Hiring For Integrity—Integrity Matters Part 2
If we agree that it is important to be a company that customers feel is led by and employs a team that has integrity (see Part 1: Does Integrity Matter?), let’s take a minute to look at strategies to find staff with integrity.
We at Standard pride ourselves on our Core Values: Hardworking and Self Motivated, Do the Right Thing, Problem-Solvers, Positive Attitude, and Customer-Focused. These Core Values encompass many attributes, including Integrity, providing our employees with a solid foundation to meet our customer's expectations in all we do. Our Core Values drive us to find employees with core values that align with our own. Think of your own organization's Core Values—integrity, or one or more of its attributes, is most likely important to your organization as well. Since integrity’s 5 attributes: Dependability, Loyalty, Honesty, Good Judgement, and Respect are learned at a young age, if we want our organizations to earn a reputation for having team members who are dependable, loyal, honest, have good judgment, and respect others, it is our job as employers to uncover whether potential team members have integrity.
During the interview process, you can ask questions that will help reveal an individual’s level of integrity. As you interview, some open-ended questions you might ask that we have selected from over 50 examples available here include:
- Why do you want to work at this company?
- What’s a time you disagreed with a decision that was made at work?
- Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, and how you dealt with it.
- What do you like least about your job?
- How do you prioritize your work?
Ask these questions exactly as written and then stop talking. Allow the candidate a moment to think, formulate their answer, and then pay close attention while they answer. Allow them plenty of time (pausing before you say anything else, even if you think they are done answering the previous question). You will be amazed at what candidates will share and how much you will learn about their character—helping you uncover the level of integrity they will likely bring with them if they are to be employed by your organization.
Be sure to have your questions typed out on a sheet of paper and leave space between each question for you to write the candidate’s answers. This is important for many reasons including the candidate knowing you are listening carefully and documenting the conversation, their answers can be filed with employment paperwork for future reference, and documented answers can be shared with others as your organization considers this candidate. If a candidate makes it through the interview process and is hired, it is still important to keep your eyes and ears open. See Part 3 of this Integrity Matters series—Firing For Lack of Integrity—because it is our job as leaders of an organization to ensure that our team members maintain their integrity. The reputation of our company (and our own integrity) depends on it.