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Use these confidentiality interview questions to pinpoint awesome candidates who understand discretion and how to protect employee (and company) privacy.

Why confidentiality skills are a must

Confidentiality in the workplace is all about keeping stuff private (e.g. company data, competitive metrics and salary info.) 

This could be: 

  • HR pros who handle sensitive data, from candidates’ resumes to salary info.
  • Finance employees who manage benefits packages.
  • Legal teams who create classified docs full of private company info.
  • IT pros who process digital files and deal with data privacy.
  • Managers who have the downlow on strategic decisions and employee info.

Confidentiality Interview Questions

  • How would you store historical employee records? (e.g. contracts, benefits packages etc)
  • When chatting to external people, how do you know what you can and can’t divulge?
  • What do you say to someone who wants to know their teammate's salary?
  • How do you store and share confidential docs? What are the best tech tools to use?
  • What do you do if a potential client wants to know company details? (e.g. for new products and features.)
  • If you’re asked to divulge sensitive info in a meeting, how do you respond?
  • What would you do if you received a sensitive email addressed to someone else? 

Top tips: 

  • Keep your questions open by using hypothetical scenarios likely to occur on the job.
  • Include short tests to see how your candidates respond. For example, you could ask office assistants to tell you how they’d organize a desk to see how they store classified docs, or ask IT admin candidates to recommend cyber security apps.

Candidates to look for

  • Pro candidates: You’re looking for someone who will steer clear of gossip and show tons of respect.
  • High ethical standards: Your ideal candidate has good judgement when it comes to assessing classified info and sensitive data access.
  • Discreet candidates: Discretion is a must to avoid uncomfortable situations and legal risks.

Candidates to avoid

  • They just don’t get it: Candidates who don’t understand what confidential info even is, ain’t gonna cut it. 
  • Secretive over discreet: They need to get the difference between being confidential and not disclosing any info at all. 
  • Candidates who don’t care: Security is make or break for business, so you need candidates who understand the importance of secure storage and transference of confidential data. 
  • Unprofessional or impolite: Being able to politely decline access to unauthorized personnel is key.

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