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How to Answer This Particularly Tricky Interview Question

September 29, 2021
The UK Careers Fair

Knowing how to respond to difficult questions in a job interview in an honest and effective manner will help you impress the interviewer and land the job. This is why you must be prepared for anything!

There is one interview question, though, that might make or break your job prospects. While some questions will undoubtedly be asked, it is in your best advantage to prepare for the more difficult interview ones, such as:

“Tell me about a moment when you faced an ethical problem."

Navigating this question can be quite challenging. For one thing, determining who is actually a "moral" person is difficult. Morality is a personal matter, and everyone, including humanitarians, saints, and benefactors, has skeletons in their closet that would make them appear immoral or unethical to an outsider.

Nonetheless, interviewers ask this question to test your ability to recognise ethical dilemmas and evaluate your response to them. They're looking for proof of your honesty and high ethical standards.

So, How Should You Answer It?

Use a scenario in which there is a clear and unmistakable ethical dilemma, preferably one that occurred at work and to which you had a professional responsibility to respond. Avoid situations in which the ethics infraction is debatable or subjective. It's preferable to stay away from anything that involves narcotics, bribery, stealing, harassment, or any other legal issue. This will get you off to a bad start. Your example should be a clear example in which anybody would agree that it was a breach of ethics.

Describe the event and how you dealt with it without naming names. It's possible that the response will be directed at you, or that it will involve others. Remember, your political savvy is being put to the test, and sometimes the best course of action is to solve the situation yourself rather than blowing the whistle.

And if you haven't come into this type of circumstance before, just say so, though a skilled interviewer may follow up with a question like, "You've never had any ethical conflicts in your life?" We've all done it; therefore, it's best to choose your clearest example ahead of time.

Important Reminders

There are numerous paths you may take when preparing for your interview to guarantee you have a response ready in the event you are asked a moral interview question. To begin, respond to the ethical interview questions with detailed examples from your previous work experience. Consider a case in which you were tasked with resolving a dispute. Make a connection between your actions and the company's values or mission. Using instances of your communication, critical thinking, and decision-making skills, describe your experience. Describe the incident and how you were able to resolve the issue in a morally acceptable way.

Whatever situation you choose as an example, remember to emphasise integrity and underline your capacity to work with honesty.


There are no perfect answers to this question, but there are correct answers. Remember to respond to each interview question in a behavioural manner. Using an example from your own past and experience is the simplest way to do this. Then, apply the S-T-A-R approach: explain a Situation or Task (S-T), the Action you took (A), and the Results you got (R). This is what distinguishes your interview response from other applicants.

Are you looking for a new career? What about your next hire? The UK Careers Fair returns to Liverpool on Thursday, 21st October. Meet local and national employers face-to-face, and apply directly for hundreds of vacancies at the Liverpool Careers Fair. Contact us today for any inquiries!

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