Job interview question and answer: Do you see yourself as an ethical person?

Posted October 13, 2011, by Josie Chun

In an era when corporate responsibility and sustainability are becoming prominent in public consciousness, professional ethics are assuming greater importance to both employers and employees alike. Employers want ethical employees, employees want to work for ethical employers, and companies are realising that operating in an ethical manner is, in fact, good for business.

Ethics encompass a person’s values and moral principles and extend into every area of life. If you see yourself as an ethical person, you should be able to demonstrate that in any manner of ways. It could be through your ‘green’ practices, volunteer work, involvement with the RSPCA, working as a surf lifesaver, community involvement or your commitment to buying ‘fair trade’ products. You should explain how these practices are reflections of deeply held beliefs about what is right rather than mere token efforts.

Even if you don’t engage in these sorts of practices, you could simply state the importance to you of maintaining your integrity in everything you do, both at work and in your personal life. You could emphasise the importance to you of honesty and trust in your relationships, and show how you demonstrate this in your relationships with family, friends and colleagues.

Another way of answering this question could be to describe a situation where an opportunity presented itself to act less than ethically – such as the time you could have claimed credit for someone else’s work, could have sped away from bumping someone else’s car without leaving a note, or were given more money than you were owed. Showing that you followed your conscience and did the right thing will show your potential employer that you’ve got the right ethical foundations to make for a model employee who they will feel proud to have on their team.

Josie Chun

Academy Xi
AIM Business School
Australasian College of Health and Wellness
Australian Catholic University
Australian College of Physical Education
Australian HR Institute
Australian Institute of Business
Australian Institute of Personal Trainers
BCA National Training Group
Builders Academy Australia
Charles Sturt University
College Australia
Deakin University
Dūcere
Edith Cowan University
Ella Bache College
Foundation Education
General Assembly
Griffith University
Hammond Institute
HTMi Australia
James Cook University Online
Kaplan Professional
La Trobe University
MCI Institute
Melbourne City Institute of Education
Mentor Education
Monarch Institute
Monash University
Open Colleges
Patrick Careers Academy
Rose Training Australia
Sarina Russo Institute
St Mark's National Theological Centre
Swinburne Online
The Hotel School
The National Finance Institute
UniSA Online
Upskilled
University of Canberra
Integrated Care & Management Training (ICMT)
Open Colleges School of Health