Interview Questions: Talking about Confidentiality

Interview Question ConfidentialityLet’s say you’ve already prepared yourself for the interviewer’s questions about strengths, weaknesses, skills, and experience. That’s all fine and good, but are you ready to answer questions about confidentiality? In practically any business, managers and other bosses have certain information that they want to hide from the public. As an employee, you are expected to keep it as a secret.


Interview questions about confidentiality are usually asked of job seekers who are applying for a position which has a direct relationship with the boss, e.g., secretaries and assistants. More often than not, interviewers will ask you about what sorts of confidential information you’ve dealt with and how you handled it. This is because:

  • Confidentiality on the job is a necessary thing to maintain professionalism and trust at work.
  • Employers want to know that you have the ability to keep secrets and that you will respect the privacy of your company.
  • Interviewers want to see if you can follow company and industry confidentiality standards.

So in an interview, you must focus your answer on your ability to be discreet and careful. This is a question not to be taken lightly; thus, here are some tips that might help you:

1. Understand the parameters.

Ask the interviewer to clarify the terms of confidentiality. Make sure that you understand the terms and boundaries before answering the questions so you can avoid speaking about very important and sensitive details. Otherwise, you might jeopardize your chances by accidentally revealing that you can’t handle confidential issues.

2. Think about your answer carefully.

Before you blurt something out, think about what you’re going to say. No matter what the industry or the job might be, confidential issues are sensitive. They will want to know if you’re serious about confidentiality, so it’s okay to take a second to formulate a good answer.

3. Cite an example from previous work experiences.

Think of an experience in the past where you’ve handled a similar situation. If there’s none, come up with a hypothetical scenario. Still, if you have experience as a secretary or assistant, then you should be able to recall a time when you were entrusted with sensitive information. In any case, the best way to craft your answer is by relating it to a story.

4. Show how important confidentiality is to you.

State that you understand how important communicating with coworkers is, but that you won’t feel guilty if you choose not to provide confidential information to them when they ask for it. Show how you can control yourself by resisting the temptation to tell it to others.

5. Tell the interviewer how much you value your relationship with your boss.

One important thing in a boss-secretary relationship is trust; therefore, show how much you value this trait and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep it secure and protected. Provide explanations that illustrate how you ensure confidentiality.

When answering this question, be cautious but don’t be afraid to express yourself. Answer truthfully and maintain yourself within your moral boundaries. Show the interviewer that he or she can always trust you with sensitive information; that’s the kind of assurance that can land you a job.

Read 154578 times Last modified on Thursday, 18 January 2018 10:59
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.