How to Get Honest Answers from Integrity Test Questions

by Angela Griffiths

One valuable characteristic an employer will appreciate from their employees is being honest and the ability to do the right thing even when subject to pressure. Company managers allow probable employees to undergo various pre-employment tests to ensure that their future employment is the most credible and dependable person to do the job.

Employers purposely ask applicants to answer a series of integrity test questions to measure an individual’s tendency to be reliable and respond at best when challenged. It tries to reflect some of the applicant’s innate characteristics that are not yet obvious during the recruitment phase, such as customer relation aptitude, honesty, low productivity, absenteeism, and tardiness. It includes integrity test questions like “What do you do when you commit a mistake?  Do you accept it as your own? Or the popular question, “What is your biggest mistake in life? How did you deal with it?

Dramatic as it seems, these are strategic inquiries used to reveal a person’s daily disposition.

Advantages of Conducting an Integrity Test

The integrity test is a personality test administered to all professions. However, it is appreciated the most in healthcare and medical fields, daycares, childcare, government services, technological advancement, security and military, finance-related jobs like money handling, department stores, loans and collections, and other customer-related services.

Integrity test questions are essential tools before employment that can best save a company from potential theft, scam, attitude-related problems with clients and co-workers, neglect of any legal compliance, probability of substance abuse by an upcoming employee, and unproductive behaviors and habits.

It can lead to positive low turnovers in the company and help foster a dynamic and healthy workplace environment.

It is good to remember that integrity test questions are given to upcoming applicants only. Should any concerns and issues arise from incumbent employees, they are dealt with directly by the human resource team or the company leadership.

How to Prevent an Integrity Test From Being Faked?

Involve both kinds of integrity test

There are two classifications of integrity tests given to probable employees. The main difference lies in how they crafted the question and how they will be able to extract responses from examinees to reflect their inclinations. They’re as follows:

Overt Integrity test

This type of integrity examination directly throws questions regarding sensitive issues in one’s life. Some pose interrogation on delicate topics and even counterproductive habits and practices. A user needs to respond to it by answering the given question directly.

Some examples of overt integrity test items are:

  • Would you contemplate taking home small items in your workplace, such as pen and paper clips? Do you consider it to be stealing from your workplace?
  • How much time is acceptable for you to take out from your working time to do some non-work-related activities like browsing the net and checking online carts?
  • Have you experienced any difficulty from a co-worker? How did you deal with it?
  • How do you perceive working hours? Do you spare a few more minutes before and after your office time?

Covert Integrity test

This integrity exam may seem a lot easier to answer, but it is intentionally designed in such a way to draw upfront immediate answers from users. The numerous items are somewhat identical to provide counterchecking of responses given similar or related situations.

A typical example of a covert integrity test question is a true or false questionnaire.

There may be times that candidates rate the degree of conviction they hold to themselves in a covert integrity exam.

These two types of integrity tests give a more well-rounded grasp of the person’s tendencies since it captures their responses both in mind and actions.

Should you desire to come up with your company`s own set of integrity examinations, you should consult your legal counsel to go over and check if your questionnaires are not discriminatory.

integrity test questions

Employment of Forced choices (FC) in the integrity examination

Forced Choice (FC) is an examination where a user needs to commit to the options presented before him. It can be a “yes or no question,” or they may need to choose the best option that fits their preference, being clear of their selection of a particular choice rather than the other. The options or answers such as “maybe,” “not sure” or “not applicable” are not part of the answer choices.

Check for red flags in the examinee’s responses.

Using both the overt and covert types of integrity exams can send an alarm to any recruiting team. Any inconsistency will be disadvantageous on the part of the applicant. It may also reflect the following tendencies and attitudes of the applicant:

  • Dishonesty
  • Preparing and evaluating the questions in an integrity exam without care
  • Inconsistency with similar situations
  • Answering the examination without much introspection

One of the pitfalls of an integrity test question is its nature of being long and repetitive, though purposely created in such a way. It may also lead examinees to be lazy about some of the items included.

The hiring team should consistently watch out for any discrepancies and strange answers the examinees have chosen to represent them.

Encourage participants to give the primary responses they could do in a given situation.

With the availability of the internet today and the access that one could take advantage of in the online world, any interested applicant could simply take mock exams and prepare for an integrity examination with limitless frequency.

