How Can You Judge a Company's Ethics?

How Can You Judge a Company's Ethics?

(Very 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 )

"Is 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 of, too."

    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  "ASK ANNIE" ,
Column in www.FORTUNE .com  on  Monday, July 22, 2002 edition



Uploaded By : erwin
Last Update : 17/07/2004

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