptable and unacceptable behavior and ask them what they would do in that situation. One of the big upsides of this question is that it allows you to ask to see how the candidate thinks on their feet and responds to a situation where employment ethic considerations may come into play.
Having Trouble Thinking Up Your Own Questions?
If you don’t have the time to work out interesting situational questions that can stir a conversation, don’t be afraid to simply test for the response with canned work ethics testing software. There is a higher cost and degree of effort involved, but it will provide pre-employment screening that will be automatically graded once the candidate finishes taking the test. It can also help to spot those that give a good answer only because they’ve learned to be deceptive, which while rare can happen during interviews. When conducting your interviews don’t forget these tips to make sure you appropriately screen for candidates that may not stand up to your companies ethical standards.