How to answer ethical interview questions

During your interview, you might be asked your opinion on a topic or issue. Don’t fall into the trap of passionately expressing a certain view! Instead, follow these tips to help you ace ethics questions

Instead, use the interview prep tips below to learn a framework that you can use to answer any ethics question you’re asked.

Don’t Express Your Opinion Straight Away

Whilst it can be tempting to launch straight into your personal opinions about abortion or euthanasia, this is not what your interviewers are looking for.

When discussing medical ethics, the best thing to do is to pause, fully process the question and think about why they have asked this.

Think About Ethical Principles

Remember the key ethical principles:

Think about which of these apply to the scenario – and how. Do other principles apply, like consent and capacity?

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Summarise The Key Issues

Once you’ve thought about the ethical principles and the scenario given, it’s important to summarise what you think the key issues are. It’s a good idea to focus on the two or three most important arguments to keep your summary concise.

By showing your thinking, you can help the interviewer understand how you’ve approached this question or task.

Think About Wider Implications

Once you’ve outlined the key arguments you should also discuss the wider implications. For example, if you’re asked to analyse a situation in which you consider that a doctor lying to a patient may be justified, then think about what would happen if you applied this rule to other scenarios. This is always a good way to test out the validity of your ethical viewpoint – and you can explain this to the interviewer.

Where questions have been asked in a seemingly abstract way, try to think about healthcare-related implications.

Stay calm

Ethical scenarios will always be some of the trickier questions you will be asked in your interview. Try to remember that interviewers aren’t looking for you to understand every possible viewpoint and every legal aspect of certain scenarios. But by showing you have considered more than one point of view and can weigh them up, e.g. by using the ethical pillars, you can show your interviewer that you can think critically and understand complex issues.

Stay calm, speak slowly, and allow yourself to take pauses. This shows that you’re processing your thoughts, so you can answer the question to the best of your ability and really impress your interviewer. Don’t feel pressured to fill the silence by chatting.

Prepare For Common Questions In Advance

Some ethical hot topics are more likely to be asked than others, so think about what is topical and what is a long-standing issue. For example, you could be asked about vaccination with the COVID-19 vaccination in the news, or about medicinal cannabis, or abortion or euthanasia – and beyond.

As these subjects are so important, doing your research before your interview and having a good idea of what you would talk about can be really helpful. Our hot topics guide covers these in detail.

Additionally, practising applying the four ethical pillars to these scenarios will also be a really good way to prepare – and so can reviewing example interview questions

Make sure you practice how to answer questions with people, too. This will give you a sense of how you sound, and whether you’re able to confidently apply the tips outlined above.

Test Your Knowledge

Another great tip for ethics questions is to test your knowledge. Try our quiz to find out how much you know about ethics – and see if you still need some help with this topic.

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Popular Interview Prep

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Interview Course

Stand out with our one-day Medical School Interview Course – delivered by Doctors. Get proven strategies and a real mock interview.

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Ethical Interview Questions And Answers – Jobs/Vacancies – Nairaland

If you’re prepared for an interview, you’ll almost certainly be asked ethical interview questions so the interviewer can get a sense of your work ethics. While ethical dilemma questions might be difficult to answer, planning ahead of time how you will reply will help you succeed. Additionally, the interviewer may ask you ethical interview questions in a variety of methods, so be prepared ahead of time. We’ll look at why companies ask ethical interview questions, how to respond to them, and examples of replies in this post to help you ace your interview.

Employers ask ethical interview questions for a variety of reasons.
Employers use ethical dilemma interview questions to evaluate your honesty and attitude to analyzing and addressing workplace challenges. Another significant reason for asking this question is that it helps employers to understand what your professional values are and how they fit with the company’s ideals.
Employers frequently ask broad questions like, "Can you explain a period when you were confronted with an ethical dilemma?" Your response to this ethical interview question will be an example of a circumstance in which you relied on transparency, your fundamental beliefs, empathy, and morality to address a problem.
In other cases, ethical dilemma interview questions might take the form of particular situational questions that an interviewer asks to obtain a feel of these traits in a variety of hypothetical scenarios. You may prepare for a variety of ethical dilemma interview questions in advance, including:
What would you do if your boss ordered you to lie about something?
What would you do if a boss or bosses ordered you to do something you didn’t want to do?
What would you do if you saw a coworker engaging in unethical behavior?
There are various measures you may take while preparing for your interview to guarantee you have an answer ready in the event you are asked a moral interview question:

Consider a situation and how you handled it.
Specific examples from your prior experience are the most effective method to answer ethical interview questions. Consider a time when you had to resolve a disagreement, take action against unethical activity, or handle any scenario in which you needed to rely on your problem-solving skills and capacity to respond quickly. For example, perhaps you saw a coworker steal or a new boss use corporate property for personal benefit.

Make a connection between your activities and the company’s values or mission.
Using instances of your communication, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities, describe your experience. Describe the circumstances and how you were able to resolve the disagreement in a morally acceptable way. The interviewer will be able to see how your basic values and beliefs inspire you to tackle an ethical problem in this way. For example, if you challenged a coworker who was stealing and reported it to your boss, these actions might demonstrate how much you respect employee-employer trust and transparency.

Prioritize the requirements and interests of the firm.
Consider how your actions and the conclusion of the issue reflect how you prioritize the company’s interests when you reply with your experience. For example, if you discovered an employee using your previous company’s client network for personal benefit or gain and took action to stop them, explain how you did so while maintaining the company’s interests.

Emphasize the importance of acting with honesty.
Whatever position you are in and how you behave throughout the interview, make sure to stress your capacity to operate with honesty and integrity. Even if your experience forced you to act against wrongdoing or unethical conduct, be sure to repeat your principles and illustrate how you opted to take proactive and fair actions toward a solution.

Use the Star answer method.
Ethical dilemma interview questions are essentially situational interview questions that focus on moral behavior and professional integrity. The Star response approach may be used to answer ethical issues in the same way as it can be used to answer situational interview questions:

Circumstance: Describe the ethical problem or situation you encountered in a few words.
Task: Describe your position, as well as the responsibilities of all other people engaged in the scenario.
Give examples of the actions or techniques you used to tackle the problem.
Result: Show how you used your ethics, values, and other abilities to reach a decision. Connect this to the company’s ideals.

The medical school interview trail is filled with great learning opportunities and interesting interactions. Generally, it’s a positive experience overall. Most of your interviews are conversations rather than interrogations, and you will often end up having a pleasant conversation with the physician tasked with interviewing you. So rest assured that much of the experience will be positive.

With that said, some components of the interview process can certainly be challenging. One challenging component of medical school interviews are ethical questions, which can trip up some applicants.

You may encounter questions regarding challenging scenarios that propose an ethical dilemma. You will be asked to state how you would proceed and why. Many of these questions can be difficult and, at times, nerve-wracking. What is the best way to approach them?

Read our comprehensive Medical School Interview Guide for a complete overview of the interview process.

The 4 Principles of Bioethics

The first step in developing a framework by which to approach these questions is to know the four basic principles of bioethics. Most, if not all, medical ethical dilemmas can be systematically evaluated based on one or more of these principles. By understanding them, you can usually reason your way to an appropriate answer.

Not all ethical questions have an exact right answer, but by providing sound reasoning based on ethical principles, you can demonstrate a solid foundation of knowledge to guide such decisions.

Here are the principles to know.

1 | Autonomy

Any individual who has the capacity to make their own decisions should be able to do so. This is one of the most basic and useful guiding principles of bioethics. The challenge lies in scenarios where it is difficult to discern whether or not the patient has the capacity to make decisions.

In the case of unemancipated minors (people under the age of 18 and still under the supervision or parents of guardians), generally, their parents make decisions on their behalf. An exception is when there is clear harm being done to the minor by the guardian.

In scenarios when a patient has a medical or psychiatric condition that alters their mental status, they need to demonstrate that they understand the risks and benefits of any decision they are making in order to have capacity. If able to do so, they can opt for or against medical care autonomously.

2 | Nonmaleficence

This is a simple tenet to understand. It is the responsibility of every physician to first do no harm to the patient. This means not providing or withholding medical care if either decision could potentially harm the patient in question.

3 | Beneficence

The counterpart of nonmaleficence, this is the duty to help patients and provide medical care that will be of benefit to them.

4 | Justice

This principle applies to providing each individual what they are due. It also deals with the issue of appropriately distributing societal resources evenly.

In general, all individuals should be treated equally, irrespective of socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, or other demographic factors. For example, justice is particularly relevant to organ donation. Individuals on the transplant list are ranked based on their need (severity of disease) as well as how much they “deserve” the organ. For example, to obtain a liver transplant, a patient must be abstinent from alcohol for at least six months.

Examples of Medical Ethics Interview Questions


A respected friend and coworker has been exhibiting erratic behavior at work lately, which is puzzling to you. One day, you find the individual with alcohol on their breath while at work. How would you deal with this situation?


A patient suffers a traumatic injury and is rushed to the hospital. They are bleeding rapidly and will require blood transfusion. Prior to the blood being ordered, a nurse uncovers documentation from the patient that indicates they are a Jehovah’s Witness, meaning they would refuse any blood transfusion if conscious. You are worried the patient may die if not transfused. What do you do?

