MBA Interview: Ethical Dilemma - How did you handle it?

Give an Example of an Ethical Dilemma you faced. How did you handle it?

Ethical Dilemma stems from any action that violates information asymmetry or takes advantage of the power dynamics in an organization. The protagonist – you, would feel uncomfortable as the choices are not easy and the ‘right’ path have consequences both on you and for your organization.

The most common ethical dilemma involves the information disparity between a client and the employer. As a service provider, most sales team have a thorough understanding of the client needs. The add-on services and clauses that capture additional revenue from the client might be a strategy that is good for the company’s bottom line. The problem arises when they are abused.

Depending on your job function and industry some of the unethical practices might have become mainstream with no one batting an eyelid to question the practice. Citing examples that demonstrate a complete shaking up of a system or your organization’s common practices might not be believable as the admission team realizes the limited power you had. However, if you were part of a core team in a start-up environment, mentioning such example is ideal.

For a larger organization, the ethical dilemma could arise in six forms:

1) Overbilling

The duty towards the company precedes the customers and society. At least this is an implicit understanding among professionals. Charging for services that are not provided or buffering billable hours is an all too common phenomenon in consulting and technology. Rarely we have seen the example cited in our mock interview session. If you took a stand and addressed the need to be fair in billing, the example would stand out. Offer the details of the project, the timeline and the practices established in the company. An example where only a one-time objection was made should be avoided. Instead, choose such instances only if you have brought the systemic issue to the management and suggested solutions to measure billable hours accurately.

2) Accounting

Depending on the accounting rules the company follows, borrowing from the future cash flow for demonstrating growth in the current year is a move that arises in two scenarios. One when a major funding round is pending or in other cases, when there is an acquisition. In some cases, a desperate few quarters could push the management to do strange things. If you were in Accounting or leading the due diligence of an acquisition, the accounting practices would have become apparent. We had a client who took an influential board member to the side and shared the disturbing observation of the target company inflating foreign exchange transactions and valuation of their assets. It was a done deal, but the Finance professional understood that acquiring a culture of dishonesty could corrupt the parent company and discourage talented peers from joining the company.

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Download F1GMAT's MBA Admission Interview Guide

MBA Admission Interview Guide

The Guide offers detailed examples and strategies to answer about yourself, career summary, innovation, frequent job switch, managing change, ethical dilemma, made mistake, contribution for the school, handling conflict, the greatest accomplishment, low grades, difficult boss, backup plan, industry, role and gives you tips on managing first impression, improve likeability and lists the questions that you should ask the MBA Admission interviewer.

Pages: 204

The Guide includes commonly asked MBA Admission Interview Questions for:

1) Booth School of Business
2) Columbia Business School
3) Ivey Business School
4) Johnson Graduate School of Management
5) Insead
6) Kellogg School of Management
7) Stanford Graduate School of Business
8) London Business School
9) Harvard Business School
10) MIT Sloan School of Management
11) Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (Team Discussion Strategy + Interview Tips)


1. Importance of MBA Admission Interview  
2. How to do Gap Analysis for MBA Admission Interview Preparation?  
3. 5 Conversation Plan for MBA Admission Interview  
4. Focus on the Interaction  
5. How can you control First Impression in MBA Admission Interview  
6. How to improve likeability in MBA Admissions Interview  
7. Avoid these 4 Handshakes  
8. How to highlight Personal, Cultural, and Academic Dimensions of your personality  
9. What motivates an Interviewer?  
10. How to Fine Tune your answers according to MBA Admission Interviewer's Personality Type  
11. How to answer the “Tell us about yourself” introductory question?  
12. How to answer Walk me through your resume?  
13. 5 Follow-up questions to expect  
14. What is the greatest accomplishment in your professional career?
15. What is your leadership style?  
16. How would you contribute at the School Community
17. What is the most difficult obstacle you overcame?  
18. Are you a Creative Person?  
19. How do you define Success?  
20. How to answer about Innovative Solutions?  
21. Answering Frequent Job Switch
22. How did you Handle Conflict?
23. How did you manage Change?  
24. Give an Example of an Ethical Dilemma you faced. How did you handle it?  
25. Answering Greatest Accomplishment
26. How did you Handle a Difficult Boss?  
27.Tell me a time when you made a Mistake. What did you learn from it?
28. How to summarize your Career?  
29. How to explain low grades?  
30. How to answer Scenario Questions?  
31. How to answer the Backup Plan Question  
32. How to discuss about Industry Experience & your Role?  
33. What Questions should you ask the AdCom after an MBA Admissions Interview?  
34. 7 Things to Consider for Skype MBA Admission Interviews  
35. 5 Must Read MBA Admission Telephonic Interview Tips  

Download MBA Admission Interview Guide

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