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INTERVIEWS

What are you rationalising?

Rationalisations help you show understanding during the interview process. Too often interviewers use a rationalisation story that mimics the crime or incident that the subject has committed. While this might be an effective tactic with some subjects, you must be careful using an approach and story like this.  You see, using a rationalisation that imitates the same incident as the subject can be risky, as it may unjustly provide hope for the subject, as well as give the appearance that the specific crime or incident is justified or allowed. 

When you rationalise with your subject, you should make sure the story is based on the motive behind the incident, rather than the act itself. You should never rationalise or justify a criminal act or workplace integrity issue; it’s not ok to steal, or breach policy.  Rather, what you should be doing is basing the rationalisation story on the motive behind the act that led to someone making a poor decision. 

The stories you share, personal or other interviews, should be relative to the subjects’ state of mind and focused on universal topics such as peer pressure, impulse, opportunity and financial issues.  When we focus the rationalisation on the motive rather than the act, there’s no confusion about you saying that what they’ve done is ok.

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