Yet it is always best to remind applicants to only include answers that best describe them or speak for them before starting any integrity test.

Reminding them also to be truthful about the answers they may have can give them a more profound knowledge and insight of themselves in a metrical manner since you will be handling their results to them after the evaluation. Be sure to fulfill such commitment to your applicants too. 

The employment of positive reprimanding should be employed rather than a negative approach because it is said to provide anxiety while taking the test.

Ask your test provider about the reliability of their examinations and how they interpret it

Another factor to achieving an honest answer regarding the conscientiousness of the probable employee of our company is to ask our test provider about the reliability and consistency rate of the examination set.

Do they have a mechanism within the exam that wards off sharp practices for integrity exams? What are some specific traits and attributes do their exams cover or shed light on?

Prior knowledge of the kind of exam will also determine the type of answers you want to validate with them. It is better to have a clear idea of the targeted attribute or trait that will benefit your company.

Use integrity test in concurrence with other pre-employment tests

The reality is that not a single exam can provide a wholly validated piece of information on the capability and personality of your future employees. The best option for every employee is to use the integrity test and other available or relevant pre-employment exams relevant to your field of practice or industry.

Collaborate and compare test results to understand better who can do the job at hand in a distinctive way.

You can handpick the one among the best of your applicants by combining the results of all the pre-employment examinations like aptitude tests, demo tests, culture fit tests, and the Intellectual test with integrity test.

The Integrity Test should be incorporated with a background check and actual interview

Another way to fully support the result of any integrity exam is the conduct of background checks and investigations. The company must thoroughly know the applicant being tossed to the position well. The nature of the work at hand and the intensity of reliability are the two essential factors to consider if it will still conduct this activity or if a mere examination will already suffice.

The applicant must be fully aware of such activity and have consented to it.

Many questions thwarted the use of the integrity tests as a pre-employment tool. “Is the test ethical or legal?” It is one of the main concerns of every human resource administrator who would administer this exam.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission approves most of the Integrity exams conducted and marketed through online platforms. Any violation against this division of government is never easy to deal with, and that is why careful organization and fabrication of questions are essential to complete the exam. A consultation with the company’s legal counsel is best before conducting this exam.

An integrity test question should exclude personal data, family history, age, and the like. It should not contain any question if the applicant has been convicted of a crime. It should not also state anything that will discriminate against a person regarding religious beliefs or sexual orientation.

 An integrity exam should prevent extracting questions related to any personal and medical condition. This may result in a court proceeding should an applicant feel any offense through that question.

Can We Fake an Integrity Exam?

Like any other type of test, examinees always have the chance to prepare for any upcoming test, and so does an integrity test. He can take several trials and be familiar with how questions are crafted and restructured for another similar one. These mock questions may help him identify which integrity test questions should lead to the same answer.

In a personality exam such as an integrity test, an examinee can quickly right down the answer that the recruitment team expects. The answer they state may contain the ideal responses and perceptions of scenarios, and they may not display their actual responses and practice in life. They may do this to pass the test and not to merely get a reflection on his personality, which is the goal of the hiring team.

Though no exam is foolproof, a well-designed set of questionnaires can also prevent the occurrence of a nonreliable result.

What Are False-Positive Results in an Integrity Exam?

A false-positive result in integrity exams refers to the practice where a candidate honestly answers all the integrity test questions. Because of that, his rank was affected severely, and he did rank low. This can happen with an integrity test, so it should be used with other pre-employment tests that are structured and inclusive of a person’s preparedness for the job.

The impact of the Integrity test on the hiring and recruiting team

An integrity test is an essential tool for the company recruiting team. The recruitment and hiring process is an equally challenging stage of company management. It holds the critical task of onboarding new employees into the company’s actual working environments and ideals.

An integrity test assists the recruiting team as it ushers applicants into the pathway they will undertake as employees. It requires wisdom, knowledge, and experience to fill a vacant position satisfactorily.

It is a tool that should use skillfully yet carefully. It is not meant as a single indicator but aims to enlighten other pre-employment measures undertaken.


Integrity tests are an essential pre-employment tool that reveals the tendencies and possible responses should a person face challenges in his workplace. It has its strengths and disadvantages, so it should be evaluated hand in hand with other examinations and tests to have the best employee in the company.

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