How to Approach Medical Ethics Questions

Most patient-centered questions can be broken down into one of the above four principles to guide an answer. Outside of these scenarios, follow these basic tips to guide your approach.

1 | Err on the Side of Caution with Your Answers

This means to always side with the more moral, scrupulous approach to a scenario. If there is morally questionable behavior indicated in the question, always opt to speak out and stand up against such behavior if feasible.

2 | Evaluate Urgency vs. Emergency

In medical emergencies when the patient’s wishes are not known, the physician should act in the patient’s best interest by providing the appropriate standard of medical care. If the situation is not an emergency and some time is available, the provider should seek out a spouse or family member who is designated as a decision maker and ask what their evaluation of the patient’s wishes would be.

3 | Use Bioethics Principles in Order of Importance

In general, use the four principles of bioethics in the following order of importance in any given ethical dilemma:

patient autonomy > nonmaleficence > beneficence > justice.

In the medical school interview, avoid making evaluations of social justice and allocation of resources if possible, as this can predispose you to potential prejudiced decision-making. Focus on providing every individual with the same high-quality, compassionate care.

Prepare and Plan Ahead

As with any other challenging task, it is beneficial to have a framework of reasoning off of which to work and deal with a multitude of ethical scenarios. The principles of bioethics, along with the strategies shared in this post, provide this.

For additional guidance, read our strategies for other medical school application questions.

If you need any further assistance with medical school interview preparation, contact Med School Insiders to learn more about our interview preparation services. Our advisers can provide you with specific advice and questions, and they can perform mock interviews.

I never had to cheat/plagiarize/copy homework in school. I never stole stuff either. How am I supposed to answer the ethical dilemma question? I could obviously BS an answer, but I’m sure the interviewer can tell right away that I’m BS-ing. So how would I best approach this question, if I’m asked?

You could tell them about the time that you had to decide whether or not to lie and BS an answer to this question.

If I was the interviewer this would definitely get a laugh out of me.

  • O
  • Rank: King Kong
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If I was the interviewer this would definitely get a laugh out of me.

This approach could work either really well or really bad, depends on the interviewer.

  • CF
  • Rank: Monkey
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Talk about a time in which someone else tried to cheat/lie/copy/steal and the actions you took.

Talk about how some of your classmates asked you to review their resume and help with technical questions. Walk the interviewer through how you were torn between friendship and feeding them misinformation / bad advice in an effort to gain an edge in the recruiting process. In the end, you helped them out because the bonds of friendship were stronger than the benjamins, bitches, and coke.

Medicine is about delivering health benefits to patients. Sometimes this means curing them of an illness. If they cannot be cured, it may entail trying to halt or slow the progression of a disease. In the end, it may mean providing the best possible end of life care. From outside, the role of doctors seems straightforward: they use their medical skills—and medical technology—to benefit their patients. The ability to do good for people is one of the attractions of a medical career: part of what makes it a vocation rather than just a job.

However, there are times when it is not clear what we mean by “doing good.” Not necessarily because we are unsure about the diagnosis, or of whether a proposed treatment will be effective, but because there are real doubts about what “good” means. Is withdrawing life sustaining treatment from a patient in a persistent vegetative state good, or should he or she be kept alive indefinitely?

Medicine entails the application of science to the healing of human beings. At times it can seem as if the human is swamped by the science. One of the reasons admissions tutors to medical schools might ask you how you would respond to ethical problems is because these questions can shed light on the human dimension of medicine. At an interview, admissions tutors will be exploring more than your scientific and analytic abilities. They will also be exploring emotional skills such as empathy.

Box 1: Key points to consider when asked to discuss ethical dilemmas

Focus on the interests of the patient

As far as possible, explore the patient’s views

What are the likely consequences of the decision, in terms of benefit and harms, both for the patient and for relevant other people?

How to answer ethical interview questions

In today’s episode, I talk about a question raised over at our Facebook group, the Premed Hangout, concerning medical ethics. The question is this: How should you prepare for moral and ethical questions that may arise during the medical school interview?

I’ll talk in this episode about the importance of your thought processes as you answer these ethical questions, and I’ll give you some strategies in answering these kinds of questions to help you crush your medical school interview.

Ethical questions have no right or wrong answer:

99% of the time, there is no right or wrong answer. Rather, the interviewer will look into your thought processes when it comes to answering these questions.

“What are your thoughts on abortion?”

This is a common interview question. You need to articulate what your thought processes are:

  • Can you relate to the patient in a way that doesn’t diminish what their needs and desires are?
  • Are you putting the patient in harm’s way?
  • Can you articulate what you need to do personally and professionally for your own moral compass?

Essential things to remember when answering ethical questions:

  • Show respect to the patient.
  • Don’t be hostile toward the patient.
  • Show a good, thorough thought process in responding to the questions.
  • Take a firm stance about what you believe.
  • Think in the grand scheme of things, aiming to achieve the greater good.

Common ethical questions in medical school interviews:

  • Would you recommend or give life-sustaining therapy when you judge that it’s futile?
  • Would you consider halting life-sustaining therapy because the family demands it, even if you felt that it was premature?
  • Would you ever prescribe a placebo treatment simply because the patient wanted some sort of treatment?
  • Would you under-prescribe pain medications if you’re worried the patient would become reliant on them?
  • Would you withhold the diagnosis of a patient from them if the situation possibly calls for it?

You can find even more ethical questions with our Medical School Interview Question Generator.

Strategies for answering ethical questions in the medical school interview:

  • Get updated with the news and current events.
  • Google “medical ethics questions.”
  • When you’re thinking through these questions in preparation, think out loud.
  • During the interview, pause when you have to, and gather some thoughts before answering.

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what question is asked. The framework is always the same: Think through the process. Don’t put the patient in harm’s way.

On interview day, think of yourself on a level playing field with every other interviewee there. Scores and extracurricular activities don’t matter at that point. You’re either interviewing for an acceptance or a rejection, so how well you perform on interview day will determine if you get in or don’t.

We have three resources you should consider taking advantage of to improve your interview preparation:

what is the correct way to answer these questions in an interview?

1) what would you do if you saw a friend or classmate cheating?

2) what would you do if you saw a pharmacist slip pills in his pocket with the intention of stealing while youre working?

3) If a 14 year old girl came in for birth control would you give her? And would you tell her parents?

4)any other ethical question i should prepare for?

Please accurate answers of what an interviewer wants. Thanks to all who are willing to help


Full Member
  • Feb 4, 2015
  • #2

1. I would report it to the professor. Cheating is cheating and it doesn’t matter if he was my friend. Cheating to get ahead in pharmacy is dangerous, because let’s say a patient asks him a question when he’s licensed. And he cheated on that material, so he doesn’t understand it. He can potentially cause patient harm because of this.

2. I would report it to my Loss Prevention Manager as soon as possible.

3. I would give it to her provided she has a valid prescription from a doctor and there is nothing wrong with filling it based on her profile. And no, I would not tell her parents without her consent. That is a HIPPAA violation in my eyes, even though she’s not 18.

Those were pretty easy and straightforward. Not ethical questions at all. Ethical questions are gray areas. Seeing a person stealing pills isn’t s gray area. It’s as black (or white) as black can be.


Full Member
  • Feb 4, 2015
  • #3

1. I would report it to the professor. Cheating is cheating and it doesn’t matter if he was my friend. Cheating to get ahead in pharmacy is dangerous, because let’s say a patient asks him a question when he’s licensed. And he cheated on that material, so he doesn’t understand it. He can potentially cause patient harm because of this.

2. I would report it to my Loss Prevention Manager as soon as possible.

3. I would give it to her provided she has a valid prescription from a doctor and there is nothing wrong with filling it based on her profile. And no, I would not tell her parents without her consent. That is a HIPPAA violation in my eyes, even though she’s not 18.

Those were pretty easy and straightforward. Not ethical questions at all. Ethical questions are gray areas. Seeing a person stealing pills isn’t s gray area. It’s as black (or white) as black can be.


Full Member
  • Feb 5, 2015
  • #4

Thanks for the response.
I need some help with these last questions

1) If you an rx manager comes to work intoxicated one day, what would you tell him/her?

2) how do you get patients who are not taking their medicine to take them?


Full Member
  • Feb 5, 2015
  • #5

What kind of stupid questions are these? No offense to you whatsoever, but you’re asking dumb questions that have obvious answers. They aren’t ethical questions. You’re asking about CRIMES and BREAKINg the LAW.

If an rph comes to work intoxicated you notify HIS/HER supervisor immediately. You are PUTTING PEOPLE in harms way if you don’t. How is that ethical?

As for your 2nd question that isn’t an ethical question either. Do you know what ethics means? I would Google it if I were you. You can’t make patients take their medications. You can simply go over the importance of taking them, consequences of not taking them, and coach them into taking it. Find the 2-3 barriers that they have for not taking their meds. TACKLE those barriers. Destroy them with a metal bat. Once you do that, you’re good to go. Is price the major barrier? Find a less expensive generic. Boom, done.

