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

Job Interview Question & Answer

Why Interviewers Ask

Hiring personnel do not expect applicants to compromise integrity. Reputable companies value public image and strive for positive press coverage, which includes avoiding unscrupulous practices. Consequently, employers prevent workers from experiencing potential conflicts of interest. Confidently state willingness to comply, as putting the interests of the company ahead of the individual shows business loyalty and normally does not lead to moral dilemmas. Candidates should remember extenuating circumstances generally stand as exceptions to the rule and largely do not need mentioned.

Ways To Respond

Interviewers often ask candidates about willingness to consider the interests of the company ahead of personal agendas. Respond with a simple answer, taking time to consider that unlikely scenarios where the employer would force workers to violate personal principles most often does not occur. Long-winded and indecisive answers disrupt the flow of the interview and makes respondents seem unsure about each response. The questioner typically just wants assurance of dedication to hard work. Loyalty-based questions warrant a quick and definitive answer in the affirmative, in most cases.

What To Do If You Feel Uncomfortable

If the idea of commitment to putting company interests first causes discomfort, some aspirants ask for specific examples of when the question would become applicable. Employees needing to work more hours than expected represents a common situation when the interests of the organization may need to come first. Tight deadlines may arise and force workers to spend extra time at the job. The company wants to know if the respondent would commit to making sure the business meets goals, even periodically at the expense of some personal time.

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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