Would you lie for the company?

While it may sound like it, the truth of the matter is that it is not a yes or no answer. So, don’t answer it like one. The purpose of the question is not to ensure that you will lie on behalf of the company, even though it may seem like it. The actual purpose of the question it so see who you are as a person, as well to gauge your honesty and integrity.

This question can seem tricky as it is pitting loyalty against integrity. If you say yes you are will to lie for the company, it means that you have no integrity, and that you can easily be bought for money. However, if you are not willing to lie, then it shows that you have no loyalty; that you may be willing to throw the company under the bus in order to protect yourself. Due to this it may seem like there is no right answer; that you have to possibly choose between the two even though both are desirable qualities.

In reality, you don’t have to choose, however you do have to frame your answer well. Don’t try to give a decisive answer. In this case, a vague indefinite answer would be recommended. Don’t commit to either yes or no, instead focus on setting some clauses or limits to your answer. Talk about when would be an acceptable time to lie or what wouldn’t be. For example, an unacceptable time to lie would be if that lie would lead to harming someone.

You cannot say that you don’t lie as nearly everyone lies, though they are often small white lies. Instead, try to focus on circumstances. There are often times when a small lie won’t hurt anyone, while at other times lying is bad, very bad. Plus there would be times that you would be required to keep secrets, so that your proprietary information does not get stolen. It can be argued that keeping secrets is not technically lying. Try on focus your answer on when would it be acceptable to lie, and where would you draw the line, i.e. your lying shouldn’t be breaking the law.

Sample Answer:

One cannot not lie is this world. Everyone tells white lies, including me. However, lying becomes a concern if that is what you are doing all the time, of if your lie leads someone to direct harm. Additionally, in business it is often necessary to keep secrets, which in my opinion is a bit different than lying.

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