Sorry to come on so strong, but you need to get your **** together and learn what you’re talking about. If you have to come on a forum and ask what you should do if you see someone stealing pills, you’re not ready for pharmacy.


Full Member
  • Feb 5, 2015
  • #6

The point of ethics and interview questions is that you say what you believe, not what you are spoonfed by others. They want to know about what you would do and your personal ethical code/character on certain issues so they get a better picture of you as a candidate.

I’d be happy to share my opinions on things, but you should answer those questions for yourself.

Leper Messiah

Full Member
  • Feb 6, 2015
  • #7


New Member
  • Feb 6, 2015
  • #8

I would tell you what I would "personally" instead of some bull**** flighty interview answers.

1) what would you do if you saw a friend or classmate cheating?
Friend– "Brah, you gonna get caught you keep doing that. It’s not worth it"
Classmate– Anonymous email to professor to keep an eye on him/her

2) what would you do if you saw a pharmacist slip pills in his pocket with the intention of stealing while youre working?
Situation is dependent on status. I am a pharmacist. If I catch a pharmacy intern or student doing something like this AND I feel like I may be able to intervene without ruining their life, I may confront personally. Of course is also dependent on the drug. Much different stealing a C2 than a propranolol for anxiety or a Viagra, etc. If it is a technician. The AXE. If it is another pharmacist, dependent on my relationship with him/her, either management or personal intervention.

3) If a 14 year old girl came in for birth control would you give her? And would you tell her parents?
Seriously? Seriously? **Rolls eyes**

1) If you an rx manager comes to work intoxicated one day, what would you tell him/her?
Bro. Go home. If you don’t go home, I’m calling the DM. I’ll take care of today. Then after my shift I would call the pharmacist and tell them that they need to check themselves into Rehab or I will call the DM, their choice.

2) how do you get patients who are not taking their medicine to take them?
First, I would assess why they aren’t taking them. Cost? Side effects? Not understanding why they are prescribed? If after a full counseling session assessing the patient, medication, cost, indication, etc., and the patient still decides not to take a prescribed medication, it is their absolute right to refuse treatment. I would wish them well and tell them to call with any questions and we are always here to fill their medications if they decide to change their mind.

How to answer ethical interview questions

When preparing for a PA school interview, you can probably guess the questions you are most likely to be asked. These include traditional (“Why do you want to become a PA?”) and behavioral/situational (“Tell me about a time when. “) questions.

However, anticipating ethical scenarios that may be posed during an interview is a bit tougher. So, instead of preparing for specific questions, it’s more helpful to use a system that can work for any moral dilemma presented.

In this post, you’ll learn a simple formula to help you answer any ethical scenario asked of you in a PA school interview.

Most ethical dilemmas posed in a PA school interview are presented as situational questions. With these types of questions, you are typically given a scenario where you are interacting with a patient or colleague. The question then centers on what actions you would take in the given scenario.

Here is one I like to use during Mock interview prep sessions:

A 70-year-old Mandarin-speaking man comes to your office for treatment of his prostate cancer. He does not speak English and his family informs you that he has not been told of his diagnosis. They ask that you provide him treatment but keep from telling him of his true diagnosis. What do you do?

The first step you should take is speaking with the individual(s) at the root of the issue. Unless there is an extreme case (like a provider smothering patients in their sleep), discussing the issue with those involved should be your first move.

Addressing the problem directly, rather than going over someone’s head, shows maturity and demonstrates respect for others. This approach is reflective of the actions you should take as a provider, whether it’s with a patient, caregiver, or colleague.

How to answer ethical interview questions

Your questions and exploration will vary based on the scenario presented, but your first step should always be to approach the primary player.

Your ideal solution would be a simple discussion with those involved in the scenario.

In this case, the players at the heart of the issue are the family members rather than the patient. Your best option would be to talk them out of their request.

You would start by asking questions about their concerns:
What does your father think he is here for?
How do you think he would react to the diagnosis?
Has anyone close to him had cancer before?
Are you concerned that he would refuse treatment?

You can also elaborate any additional steps that may help to facilitate the conversation, like involving their father in the discussion or asking a social worker for assistance.

How to answer ethical interview questions

After your discussion with the individual(s) at the heart of the issue, you should explain the ideal outcome of your conversation.

Your optimal result will usually be that the person sees the light and agrees to do the right thing. Your ideal outcome protects the confidentiality, health, or well-being of your patient while talking the individual at the heart of the issue (whether it’s the patient or someone else) into a better choice.

In our scenario, the family may explain that they believe their father will become depressed at learning of his diagnosis. Ideally, after speaking to them about the importance of his awareness of his diagnosis, they would agree. With the assistance of a non-family-member interpreter, you could then explain the diagnosis and recommended treatment course to the patient.

Every answer to an ethical question should outline a contingency plan. As part of your response, you should explain how you plan to protect your patient and their rights if your ideal solution does not work.

If the behavior in a scenario is reportable, you should describe how you would report it. A contingency plan may involve alerting law enforcement, notifying a public health department, or reporting a coworker to a supervisor.

In our scenario, plan B would involve to reinforcing the patient’s autonomy and authority to make decisions for his care. The contingency plan would involve putting the patient first regardless of the other players involved.

If the family was adamant that the patient should stay in the dark about his cancer, we’d explain that our duty was to the patient. We’d be obligated to respect the patient’s choices for his care, and to do that, the patient would need to be informed. Even if the family was against it, we would use a professional Mandarin interpreter to notify the patient of his diagnosis and treatment options.

1.Interview a Business Leader who you perceive models or applies ethical business practices.

2. Following the interview, craft an 8–10 page paper from the information gathered. Include your analysis of the interviewee’s leadership style supported with research.

Schedule a 30-minute interview to have sufficient time to ask some of the questions below. You are not limited to these questions. You can ask additional questions to gain further insight. When conducting the interview, ensure that you are courteous and the business person is comfortable to speak on the subjects in question. Use good judgment in scheduling and conducting the interview to gather your information.

Interview Questions

  • What is your leadership background? How many people do you lead directly and indirectly?
  • Do you have ethics present in your mind while interacting with others in the workplace?
  • Do you practice business ethics when training subordinates?
  • What impact do ethics have in your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly decision-making?
  • Do you promote ethical behavior to subordinates, peers, and superiors?
  • How much time do you spend dealing with ethical issues in your position?
  • Does ethical/unethical behavior affect customer relations? If so, in what way? If not, please explain.
  • Do you select teams based on their personal ethical code? What ingredients do you believe make a successful team in regards to performing in an exemplary ethical manner?
  • What successful ethical ideas can you share to guide prospective or current leaders in developing solid and sound decisions with the goal of overall success within the organization?
  • How much attention does your guidance project when it comes to social responsibility?
  • Is having a sound ethical code of ethics important in competitive environments? How do you present and verify if the code of ethics is being followed in your organization?
  • If you were to summarize in one sentence on what ethics is, what would it be?

Paper Structure

  • Introduction
  • Interview information
  • Analysis of Interviewee’s leadership style supported with research
  • Conclusion

Research Note

There is a requirement of at least two (2) references for this individual assignment. The reference must not be the person who is interviewed or from the textbook. It is highly recommended to read articles to gather information on leadership to describe the proper meaning of the leadership being discussed from this interview.

Over the years, we have found that one of the essay questions that gives candidates the most grief is the dreaded “ethical dilemma” question. Although most candidates clearly understand the difference between what is and is not ethical, the problem usually lies in the word “dilemma.” As you can tell from the definition provided, a dilemma occurs when two equally conclusive sides exist simultaneously—with an emphasis on “equally.” Here we offer two examples of responses to an “ethical dilemma” essay question. The first presents only one reasonable side, and the second offers two.

Example 1: “While I was working at ABC firm, my boss asked me to book our second quarter revenue in advance so that we could create the appearance of a great first quarter. I firmly told him that this was unethical and refused.”

In this example, the candidate is asked to do something that is clearly unethical. However, because the argument really has only one reasonable side—the reader would not want to hear the story if the candidate had agreed to book revenue ahead of schedule!—no ethical dilemma actually exists in this case.

Example 2: “As the marketing manager for a small pharmaceutical company, I had to set the price for our breakthrough drug. I needed to consider that on the one hand, a rock-bottom price would mean that our life-saving drug would be available to all, but on the other hand, even though a high price would serve a smaller market, it would make the drug far more profitable and would ensure that we could continue to conduct valuable research into additional life-saving compounds.”

In this second example, the candidate outlines a true dilemma. This applicant could be entirely comfortable telling the reader that he pursued either of the pricing strategies, as long as he walks the reader through his/her rationale.

The test to determine whether the experience you are considering discussing in your essay involves a true dilemma is fairly simple. Ask yourself, “Could I comfortably discuss the alternative to the path I chose?” If the answer is “yes,” you are clearly on the right track. If the answer is “no,” try again.

For more advice on how to write your essays, check out our Essay Writing Guide and Optional Essays Guide, which present clear and easy-to-understand instructions for creating time-saving (and stress-reducing) outlines and for crafting comprehensive, engaging and effective essays.

