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Have you ever broken company rules to make a customer happy?

1 of 25 Customer Service Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on December 1st, 2019 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

Breaking the rules, and bending them, CAN be different from each other. Often, organizations are okay with you bending the rules to keep a customer happy. You need to know your audience, though! If the company is very stringent when it comes to their policies and procedures, then approach this question with caution. If the organization is well known for being flexible, then you can indeed be more free with your answer.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"I have been trained to know that rules and policy are there for a reason. If I were not sure what to do or were asked to break or bend a rule, I would refer to my employee manual or ask a manager to assist."

Answer example

"My current company is pretty strict with their policies, so I do not bend to make a customer happy, but I will escalate the issue to someone who has the seniority to decide that. I agree with your organization that it's important to offer some flex on policy, within reason of course."

Answer example

"Policy and rules are not strictly enforced in my current company. It isn't for lack of caring but the opposite. Our CEO knows that if we needed to bend a rule, it was for a good reason. With that said, I am comfortable following your policies because they are more than reasonable."

Answer example

"Marketing is all about ebb and flow, swaying, and flexing. I cannot work in an environment where consideration is not present in the changing or bending of a particular rule. So long as nobody gets hurt or the company isn't suffering, it's important to be flexible to meet the needs of a customer."

Answer example

"In the store where I currently work there is no flexibility in the rules. If a customer is unhappy with the return policy, for instance, they have to go directly to corporate. There is nothing we are allowed to do at store level. Now, having zero regards for rules can be detrimental as well. I know that your company offers a great happy medium between the two which I certainly respect."

Answer example

"I have been known to bend a rule or two, with the permission of my superiors of course. I believe it's important to cater to a client in every way possible, so long as it is not harmful to the company. Certain rules and deadlines do not necessarily work for some customers, as they do for others. I understand that your organization operates with a similar mentality."

Food Service Manager
Answer example

"In the store where I currently work, there is very little flexibility when it comes to rules and policy. If a customer is unhappy with the return policy, for instance, they have to go directly to our corporate office. I do not have autonomy at the store level, which is something with which I disagree. Now, having zero regard for rules can be detrimental as well. I know that your company offers a great happy medium between the two, which I certainly respect. I will lead my team to make decisions that are best for the company and good for the customer at the same time."

Answer example

"I've never broken the auditing or SOX compliance rules knowingly because that would threaten my license. When struggling with an audit, I've made safe compromises with a client. I had one client who was in trouble with the audit and I helped them process some exemption forms before handing the documentation to the external auditors. This allowed them time to get their documentation in line but didn't break any rules."

Written by:

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 03/31/2018
Last modified on: 12/01/2019
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