Are You Willing To Put the Interests of This Organization Ahead of Your Own?

Job Interview Question & Answer: Are You Willing To Put the Interests of This Company Ahead of Your Own?

The Question’s Purpose

At first glance, it may seem like the interview question “Are you willing to put the interests of this organization ahead of your own?” is asking candidates to lie. Most people aren’t willing to sacrifice their personal lives or ideals for their work.

However, the question isn’t really about extreme situations or ethics. Hiring managers ask it to gauge loyalty and honesty. Because of this, applicants that put thought and detail into their answers fare well in the interview process.

Answering “Are You Willing To Put the Interests of This Organization Ahead of Your Own?”

Things to Avoid:

Simple agreements sound dismissive and insincere. Giving an answer like “Yes, of course,” comes across as lying to interviewers. Blatantly telling hiring managers what they want to hear only hurts job hopefuls’ chances in the long run.

Things to Focus On:

The best responses include examples of how an interviewee’s values match those of the company. This keeps prospective workers from lying and conveys a familiarity with the job and work environment.

A good reply includes stating that business doesn’t come before family or personal beliefs. This is a truthful answer, and doesn’t hurt the candidate during the hiring process.

Sample Answers

Hopefuls can use the following examples of answers to “Are you willing to put the interests of this company ahead of your own?” as guides. However, job seekers should craft responses that specifically relate to their own experiences and the position for which they’re applying.

Sample Answer 1 – Team Member at a Pet Store

“Seeing as my interests line up with yours, I can say yes. I’d put the needs of the organization first. I know this company values teamwork and transparency. My time working at an animal shelter has taught me how using both skills helps connect patrons with pets. I know I can do the same here.”

Sample Answer 2 – Salesperson at a Shoe Store

“I’m confident I could because I know this company is interested in feeding the passion of every customer who visits. Since I’m a sports nut myself, it would be a dream come true to provide kids with the tools they need to do better and work harder.”

Tips to Remember

To give a good response to the question “Are you willing to put the interests of this company ahead of your own?” keep these things in mind:

  • Learn about the company beforehand to get an idea of its values.
  • Avoid a simple answer of yes or no.
  • Use specific examples to show how personal goals line up with those of the company.

Follow these guidelines to answer this question with ease, and have a successful job interview.

6 user comments:

  1. Elizabeth Davis

    Your perspective on this question will change as you get older. Sure, when you are young, you want to say what is best to get the job. Once you get to my age (and I am sure I could be a mother or grandmother to most of you responding), you will realize that nothing comes before family or personal health. If an interviewer asked me this question, I am not so sure I would want to work for this company. “Trick” questions like this are so unnecessary….There are so many other questions they should ask that are more appropriate.

  2. Paulo Mota

    A very tricky question. The answer should be yes, one should always be loyal to there boss. But if one goes to an interview and gives the answer the boss wants to hear but the truth is maybe what they need to hear, isn’t that bad?
    I am talking about for example health issues that you or family member may have and may require time away from work. It won’t be fair for the new employee or the new boss if this issues is not placed on the table.
    A very tricky question that I’m not sure what the right answer may be….

  3. anthony

    I ask this question often and if someone says yes they better really mean it. I actually prefer to hear employees tell me no, my family comes first then my job. Now i know i have an honest employee who is not just telling me what I want to hear. I have owned a subway for 9 years and have a wonderful staff that customers love.

  4. Paulo

    In serious corporations the conflict with family interests are defied as conflict of interest and must be disclosed as required. I think the answer could be “yes, as long as my job duties do not become a conflict of interests”.

  5. Bryan

    I agree with Paulo..
    They aren’t asking you if you’re willing to leave everything behind for the company, just to put them ahead in importance at times.

    I find too that “yes, as long as my job duties do not become a conflict of interests”, would be an appropriate answer.

  6. grumpy bear

    Elizabeth Davis is the wise one here. I would use the word deceitful rather than “tricky” & would you want to work for an entity that uses such practices when requiring non-deceit from employees or ‘useful tools’.I would ask the interviewer what exactly is meant by “interests” & please enumerate them.The potential employee has already stated their ‘interest’ which is employment.


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