As one of Winnipeg’s top recruiting agencies, we know that most employers want to hire employees with strong ethics. The problem, though, is that ethics aren’t tangible. And candidates who are unethical will have no problem lying about their “strong moral compass” and “integrity.”

So is there a way you can better judge a candidate’s ethical standards during the interview process? You can, if you take the right approach and ask the right questions.

Obviously, if you ask a candidate if they consider themselves an honest person, most will say “yes” without batting an eyelash…whether true or not. So to really gauge ethical standards, you have to dig deeper and ask very specific questions.

Some examples of questions to ask include:

    • What’s your idea of an ethical organization? This is a good opening question because it’s more general and allows you to break the ice into a conversation about ethics.
    • Have you ever had an issue of ethics arise in past positions? What happened? How did you handle it? When asking this question, you’re looking for answers that demonstrate the candidate dealt with the situation in a positive manner, such as consulting with HR, their boss, or a co-worker. If they answered “no,” be wary. Most candidates, if they have any work experience at all, will have faced issues with ethics or misconduct at some point in their career.
    • Have you ever suffered in your career for doing what was right? Do you have any regrets? Like the question above, this question also helps you uncover specific examples of the kind of behavior you’re looking for. It also gives you some insight into the candidate’s personal ethics and their ability to take a stand if necessary.
    • If your boss asked you to lie for them, what would you do? The answer you’re looking for is that they wouldn’t do it at all. If an employee will lie for you, they will also lie to you.
    • Did you see our Code of Conduct/Ethics on our website? This question tells you that 1) the candidate did their homework and 2) that ethics are important enough that they sought information about them on your website.

    If you’d like some additional help in recruiting and interviewing candidates, check out our blog post 3 Recruiting Tips from Hockey Scouts. And if you’d like a hand with the hiring process, give us a call. As one of Winnipeg’s top recruiting agencies, our approach to staffing enables us to meet your staffing needs across all divisions and departments. Find out more.

    How to answer ethical interview questions

    How should you answer moral and ethical questions in the medical school interview? These questions typically broach such topics as euthanasia and abortion. How should you approach these sensitive and controversial topics?

    If you want to learn more about interview tips, check out my book The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview. For more premed advice and med school motivation, check out all our podcasts on MedEd Media.

    [00:33] Remember the Goal

    When it comes to moral and ethical questions, a lot of it is going to revolve around your thoughts and ideas around these highly sensitive or potentially highly sensitive topics.

    Now, many students freak out about moral questions in the interview for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the concern, “What if I land on the other side of the issue from the interviewer? Do I tell them what I think they want to hear or do I just play down the middle, and not really tell them anything?”

    Students think they have to prove they care about everyone and that everyone is equal.

    [02:19] Speak with Empathy

    Whether or not you’re talking about the president, or politics or abortion, or physician-assisted suicide, or legalization of drugs, you are coming at it from your point of view. They’re coming from your experiences, how you grew up, and the people around you who raised you.

    One of the key things you need to be able to do is to speak with respect and empathy for other people who disagree with you.

    We have these bubbles in this country where we get into these silos of what is bad and what is good. And if you approach your medical school interview in a way that you are conveying your thoughts and beliefs where everything outside of that circle is bad, then that will not be good in an interview.

    Remember that when patients come to see you, they are going to have different opinions, beliefs, political views, and religious views than you. And if you give that impression to the interviewer that you’re not okay with that, and that you will judge your patients in some way because of that, that will show the interviewer that you probably aren’t mature enough yet to be a physician.

    So you want to demonstrate that you will be able to work with coworkers and patients who have different beliefs from you. You need to be able to respect others—while also expressing what you believe and who you are.

    [03:55] Don’t Give Generic Answers

    And so let’s take an example of abortion. Many students would say, “Well, my personal beliefs or personal thoughts on abortion don’t really matter. I know that if a patient comes to me that, that if they want an abortion and I don’t want to perform an abortion, that I will get them the care that they need.” Now, that is a very scripted answer that doesn’t show the interviewer who you are.

    Being generic by not having an opinion will NOT help you when it comes to these ethical questions.

    Drop your frameworks and don’t worry about your thoughts being different than the interviewers. Assume that the interviewer is trained and professional enough that their personal beliefs aren’t going to be affected by your beliefs if they are different.

    Give your real answer, and back it up with your reasons. Everybody’s views are shaped through their experiences. And so, the interviewer wants to know what your experiences have been because that’s how they connect with you and understand who you are. But just express it in a way that is empathetic to the other side.

    For example, saying you’re pro-life and that you want people who get an abortion to rot in jail is not an answer that shows empathy on the other side. Instead, you could say that you’re pro-life and that you don’t think you would perform an abortion. But you would get them the help they need.

    [09:27] Ask for More Information

    It’s also okay to ask for more information or background on issues that you don’t know much about. This is especially the case on current events that you may not have heard about yet.

    You will not be marked off for not knowing a specific thing. Where you will get knocked down is if you start talking and pretending you know something without actually knowing it.

    In the end, if you are genuine and empathetic in how you answer moral and ethical questions, you will do just fine in your medical school interview. Come up with an answer, pick a side, and have your thoughts and your beliefs back up that discussion. Then have empathy for the other side.

    Asking a candidate an ethical scenario is a great interview tool for NHS trusts. It provides them with an opportunity to see that you have the right attitude and values when it comes to working within UK healthcare.

    An ethical scenario will allow an NHS trust to see:

    • Your understanding of ethics within the NHS
    • Your ability to view clinical scenarios from multiple perspectives
    • Your communication skills
    • Your ability to be decisive under pressure
    • Your ability to answer follow-up questions

    How to successfully answer an ethical scenario:

    When an ethical scenario is presented to you, it’s important to remember that there is no ‘right’ answer! But, when it comes to medical ethics, you just have to ensure you cover all of the basic principles and then in theory, you’ll be able to answer any question that’s thrown at you!

    Step 1: Stay Calm

    The first step in approaching your answer is not to say it too early or rush your thinking! If you were to face this situation in a genuine clinical scenario at work, then you would take a few minutes to think, confer with colleagues and assess all the options before you come to a decision.

    The interview panel aren’t necessary interested in the right answer but rather your thought process towards the situation.

    Step 2: Assess your Options & Apply the Four Pillars of Ethics

    After you’ve got your emotions together, the next step is to consider all the options available to you whilst being mindful of the following:

    • You stick to the four pillars of ethics
    • Ensure your actions are lawful
    • Uphold your duty of confidentiality
    • Confirm the patient’s competence and capacity.
    Join our Facebook Group – IMGS: The UK Doctors Network
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    What are the four pillars of ethics?

    Medical ethics refers to a series principles set to ensure that every NHS patient receives the same standard of healthcare is given to all.

    • Autonomy – Respecting a patient’s choice
    • Beneficence – Doing what’s in the best interests of your patient
    • Non-maleficence – Do no harm
    • Justice – Do what’s best for society as a whole

    For more detail on each individual pillar of ethics, click here!

    Beside the four pillars of medical ethics, there are some other factors you should consider when dealing with an ethical scenario:

    Ensuring your actions are lawful!

    Medical professionals have a duty to comply with the applicable ethical and legal regulations in their daily practice. Ignorance of the law and its implications can be detrimental to the care-giver regardless of whether the patient was cared for in good faith for the alleviation of their suffering. All actions that are done in good faith may not stand legal testing.

    Example ethical scenarios that cover the law include: euthanasia, abortion and organ donation.

    The Duty of Confidentiality!

    Confidentiality is essential to the doctor-patient relationship. Without it, patients could be reluctant to seek medical help or give the correct and sufficient information for the doctor to then provide the best medical treatment.

    Although there is a common law and various statutes such as The Human Rights Act 1998 to uphold confidentiality within a medical setting, there are various circumstances to override the duty if it protects the best interest of the patient or the general public. For example, if you have information to suggest that a patient is at risk of harm or the patient is at risk of harming someone else.

    In those specific instances, you’ll need to report your concerns to your manager, Consultant or Lead Consultant and get their advice.

    Competence and Capacity

    When it comes to medical decisions, consent to medication or permission for surgical procedure can only come from those who have the capacity to make the decision. Often there are factors such as a person’s mental or physical illness, intoxication, severe stress or psychological trauma than can alter a patient’s capacity to make a decision.

    If a patient does not have the capacity to make a medical decision, then healthcare professionals need to search for an advanced directive or their power of attorney (often their spouse, relative or friend)to make the decision.


    As we already stressed, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to answering an ethical scenario within your NHS interview. The most important thing to remember is that you should never start off with a strong view point!

    You should emphasise that this is a complicated issue at hand and you’ll need to consider all viewpoints and possible outcomes for each, to come to an informed and appropriate decision that is in the best interest of the patient.

    Remember to always refer to the four pillars of ethics and your desire to always follow a patient-centred care approach.

    Click here to access 10 ethical scenarios to practice prior to your NHS interviews!

    With the changing times, all companies are giving a higher regard to an ethical workplace and work environment.
    Today, being ethical and hiring people with strong ethics is something that is appreciated on a global level. Because the concept of ethics is so widespread, it goes without saying that questions related to ethics will be asked during interviews.

