Warren Buffett Says Integrity Is The Most Important Trait To Hire For. Ask These 12 Questions To Find It
Warren Buffet is an extremely successful American businessman and someone who has high moral character. Marcel Schwantes, Inc. contributor, explains Buffet’s hiring philosophy in his article that we have summarized, “Warren Buffet Says Integrity is the Most Important Trait to Hire For.”
Buffet believes that integrity is the most important quality to look for when hiring an employee. He states that when someone has integrity, a manager can be confident that they have good judgment, that they are dependable and trustworthy. Employees with integrity quickly become role models and naturally grow into leadership positions.
Character and integrity are hard to teach to employees, while skills can be taught. Below are twelve questions Warren Buffet shared that he has used in the past to determine a candidate’s integrity. Hiring managers should consider incorporating these questions within their interview process and hire based on integrity.
- Tell me about a time when you experienced a loss for doing what is right. How did you react?
- Tell about a time when your trustworthiness was challenged. How did you react/respond?
- Tell about a specific time when you had to handle a tough problem which challenged fairness or ethical issues.
- When was the last time you “broke the rules”? What was the situation and what did you do?
- What would you do if you suspected that an employee was stealing?
- Describe a situation where you saw an employee or co‐worker do something you thought was inappropriate. What did you do?
- Think of a situation where you distrusted a co-worker/supervisor, resulting in tension between you. What steps did you take to improve the relationship?
- When working with people, in general, describe your preferred relationship with them. (This question is used to assess honesty and the capacity for open communication.)
- What values do you appreciate the most in a team environment? [This helps hiring managers assess for traits like honesty, fairness, openness, transparency, and inclusiveness.)
- If we ever got into a difficult situation with a client, would you be willing to tell a little white lie to help us out?
- What would your current/past manager say makes you most valuable to them? (Managers should listen for clues that point to integrity beyond intelligence, energy or technical and hard skills.)
- What are the characteristics exhibited by the best boss you have ever had, or wished that you have had? (People of integrity will mirror those they follow or look up to, so their answers should include these clues.)
An employee candidate may have valuable skills but at the end of the day, they need to protect your company with integrity. Intelligence and effort are important but without integrity, a candidate is not worthwhile. Use some of these questions in your next round of interviews and you may be surprised what you can learn from a prospective employee.
About DeBoer Fellowship
The DeBoer Fellowship develops change leaders across all sectors of Myanmar society. Through a multi-year training class and additional public programs, the DeBoer Fellowship serves Myanmar by helping to grow competent, compassionate, and ethical leaders. For more information about DeBoer Fellowship or to apply for the Fellowship, please visit: www.deboerfellowship.org.