Rule-Consciousness: The personality trait rule-consciousness determines to what extent cultural standards of right and wrong are internalized and used to control one's behavior. The two values are:
Non-conforming: people who feel most rules can be broken, particularly when there are good reasons. They can get annoyed when forced to follow rules that make no sense to them. In the workplace, these people often have a strong need for autonomy, play, and flexibility. Additionally, they can struggle a great deal when forced to conform to strict rules or regulations.
Descriptors: expedient, self-indulgent
Rule-conscious: people who tend to accept the importance of obeying rules and see themselves as conscientious and persevering. They see themselves as strict followers of manners, rules, and principles in the workplace.
Descriptors: rule-conscious, dutiful, conscientious, conforming, moralistic, rule-bound
The interview questions listed below can draw revealing answers and get you on your way to finding whether employees are able to follow rules or bend them at times in order to accomplish an assignment. These interview questions will allow you to assess the degree of how rule-conscious a candidate is:
Top 2 questions and expected answers (*there is no right or wrong answer, the answer you are seeking is based on what best fits the role and your company culture):
1. Have you been in a situation where a colleague asked you to "bend the rules" to complete a project? What happened?
How this question will help you: this question helps you assess if a candidate adheres to company policies and follows the rules of the organization. This question addresses the degree in which someone is ethical in their actions in the workplace.
2. Do you prefer working in a structured/policy-oriented work environment or a more dynamic work environment?
How this question will help you: this question allows you to understand if the candidate is also a good cultural fit for your organization. For example, if your organization is a large, multinational company with established policies, is the candidate someone who is able to comprehend and follow policies without bending the rules? On the other hand, if the company is small with limited policies in place and is dynamically growing, will the candidate be able to be flexible in getting the job done?
3. Tell me about a time when your manager handed you a task and gave you little or no direction. What was that like for you?
4. Describe a situation where you had to make a last-minute revision to a product based on company changes made at a higher level. How successful were you? How did you communicate changes to the people in the team?
5. Tell me about an instance when you had to deal with a “change of direction” in a project?
6. Tell me about a time when you felt it would benefit the situation to disregard structure or formal processes to achieve a better outcome. What were the circumstances? How did it turn out?
7. Give me an example of a time when you recognized an opportunity for process improvement in your department or group. What did you do?
8. Tell me about a time you knew you were right, but still had to follow directions or guidelines.
9. Tell me about a time when you had to step away from traditional methods to solve a difficult or complex problem. Can you describe your approach? What was the outcome?
10. Tell me about a time when you felt it would benefit the situation to disregard structure or formal processes to achieve a better outcome. What were the circumstances? How did it turn out?