    Typical job interview questions may be – “describe your work ethics, your philosophy towards work or describe your integrity, personality and work attitude”

    How would you describe your work ethic? Interview Question and Answer

    Here is a brief list of some work ethic interview questions and how to answer them:
    Why Should a Person Have Work Ethics?
    Work ethics are very important part of our personal as well as professional life.
    With the proper work ethics, a person becomes more responsible and focused towards his/her job. The person also cultivates a sense of achievement around his work. This definitely has some positive effects on his/her career growth as well as the progress of the company.

    What are the most important ethics in the workplace?
    The term ethics and ethics at the workplace are two different concepts, and therefore may confuse the interviewee.
    The term work ethics means how one looks at his job and what he expects from their job, and how he would go ahead with their profession. The term ethics in the work place means the positive aspects that make the work force of the company, like honesty, integrity, dedication, determination, commitment, etc.
    Therefore, when asked about your ethics, you should speak about how you would implement your work and speak how working in a position that satisfies you would ensure that you will be more productive and therefore improve current job performance.
    Some noticeable important workplace ethics are reliability, integrity, commitment and basic social skills. Other work ethics that are required in any profession are diligence, self responsibility and initiation.

    What do you consider to be your most important work ethic?
    There are several work ethics and each of them is as important as the other. However, if the interview poses a question about which work ethic would be considered the most important by; you can say that you consider self responsibility and hard working (dedication) to the most important. Self responsibility is most important because it is one of the core work ethics. Also, if a person has self responsibility and works hard to achieve goals, it is beneficial to the company as well as the person, simply because the company would not have to spend resources keeping an eye on the person as the employee would work well.

    Describe Three Work Ethics values that you have
    There are several work ethics that are important for the success and progress of the company as well as the individual.
    Apart from the core ethics mentioned above, one can also talk about – honesty, positive attitude and some other important work ethics like – integrity and accountability. The accountability should be three tiered towards the clients, the company and towards oneself; only then one can work in a conscientious manner.

    If you are a pre-medical student, one of your biggest fears may be an interview question that relates to ethics. Questions relating to ethics come up in interviews all the time, but it’s not necessarily something to be scared about if you can prepare for it. What an interviewer wants to see is that the student understands a few basics about medicine, society, and a physician’s role in solving ethical issues as they arise.

    As an interviewer, we often ask questions because they’re actually fun, they don’t necessarily have a right answer, and it gives us the ability to look into a student’s ability to comprehend and potentially interact in a meaningful way with others as they eventually would as physicians.

    There are several ways to prepare for the ethical interview, but perhaps the best way is to actually understand clinical situations and to think about what you would do with them.

    Sample Ethical Case in the News

    This leads to the recent case of Charlie Gard, an 11-month-old infant in Britain who has a rare, fatal genetic disease. He’s currently on life-support and his doctors there want to take him off of that life support (i.e. remove his breathing tube). However, his parents feel that this shouldn’t happen even though there may be any known treatment. They desperately and understandably want him to try experimental treatments to see if they would work. The experimental treatments are certainly not proven, and even in cases where they worked, they’ve prolonged life but these children have also needed ventilation support and around the clock care. There’s a hospital in New York that’s willing to treat this patient, under certain conditions. Of course, the treatment would be extremely expensive and may or may not work.

    An easy ethical question I can see being asked about this case is whether this patient should be treated, or should the resources be revised to treat other children whose diseases maybe easily cured such as malaria, malnutrition, HIV, etc. As always, there’s no right answer. However, as a premed, it may be helpful for you to think through what you would do in the situation and how you would weigh pros and cons.

    If you are in an interview and the interviewer ask you “Describe a time your boss asked you to do something unethical and describe how you responded?”, how do you answer this question while not being negative about the boss in question? I know that in an interview, you should never say anything negative about a past co-worker / boss, but I can’t figure out how to navigate this one.

    6 Answers 6

    Contrary to some of the opinions expressed so far, I do not feel that them asking you about how you handled being asked to do something unethical shows a negative side of the organization you are interviewing with. I feel like it shows that they care about being an ethical organization, are aware that ethical situations may arise, and are interested in knowing if you are equipped to handle them. Here’s how I would handle the question:


      Assume the best about the company asking the question. Ethics is important to them. If you are concerned, as @Joe Strazzere is, that they are looking for people willing to bend their personal ethics, then ask a follow up question during the questions period at the end: “Can you tell me about an ethical situation at this company that was handled well recently?”

    Think carefully about the different types of ethical situations that can occur before deciding that you have not faced one of consequence in your career. As @user2989297 pointed out, there are many, many forms this could have taken:

    • Selling someone something that they don’t need (@user2989297)
    • Misrepresenting the progress of ongoing work
    • Asserting that there are no significant known flaws with a product when some exist
    • Presenting someone incomplete data to tilt a decision your way even though they prefer to see all relevant data (@user2989297)
    • Not alerting a client ahead of time that a work product would be late even though you have known it would be for weeks
    • So much more

    I am glad that @Joe Strazzere has not encountered a serious ethical dilemma in his work, but I agree with @user2989297 that encountering such situations is common, even with good people. I think it’s good that the company is interested in your ability to react appropriately.

    Especially value answers where a person asked something unethical of you without realizing it and you were able to reverse the situation. (enderland)

    Take the opportunity in the answer that you give to briefly acknowledge that good people find themselves in difficult situations and that we all need to do our best to be prepared for them and help each other. This is related to enderland’s point and can drive home that you are not trying to criticize your manager in your answer, but are instead focusing on your own ability to deal with ethical dilemmas.

    I was recently asked by an applicant how to approach ethical questions asked during an interview. His concerns about answering this type of question echoed those of many other applicants. In light of this common woe, I’d like to share a simple three-step approach for handling interview questions regarding ethics. You’ll be happy to know reasonable answers are probably easier to frame than you think. Further, interviewers are often as nervous about asking ethical questions as you are about answering them!

    Abortion, euthanasia, stem cell research, and pharmaceutical “perks” are super-charged topics currently facing physicians and our health care system. It is a truly scary proposition to be asked about your stance on such issues, especially in the glare of an interview. When your goal is to make a good impression (and not rock the boat), it can be hard to share your views on these sensitive topics. What’s an applicant to do?

    I suggest the use of three concepts to help guide your responses:

    1. Realize a correct response is one which falls within a fairly broad range; in other words, there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer.
    2. Be consistent in your remarks.
    3. Always answer with a patient-focused approach.

    Normal or Extreme?

    It may come as a shock, but as long as your belief about a particular ethical issue is within a fairly wide spectrum of “reasonable” it doesn’t really matter what it is. We are entitled to have our own opinions regarding controversial issues. The majority of the nation may view an issue one way – you may hold the opposing opinion. That’s okay. The key to this concept is as follows:

    “It doesn’t matter what you believe as much as why you believe it.”

    Most often applicants feel a strong urge to try and tell interviewers what they think they want to hear. Ethical questions usually concern sensitive, emotionally charged subjects. In the pressured setting of an interview, nobody wants to create tension. So it’s easier to simply mouth the popular view, or to try and discern views of the interviewer and espouse those. This, however, can be a very dangerous practice. (Please see the following section for further details).

    Simply spend time [before a given interview is to take place] figuring out what your views are on current ethical dilemmas. Think about why you hold these views. After all, your beliefs are just an extension of who you are as an applicant and future physician. Incorporate them into the overall package you are presenting to the admissions committee. This will allow you to be who you are and will help facilitate a genuineness that is so important to success in the application process.

    A quick note. The idea of reasonable or normal can be a little slippery but I like to think of it in terms of a bell shaped curve: you can probably hold a view that is within two standard deviations from the “mean” of public opinion on a topic and be within the norm. However, a view in the third standard deviation from the mean would likely be thought extreme. This approach isn’t absolute but provides some guidance.


    In hopes of determining whether an applicant is really saying what they believe, an interviewer will often ask two seemingly different moral questions and see if the applicant answers the same way, or changes his/her stance. What’s worse, these questions can come back to back, making it all the more deceptive. Therefore, it is imperative not to tell the interviewer what you think he wants to hear. Now that you know that you are entitled to have reasonable opinions, simply answer questions sincerely and consistently.

    It’s Always About the Patient.

    A patient-focused answer is the cornerstone to any ethical question response. Remember, as a physician (soon to be), your purpose is to take care of patients. The very nature of the job is to help someone else. Regardless of your personal stance on stem cell research or abortion, your views should have the patient’s best interest in mind. Having this understanding will prove valuable during an interview and in daily practice. As I struggled through ethical dilemmas in my own practice, a mentoring physician once told me, “Do what’s right for the patient and you’ll never go wrong.”

    In the End

    The drive of ethical questioning is to determine whether you have thought about common dilemmas facing physicians. The questions are not designed to trip you up. The committee must determine if you have a reasonable approach for dealing with these challenging issues. You can have your own opinions on controversial matters. However, they must be reasonable, a true extension of who you are as a person and focused on the best interests of the patient.

