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

1 of 15 Scenario Based Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated June 29th, 2018 | 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

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.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Written by:

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: 10/17/2016
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

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