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Added November 14, 2006

Core Values #3

You not only have to define your core values as a company, you have to live them. Believe me, your behavior during the hiring process communicates very clearly to the candidates your core values, or your inconsistency with them. Have you ever had a candidate reject your offer and wonder why? In some cases, they got a clear picture of a company that says one thing and behaves in another way.

Assume that one of your core values is “always operating from the highest levels of integrity.” Obviously, you want to hire people with integrity. Can an interview question tell you if a person has integrity? Not exactly, but it can give you some insights. Obviously, if you ask someone during an interview if they have integrity it should be no surprise to you that everyone says yes, even if they do not have integrity. So, how do we get beyond this? Here is what I would do.

Begin by asking this closed-ended question; “Would those who know you best describe you as a person of integrity?” The answer I assure you will be, yes. Now that you have their mind set on integrity, you need to say; “Tell me about a time when you had to stand up for your beliefs, you had to demonstrate your integrity.” Of course there will be those who tell you it has happened many times, but they cannot recall a specific incident. The truth is, they have not taken a stand for their integrity. A person with integrity will describe a real life event to you in which they had to stand up for their integrity. You will be able to tell if it is true by the example; real names, real places; real time. However, one question is not enough to ascertain with certainty. You will need to ask more questions, such as “tell me about a time you had to put your job on the line for something you felt was right.”

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