    Please view the approach I’ve presented here as a place to start. Preparation for ethical questions is best accomplished by discussing the issues with your friends and professors. Share your ideas with others as a reality check. Compare your views to those who feel differently. Become educated on as many different sides of an issue as possible. This will allow time and opportunity to strengthen your arguments and become comfortable talking about sensitive issues.

    It’s tough to say who is truly a “moral” person. Morality is subjective, and everyone – even humanitarians, saints, philanthropists, unicorns and superheros – have skeletons in their closet that would make them appear immoral to a casual observer.

    • Have you ever smoked?
    • Have you ever kicked a puppy?
    • Have you ever ogled a bar patron?
    • Have you ever scratched yourself in public?
    • Have you ever broken the speed limit?

    Depending on who you ask, these are unethical. They represent character flaws. Character flaws represent possible risk for the employer. So one popular behavioral job interview question is to hear you describe a time that you faced an ethical dilemma, in order to judge what your standards of morality are and if you have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong.

    How to Answer

    Like all other interview questions, you want your answer to be related to your professional career. This can, however, be somewhat dangerous, as you do not want to give away that an employer you worked for did anything unethical. This could reflect poorly on your work history. The first thing to imagine is if you faced an ethical dilemma in a job you held during high school or early college. If not, see if you can find an ethical dilemma that relates to your education, possibly the ability to cheat on a test (that you refused, of course).

    Bad Answer

    “At my last job I found out that my employer was using illegal tax write offs. They asked me to go along with it, and I did for a while in an effort to keep my job but ultimately I had to quit.”

    This is an example of you making the wrong decision, and it shows that your previous employer probably does not qualify as a good part of your work history or a trustworthy reference.

    Good Answer

    “Back in high school I worked for this local grocery store. Someone had dumped over 2 dozen broken computer monitors in the parking lot. They would cost hundreds of dollars to legally dump, so the store manager asked me to wait until darkness and move the computer monitors to the local Goodwill so that they would be forced to pay for the dumping. I refused, and called the local trash services, notifying them of the illegal dumping on our property. They agreed to pick it up for free.”

    Here you show that you are not only moral, but that you are also a problem solver. This is an example of how to successfully answer this question, and the job was long enough ago that it doesn’t reflect poorly on your future abilities.

    How to answer ethical interview questions

    “You colleague Dr Cheung recommends homeopathic medicines to his patients. There is no scientific evidence or widely accepted theory to suggest that homeopathic medicines work, and Dr Cheung doesn’t believe them to. He recommends homeopathic medicine to people with mild and non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and muscle aches, because he believes that it will do no harm, but will give them reassurance. Consider the ethical problems that Dr Cheung’s behaviour might pose, and what your responsibility is here. Discuss these issues with the interviewer.”

    Every medical school applicant should expect to answer at least one ethical question during their medical interviews. As future physicians, an encounter such as above is quite likely and hence the committee likes to know if the applicant is able to reason through the various ethical principles and arrive at a definitive course of action.

    It is quite important to familiarize yourself with the four pillars of medical ethics: autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. Although taking an ethical course during your degree can be helpful, it is not an absolute requirement. Surfing through the web for the principles should be the least you can do, and if you are keen on mastering ethics then I highly recommend Doing Right by Philip Hebert (try finding it at a local library or on Kijiji).

    Let’s see how we can simplify answering ethical questions into a three-step approach.

    1. Summarize the Ethical Principles

    Once you have read the question, it can be helpful to organize yourself by highlighting the ethical principles at play. For example, in the question above, one can argue that autonomy, beneficence and non-maleficence are valid ethical principles in question. These principles can be explicitly stated during the introduction.

    This allows the interviewee to organize their thoughts and structure their response. Furthermore, it allows the interviewer to recognize that the applicant is aware of the important ethical principles that are applicable to the case, and makes it easier for them to follow the response.

    2. Expand on the Principles

    Now that you have stated the principles, it is time to expand on them. For example: what exactly does autonomy mean, and why is it being challenged in the scenario with Dr. Cheung? It can also be helpful to describe the impact of being unethical on all parties involved.

    For example, if patient autonomy is not respected, the physician could be abusing their power and could be liable for legal repercussions if such practices are exposed. This could impact the public perception of physicians in a negative manner and thus hurt the public image of the profession. From the patients perspective, its possible that the advised medication could do more damage than good. Non-specific symptoms could be early indications of something more severe, and by not extensively evaluating their symptoms the physician may cause more suffering to their patients.

    3. Present an Actionable Plan

    Although ethical stations may seem like hypothetical situations, such things do happen in real life as discussed earlier, and require an actionable approach. Many interviewees will discuss the principles but fail to present their next steps. However, we also need to keep in mind that applicants don’t possess adequate knowledge to make decisions at this point but rather should focus on simply discussing different options and what their implications are.

    For example, as a colleague, you could do multiple things including: ignore the situation, discuss his practices with Dr. Cheung and your perspective on why it is unethical, or report Dr. Cheung to the medical board without discussing with him. I would like to reiterate that you don’t want to fall into the trap of making a decision, but rather discussing the pros and cons of different options. This shows the committee that you possess an ability to think critically, and that is all they can expect at this level.

    Cyber Security Multiple Choice Questions on “Ethics of Ethical Hacking”.

    1. What is the ethics behind training how to hack a system?
    a) To think like hackers and know how to defend such attacks
    b) To hack a system without the permission
    c) To hack a network that is vulnerable
    d) To corrupt software or service using malware

    Answer: a
    Clarification: It is important for ethical hackers and security professional to know how the cyber-criminals think and proceed to target any system or network. This is why ethical hackers and penetration testers are trained with proper ethics to simulate such a scenario as how the real cyber-attack takes place.

    2. Performing a shoulder surfing in order to check other’s password is ____________ ethical practice.
    a) a good
    b) not so good
    c) very good social engineering practice
    d) a bad

    Answer: d
    Clarification: Overlooking or peeping into someone’s system when he/she is entering his/her password is a bad practice and is against the ethics of conduct for every individual. Shoulder surfing is a social engineering attack approach used by some cyber-criminals to know your password and gain access to your system later.

    3. ___________ has now evolved to be one of the most popular automated tools for unethical hacking.
    a) Automated apps
    b) Database software
    c) Malware
    d) Worms

    Answer: c
    Clarification: Malware is one of the biggest culprits that harm companies because they are programmed to do the malicious task automatically and help hackers do illicit activities with sophistication.

    4. Leaking your company data to the outside network without prior permission of senior authority is a crime.
    a) True
    b) False

    Answer: a
    Clarification: Without prior permission of the senior authority or any senior member, if you’re leaking or taking our your company’s data outside (and which is confidential), then it’s against the code of corporate ethics.

    5. _____________ is the technique used in business organizations and firms to protect IT assets.
    a) Ethical hacking
    b) Unethical hacking
    c) Fixing bugs
    d) Internal data-breach

    Answer: a
    Clarification: Ethical hacking is that used by business organizations and firms for exploiting vulnerabilities to secure the firm. Ethical hackers help in increasing the capabilities of any organization or firm in protecting their IT and information assets.

    6. The legal risks of ethical hacking include lawsuits due to __________ of personal data.
    a) stealing
    b) disclosure
    c) deleting
    d) hacking

    Answer: b
    Clarification: The legal risks of ethical hacking contains lawsuits due to disclosure of personal data during the penetration testing phase. Such disclosure of confidential data may lead to a legal fight between the ethical hacker and the organization.

    7. Before performing any penetration test, through legal procedure, which key points listed below is not mandatory?
    a) Know the nature of the organization
    b) Characteristics of work done in the firm
    c) System and network
    d) Type of broadband company used by the firm

    Answer: d
    Clarification: Before performing any penetration test, through the legal procedure the key points that the penetration tester must keep in mind are –
    i) Know the nature of the organization
    ii) what type of work the organization do and
    iii) the system and networks used in various departments and their confidential data that are sent and received over the network.

    8. An ethical hacker must ensure that proprietary information of the firm does not get leaked.
    a) True
    b) False

    Answer: a
    Clarification: Yes, it is very important for an ethical hacker to make sure that while doing penetration tests, the confidential data and proprietary information are preserved properly and not get leaked to the external network.

    9. After performing ____________ the ethical hacker should never disclose client information to other parties.
    a) hacking
    b) cracking
    c) penetration testing
    d) exploiting

    Answer: c
    Clarification: It is against the laws and ethics of ethical hackers that after doing penetration tests, the ethical hacker should never disclose client information to other parties. The protection of client data is in the hands of the ethical hacker who performed the tests.

    10. __________ is the branch of cyber security that deals with morality and provides different theories and a principle regarding the view-points about what is right and wrong.
    a) Social ethics
    b) Ethics in cyber-security
    c) Corporate ethics
    d) Ethics in black hat hacking

    Answer: d
    Clarification: Ethics in cyber-security is the branch of cyber security that deals with morality and provides different theories and principles’ regarding the view-points about what is right and what need not to be done.

    11. ________ helps to classify arguments and situations, better understand a cyber-crime and helps to determine appropriate actions.
    a) Cyber-ethics
    b) Social ethics
    c) Cyber-bullying
    d) Corporate behaviour

    Answer: a
    Clarification: Cyber-ethics and knowledge of proper ethical aspects while doing penetration tests helps to classify arguments and situations, better understand a cyber crime and helps to determine appropriate actions.

