Scenario Based Interview Questions

15 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

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What would you do if you were made aware of a co-worker being dishonest or stealing from the company?

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Scenario Based Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    What would you do if you were made aware of a co-worker being dishonest or stealing from the company?

      How to Answer

      Companies want to know they are hiring loyal employees. Make sure that you illustrate in your answer that you would do the right thing and represent the company for which you are working. If you have an example from a time this has happened to you, you can talk to the interviewer about it but avoid naming people outright or speaking poorly of anyone.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I certainly would not consider myself a 'whistle-blower' in the workplace. If I found that a co-worker was stealing, or doing anything to harm the company, I would approach them directly to ask what was going on. There is a good chance of the situation being a simple misunderstanding. If it wasn't a misunderstanding and the co-worker was outright defiant with their damaging actions, then I would bring it, professionally, to the appropriate parties."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "If I knew that an employee was stealing from the company, I would report it to my manager. When employees steal, their actions put everyone at risk."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "I have caught employees stealing before and, to be honest, I have zero patience for this type of behavior. It costs the company a lot of money, resulting in an increase in cost to my customers, and potentially jeopardizes future raises and team growth. Whenever I have caught an employee stealing, I bring the matter up with HR, along with supporting evidence. This approach ensures a clean termination eliminates the company being at risk of being sued by the disgruntled former employee."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "I have caught a co-worker plagiarizing their work before. This practice is obviously a huge no-no in our industry and results in immediate termination. When I caught the co-worker, I reported it anonymously to our marketing director. He had been terminated shortly after, which I felt a bit bad for, but reminded myself that he put our entire agency's reputation at risk, including my job."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "When I was a server in college, I did become aware of a server altering his tips. It was an incredibly uncomfortable situation to become mindful of, seeing as the server in question was having a ton of family issues and financial problems in general. I was empathetic to his situation; however, he was stealing from unknowing customers who didn't deserve that. I mentioned it in passing to him, to feel out how he felt about being noticed or if somehow I'd misunderstood. He brushed it off as though I were crazy. I let it go at first. Later, I saw him with pen in hand while holding a signed check. I did not confront him again, but I did mention it in confidence to the manager on shift."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "In a previous role, I had a hunch that one of the appointment setters was inflating the number of appointments that he was setting, but had no solid proof. There was a sudden uptick in productivity, but it appeared he was not putting in any extra effort. That said, it was not my department, direct report, or my place to address this. I did casually mention it to another account executive, who was in his department, and their boss over dinner one day and just said to keep an eye out for it."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I have never found myself in this situation, but I feel I'd address it with the person in question and then involve the appropriate supervisory parties as necessary if the behavior continued. As a teacher, there isn't much opportunity to take or be greedy, so I can't see this happening, honestly, but if it did, that's how I would handle it."

      3 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "I walked in on a manager who was pocketing money from the cash register. I knew I needed to make the owner of the store aware so I reported the incident. The owner held a meeting with the manager and me; the manager denied the action. The owner informed us that cash was missing occasionally from the register so he installed a camera to put an end to the stealing."

      Marcie's Answer

      Wow. That sounds pretty stressful! It's great that you're able to provide an example of a time when you handled this sort of situation successfully. Did you learn anything from this experience that you would change in the future? How was your relationship with the manager after this happened? Were there other ways you could have handled this? Showing self-awareness and that you thought about this situation after it happened would impress the interviewer as well.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "I would confront the workers and inform them that I am aware of the situation. Then, I would let them know that I would have to report them it happens again."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It seems you are responsible in the workplace and willing to put your neck out for the good of the employer/organization. In terms of law enforcement, most codes of conduct demand than any unethical actions be reported immediately, without warning. Do keep this in mind depending on the situation/environment where you are interviewing :)

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