How Can You Judge a Company's Ethics?
Can You Judge a Company's Ethics?
important for every job seekers to determine whether they will fit for the job
or not, so they could get the job what they really want, no need to have misconception
there some way to tell in a job interview whether an employer is principled and
encourages honesty, or do you just have to take your chances? -There are some
questions related to it....."
By Anne Fisher
Q. My first job out of college was as a salesperson
for a dot-com that is out of business now, so I'm looking for a new position and
getting some interesting nibbles. My problem is that I don't want to end up
having to do what my old job unfortunately required, which was to basically lie
to customers by promising things I knew we could not deliver. I would still
prefer to work for a startup, rather than join a huge organization, but the
newer a company is, the less of a track record it has, so I feel I am flying
blind. Is there some way to tell in a job interview whether an employer is
ethical and encourages honesty, or will I just have to take my chances?
A. What an interesting question. Remember, an
interview is a two-way street. Says Jeffrey Christian, CEO of executive search
firm Christian & Timbers and author of The
Headhunter's Edge ."A prospective employer wants to see what you are
made of, but you have the right to see what the boss and the company are made
So don't just take your chances.
Interview the interviewer. Spend 20% of the interview talking and 80% listening.
"Ask your potential boss how he or she solved problems that deal with
ethical 'gray areas' and see if this person's answer makes you comfortable or
uncomfortable," Christian advises. "Have your integrity antennae up.
Everyone has the ability to intuitively sense when someone is telling the truth,
but they don't always listen."
Since you'll presumably be interviewed
by sales managers, Christian recommends you ask "what they did to pull out
all the stops to make quota at the end of quarter. Ask what techniques they've
used to 'steal' a major account from one of their competitors. If it's a
service-oriented firm, ask how often they come in on budget and on time. This
will give you some insight into pricing, timing, delivery issues, and how they
keep promises."Christian also suggests you ask to speak with people who
have left the firm. If the company won't give you any names, track them down
yourself. "The employer should view your due diligence as positive,"
he says. "If not, it's a signal that they have something to hide."
Finally, ask about the company's
culture--and whether the interviewer's description of it evokes the actual
culture or an ideal the company is striving for. If the latter, what steps are
they taking to get there? Then take some time to think about what you've heard
from the would-be boss. "Sit back and ask yourself, 'Does this person's
values and morals align with mine? Do I like him or her? Has the interviewer
been honest and forthright?'" says Christian. "Reading between the
lines of what is said will give you a strong sense of whether this is the place
and the boss for you." Good luck.
Q. I have what I really believe
is a great idea for a new service my company could offer, but I can't seem to
get my boss to agree. So far I've outlined it in a meeting and then followed up
with a detailed memo, but she's still not receptive. Should I keep pushing, or
just let it drop?
A. Is she offering specific objections (such as,
your plan would bust the budget, or would conflict with some other project)? If
so, of course you'll want to try and address those concerns. But don't become a
pest. "When it comes to trying to convince management of your viewpoint,
push once, push twice--but three times is too many." says Lois Frankel,
president of Corporate Coaching International.
In your case, the
meeting and the memo make two tries, so it's probably time to set the matter
aside and make a mental note to bring it up again in six months or a year if
circumstances seem to have changed. But I'm curious: Readers, what's been your
experience? How have you managed to persuade a skeptical boss to buy into a good
idea of yours? Drop me a line, and I'll include your comments (anonymous as
always) in a future column.
So, be prepared and good luck..
This article is taken from
Column in www.FORTUNE
on Monday, July 22, 2002
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