    12. A penetration tester must identify and keep in mind the ___________ & ___________ requirements of a firm while evaluating the security postures.
    a) privacy and security
    b) rules and regulations
    c) hacking techniques
    d) ethics to talk to seniors

    Answer: a
    Clarification: A penetration tester must keep in mind the privacy & security requirements as well as policies of a firm while evaluating the security postures of the target, which is called as “industry and business ethics policies”.

    How to answer ethical interview questions

    Job interviews can be intimidating and stressful because there can be so much riding on them.

    But just like any test, the better prepared you are, the more relaxed you can be and the better you’re likely to perform.

    We’ve previously shared advice on how to answer five common job interview questions – it’s one of our most popular articles. So here are five more common questions and tips on how to answer them to help your best qualities shine through in your next interview:

    1. How do you juggle competing deadlines?

    When an interviewer asks this question, what they’re really trying to find out is how you approach productivity, task and time management. Your answer should give your interviewer insights into whether you have effective systems and processes for managing your own work, and how well you can prioritise.

    You can approach this question in two ways. Either:

    • Use the STAR method and choose a specific example that shows how you managed a particular situation in another role where you had competing deadlines and what the outcome was. Or
    • Talk generally about how you organise your tasks and time – for example, do you use tools like a daily to-do list or project spreadsheet to track tasks? Do you like to use a productivity tool like Trello , Monday or Asana ? What criteria do you use to decide which tasks are most important on a particular day? And finally, how do you communicate with colleagues about what you’re deciding to prioritise and what you’re deciding to leave for another day.

    2. What are your favourite and least favourite aspects of your current role?

    When an interviewer asks this question, they’re trying to find out what gives you satisfaction in your work and whether you’ll find the role you’re interviewing for stimulating and want to stay for the long term.

    • Favourite: Think about the parts of your current or most recent role where you’ve found yourself really having fun, or getting lost in the moment and not realising where the time went. Share examples of what you’re passionate about and proud of in the work you’ve done and how this has made an impact for the organisation, the people you worked with or the broader world.
    • Least favourite: Every job has elements that are boring or frustrating, so it’s good to be honest when asked about this – but ensure you’re not just venting or being too critical of your current or previous employer. Talk about how you’ve managed frustrations. For example, if you created better processes to overcome pain points for your team; or used a boring or unpleasant task to reflect on your own goals and develop self-awareness.

    It pays to be honest with your answers to this question – if you say you love doing something that you actually don’t really enjoy – just so you get get the job – you may end up doing lots of it in a your new role, which isn’t a great outcome for you or for your new employer.

    3. Give me an example of a time you disagreed with your manager

    This can be a tricky question so stay focused on what the interviewer is really asking – how do you productively handle conflict ? Disagreements and conflict are part of any healthy workplace, but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to handle them.

    Again, start by using the STAR method with an example from a recent role. When choosing your example, reflect on a time when the process of disagreeing and working through it felt productive, irrelevant of whether the outcome was the one you wanted or not.

    4. Why are you leaving your current job?

    Your motivation for leaving your current job tells the interviewer what’s important to you and whether you’ll be a good fit for the role you’re applying for – and how long you’re likely to stick around. For example, are you seeking more purpose in your career , a bigger pay packet, or more responsibility?

    Here are some practical suggestions on what to say:

    • If you resigned: Among the top reasons people quit are bad bosses, boredom and conflict with co-workers. A global study revealed that 79% people quit because they felt under-appreciated – highlighting that people don’t leave organisations, they leave managers. Whatever your reason for quitting, it’s okay to be open about it, but don’t stray into being too critical – this isn’t the place to vent about your former employer.
    • If you were made redundant: Redundancies happen. Many organisations go through ups and downs and while it can be distressing to experience, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Explain the situation that led to the redundancy, and show that you’re focused on the future and excited to take the skills and experience gained in your last role and apply them in a new organisation.
    • If you were fired: Never bad-mouth your previous employer. Come to terms with your emotions around what happened and be ready to blow the interviewer away with what you can bring to the table. Explain succinctly what happened, what you learned from the experience and why you believe you have great things to offer in this role. Make sure your passion and enthusiasm for this role are clear.

    5. Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?

    This question is all about your career goals, whether you are ambitious or not, and if so, what your ambitions are and how they might fit with the team and the organisation you’re interviewing with.

    For some teams or managers, they want to see that you have ambition and drive and will work hard to excel in the role and potentially be promoted within the organisation. For others, they might want the opposite: to be reassured that your interests and goals align with the role they are advertising and you won’t quickly spring at a new opportunity or promotion and leave the team or organisation.

    When preparing to answer this question, take time to a ctually think about your future.

    Where does the role you’re interviewing for actually fit in your career plans? Is this your dream job, or is it a stepping stone to another job that might be more what you really want to do. Interviewers often want to know that you take the role seriously and one way to show that is to do some genuine reflection on how the role will fit into your broader career.

    When you’re preparing, it can help to even list the achievements you would like to see on your resume in this role over the next five years. This could include:

    • Moving up the ladder within the organisation into a management role;
    • Expanding your skills – consider what skills you might want to develop to be successful in your chosen role;
    • Developing excellence – for example, striving to win a coveted award in your sector; or
    • Specific achievements – for example reaching a level of expertise where you can support and mentor junior team members.

    Of course no one knows the future or what they’ll actually be doing in five years time – but you want to be able to explain how the role you’re interviewing for is a logical part of your longer term goals .

    When you’re asked in a graduate job interview to discuss an ethical dilemma you’ve faced, you need to show both your integrity and your approach to analysing and resolving problems.

    This is not the time for dramatic confessions. No one wants to be the candidate who, halfway through their interview, finds the recruiter furtively dialling 999 because they’ve just admitted a felony. Workplace dilemmas are typically more likely to be about potential grey areas than jailable offences: for example, what’s the trade-off between a good deal for the organisation and a good deal for the client… between being ambitious and stepping on colleagues – or doing a deal that helps one group of people but not others, indeed perhaps puts others at a disadvantage?

    You may feel you’ve never encountered a genuinely challenging ethical dilemma in the workplace. However, if you give this tricky graduate job interview question some thought in advance, you should be able to identify a situation you’ve come across where there could be different points of view about the right course of action. Here are some replies to avoid, as well as an example that could be opened up for further discussion in your interview.

    How not to reply to the interview question ‘Give us an example of a time you faced an ethical dilemma’

    1. ‘When I was a university society treasurer, someone accidentally overpaid fees for a group event. Initially I pocketed the difference and was on my way to a betting shop to increase the return when my conscience said “Hi”, and then I gave the money to the donkey sanctuary.’
    2. ‘I’ve always found honesty is the best policy.’
    3. ‘I always give money to a homeless person in the street although part of me wants to walk on by and keep my money.’

    Why are these answers unlikely to get you the graduate job you want?

    1 is going to raise more questions for your interviewer than it answers.
    2 is just saying you’re a nice person – but that’s not answering the question. Where’s the dilemma in generally doing the right thing and avoiding doing the wrong thing?
    3 has potential, but doesn’t go into the issues in enough depth.

    What is the graduate recruiter really asking?

    What the employer is trying to measure is:

    • How transparent you are in your dealings with people.
    • Whether your core beliefs chime with those of the organisation. In particular, a lot of corporations are now defining themselves as being ‘values-based’ in their operations.
    • How well you articulate your own ethical framework, and how it affects your behaviour.
    • Not only whether you are a decent person to work with, but how thoughtful and intelligent you are when it comes to difficult decisions. That’s what they want from a graduate.

    So how should you answer the question ‘Give us an example of a time you faced an ethical dilemma’?

    The example you choose is far less important than how well you cover the points outlined above.

    Don’t try to make up a scenario for the interviewer, who will probably be able to tell that you’re being inventive. It’s fine if your dilemma is relatively commonplace – most ethical decisions in work are like that. It could be a situation that many of us are likely to encounter in everyday life.

    Let’s take the candidate’s response we mentioned earlier – ‘I always give money to a homeless person in the street although part of me want to walk on by and keep my money’ – and tease out the issues that could be involved in deciding what to do in that situation. The answer could have launched into the candidate commenting upon:

    • The difficulty of ascertaining someone’s real needs – and therefore making a fully considered ethical decision without further questions being asked.
    • How much can you assume about what is happening in that homeless person’s life? Probably not very much. Is it ethical to ask them before handing over money? What might be the consequences of doing so?
    • Is that person dealing with an addiction? Maybe or maybe not. If they are and you give them money, would you simply be feeding their habit? Possibly, but what if they spent that money getting shelter for the night as they say they will? There may be experts at that shelter experienced in helping people who deal with addiction.
    • There might be many other reasons why that person is homeless. Do their circumstances affect your ethical decision?
    • Rather than giving to the individual would it be better to donate to a charity that helps homeless people, builds homes or lobbies politicians to tackle the housing crisis? Would you do that?
    • Does the likely temperature that evening affect your decision?
    • Could you buy the person some food instead?

    What you need to do is to mesh your observations into a coherent overview. You might say that your dilemma here is to balance wanting to help an individual (homeless person) with focusing your resources effectively. If you have time, your first action might be to offer to buy a warm snack as that resource is targeted. Failing that, you could make a small cash donation and a one-off larger donation to a charity that has the experts to deal with the bigger picture.

    Then the smart thing is to link what you’ve said to the workplace. For example, you might observe: ‘For me, this shows that ethical issues are often complex and that applies to ethical issues at work. If there are ethically tough choices to make, I would always want to look at every possible course of action and the consequences of each – and then consult with colleagues before making a decision.’ This both addresses the question posed by the interviewer and provides an answer to another question that you haven’t been asked directly, but which puts you in a good light.

    Integrity is an essential attribute that employers look for in candidates during and after the hiring process. You need integrity and a strong moral standing to relate to coworkers and clients. Knowing the common integrity interview questions that hiring managers ask can present you as the best candidate for the role. In this article, you can learn how to answer integrity interview questions to improve your chances of getting hired.

    Why interviewers ask questions about integrity

    Integrity is an important virtue in an employee. Employers want to hire candidates who not only have the experience and skills to excel in their role but also have the moral standing to represent their company.

    Interviewers use questions about integrity to test your strength of character and honesty. They use it to identify people they can trust with their customers and business secrets. This makes it imperative to prepare yourself for potential questions that hiring managers may use to determine your suitability for their company’s culture.

    Common integrity interview questions

    Answering integrity-related interview questions requires adequate preparation. While talking with the interviewer, it is important to illustrate your answers with relevant real-life experiences.

    Here are examples of integrity interview questions and tips:

    Describe a time when your integrity was challenged

    Employers value honesty and use this question to gauge your moral standards. They want you to describe situations where you didn’t abuse your powers.

    In your response, demonstrate the skills you used to handle the situation while protecting your integrity and the company’s reputation. A great answer can mention the use of your interpersonal skills, negotiating tactics and conflict resolution skills.

    Example: ‘There was a time when a difficult client wanted me to help their business move unregistered cigars with company vehicles. He knew we had higher security clearance and state troopers don’t stop our truckers for random searches. But, I refused despite the potential risk posed by my decision. I explained to the client that in-house security will find out about the issue and it will lead to serious problems for everybody.’

    Can you describe a scenario where you maintained confidentiality in the face of pressure?

    Hiring managers use this question to test your commitment to confidentiality with work-related matters. If you work in the medical, legal and education industry, confidentiality is an important part of the job. Employers want to know you can be discreet with the private information of clients and trade secrets.

    Showing a high level of confidentiality presents you as a person of impeccable character and this should reflect in your answer. Give your response more significance with a description of a real-life situation where you didn’t divulge sensitive information even under immense pressure.

    Example: ‘I used to work as a paramedic at the general hospital and many of our emergency patients were celebrities. Despite the intense pressure, I never shared private information with journalists.’

    Describe a time when you experienced a loss for doing the right thing. Why did you make the decision?

    This question tests your ethics and strength of character. In some professions, it is better to make the right judgment and lose revenue than break the law for monetary gain. Employers want to be sure they can trust you to make the right decisions on their behalf.

    In your answer, demonstrate soft skills such as honesty, leadership, empathy and strategic thinking. Highlight experiences relevant to the position that you are applying for.

    Example: ‘I negotiated a huge contract on behalf of my company some time ago. We were supposed to deliver a processing plant for a big agricultural firm. However, we later discovered the plant will discharge its waste into a river that supplied drinking water to a town downstream instead of investing in its own stabilization complex. This did not align with my company’s ethos so I called off the contract. My organization commended me for the decision even though we couldn’t complete the order.’

    Have you ever faced an ethical dilemma while doing your work? How did you resolve the situation?

    Companies have guidelines and policies that help employees resolve ethical issues. Hiring managers use this question to test your ability to follow strict procedures and use your initiative. A good answer will demonstrate your ethical behavior, adherence to company policy and interpersonal and dispute resolution skills.

    Example: ‘During my time at the sheriff’s department, my partner and I were on patrol one night when we came across a bundle on the roadside. We discovered the parcel contained $300,000 in cash and drugs. My partner wanted us to keep the money for ourselves but I declined. I told him to report the cash and drugs to the department otherwise I will report him for misconduct. That decision led to the arrest of the drug peddler, reduced drug use in our community and endeared the police to the people.’

    What would you do if you witnessed a coworker commit an illegal act?

    This integrity interview question tests your moral character but also involves using initiative. Employers value candidates who don’t allow personal relationships to prevent them from making the right decision if they witness another employee break company rules. This is a critical attribute for people who work in high-trust environments, such as healthcare, law enforcement, finance, investment, public service and others.

    In your response, demonstrate honesty, leadership, loyalty and professionalism. Mention you will report the colleague to higher authorities for appropriate disciplinary action to deter others and protect the company’s reputation.

    Example: ‘During my time as the head cashier at a retailer, I discovered a junior staff member was stealing clothes in the clearance section. There were no cameras in that area and she used a backdoor to take the items out of the store unnoticed. When I found out, she begged me not to call security and used her son’s health to justify her bad behavior. I understood her plight but stealing your employer’s property is wrong.’

    How to answer ethical interview questions

    Job interviews are tough, no matter how many you’ve done!

    While you can’t predict every question you’ll be asked – especially some of the stranger ones – there are a lot of questions that will get asked in most interviews you go to.

    So, to help you prepare for your next job interview, here are five common questions and some tips on how best to answer them:

    1. Tell me about yourself?

    The “tell me about yourself” question is often asked as the first question in an interview as an ice-breaker. While a seemingly innocuous question, it can end up being a disaster for the interviewee if not tackled correctly.

    This question isn’t an opportunity to tell the interviewer your entire life story, family history or long list of likes and dislikes.

    What you should do is talk about a handful of things that are relevant to the job – like how you came to be in your current career, your skills and your passion for your work. Anything that will let your personality and professionalism shine, without getting into “too much information” territory.

    If the interviewer wants more information, they’ll ask for it.

    To help you prepare, write out a succinct two-minute answer to this question and then practice out loud until you know it off by heart. You’ll make a great first impression!

    2. Why are you interested in working for this organisation?

    The employer is asking this question to get a sense of whether you would take the job if it were offered to you, and how long you’d be likely to stay for.

    While it might sound like an opportunity to talk about yourself, it’s actually the time to demonstrate to your potential employer how much you know about them.

    With this in mind, expressing your passion and excitement to work for this particular organisation is a must!

    Avoid vague answers like “it seems like a great place to work”, and get specific.

    Do your research so you’ll know about the various projects the organisation is involved with, who their clients are and what their plans for the future are (most annual reports on an organisation’s website can tell you this).

    For example: “I know you’ve just launched a program focussing on working specifically with young people with mental illness and that this role is linked to that project. I’m extremely passionate about mental illness and have experience working with young people so I would be very excited to be part of your work in this area.”

    3. What are your weaknesses?

    The dreaded “weaknesses question” doesn’t need to be as feared as it is.

    The hardest part of being able to answer this question is actually identifying what your weaknesses are and how you would go about overcoming them.

    Here’s what you need to do to prepare a great answer:

    1. List three of your weaknesses. If you’re struggling to think of one, cast your mind back to previous jobs or your time as a student and think about the tasks that you really didn’t enjoy – those are a good indicator of a potential weakness;
    2. List “why” you think they’re a weakness and why it’s important for you to develop your skills in those areas;
    3. Think of three examples of what you’re doing to overcome those weaknesses.

    There’s no need to try and avoid an honest answer for this question. The most important things are to show the interviewer that you can be self-reflective and that you can identity problems and overcome them – not that you’re a perfect human being without weaknesses!

    4. Describe a situation in which you solved a problem

    To shine when you’re asked this question, pick a recent example that has as much relevance as possible for the job you’re applying for.

    The STAR technique, which we’ve talked about before on this blog, is a good structure to use when working out how to answer this. Here’s how it works:

    • First, identify the situation in a few sentences – what was the problem that needed to be solved?;
    • Then clearly identify what your part was in solving the problem, including the steps you took; and
    • Finally, what was the result of the actions that you took?

    It’s the result that you should focus on most when answering this question, as this will prove that you were able to deliver a successful outcome.

    5. Do you have any questions?

    When a potential employer asks if you have any questions, it’s a fantastic opportunity to build rapport with them, express your enthusiasm for the role, show that you’ve done your research – and just as importantly – a chance for you to make sure the role is a good fit for you.

    There’s no perfect number of questions to ask, but it’s good to have at least 2 or 3 ready.

    Some questions you might like to ask include:

    • “What are the main challenges facing the organisation right now?”
    • “Where do you see the organisation going in the next five years?”
    • “Can you tell me about the team of people I’ll be working with?”

    The most important thing is to be genuine with your questions and not to sound too rehearsed.

    Also, be sure that you aren’t asking really obvious questions that show you haven’t done your research. For example, getting to the end of an interview and then asking: “So, who are your main clients?” is not a good idea!

    This post was based on an article that originally appeared on The Guardian Careers.