If You Saw a Co-Worker Stealing, What Would You Do? [With 10 Sample Interview Answers]

In this article we will discuss all one of the commonly asked questions that are asked in an interview by the hiring manager, that is, ‘If you saw a co-worker stealing, what would you do?’. Being an employee of the company, one may face many difficult decisions when they witness a fellow worker stealing from the company and that is why it is a need to understand how to deal with such situations. There are multiple ways in which this question can be framed by the hiring manager, some of the examples are:

  1. What would you do if you saw a co-worker stealing?
  2. How would you respond if you caught a co-worker stealing from the company?
  3. Tell me about a time when you caught a fellow stealing something from the company.
  4. You saw a co-worker stealing office supplies, would you confront them or let it go?
  5. If you see a fellow worker stealing cash from the register, would you just let it go because this matter isn’t your responsibility or immediately inform the higher authority about the incident?

The topics that we will cover in this article are as follows:

  1. Why do the employers ask this question?
  2. How to Answer this question?
  3. Don’ts of answering this question.
  4. Sample Interview Answers

Let’s get started.

Why Do the Employers Ask this Question?

  1. To see how you would handle the situation when you see an employee stealing.
  2. To get an idea of a candidate’s work ethics as well as moral values and see if you would do the right thing or not.
  3. To test whether the candidate sitting on the other side of the table is trustworthy and reliable or not.
  4. There are a lot of businesses and companies that have a zero-tolerance policy on theft, so by asking this question the hiring managers check that where do you stand in being a good candidate to be a part of the company.
  5. To test your integrity and trying to gauge your loyalty towards the company for making sure that they are hiring loyal employees.

How to Answer This Question?

Be quick to respond

When a hiring manager asks this question to you, he is seeking a quick and decisive reply where you reach a conclusion. So, be quick to respond to such questions in an interview as if you take time to answer this question the employer may think that you have other ways to handle such situations on your own.

Remember the ultimate goal

Keep in mind that the ultimate goal of the interview is you being hired for the role which you applied for, so, the goal should be to prove to the hiring manager that you are a potential candidate who will prove to be a loyal employee of the company.

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Assure that you report the situation to the superiors

The attribute of a loyal employee is to ensure that whatever mal-activity you see happening around you must be reported to the Human Resource Manager or the Departmental Head, no matter what the situation was. So, keep this thing in mind while answering the question to the potential employer as you are not in charge of making any decision on the behalf of the authority because they may have different ways to deal with theft.

Don’ts of Answering This Question

  1. Do not answer by saying that you would confront the co-worker, because that is not your call to do. It is never a decision of wise because the co-worker can react otherwise if found guilty. So, do not confront him/her by yourself.
  2. Do not hesitate while answering this question.
  3. If you have an example of a situation like this that has happened in the past, mention it but avoid taking the name of the employee that you found stealing and do not start speaking negatively of him.

Sample Interview Answers

Sample Interview Answer 1

“if I were in the situation like this where I notice a co-worker stealing something from the company, I would report the matter immediately to the higher authorities so that they can take the necessary actions and speak to the wrongdoer in the private that what made him steal from the company and reach to an appropriate decision.”

Sample Interview Answer 2

“Stealing anything from the company which is helping you earn a livelihood is a huge violation of trustworthiness and loyalty, or I should say that it is a crime in itself. So, if I ever see a co-worker stealing from the company, I would talk to one of the superiors in private so that they could bring the situation to the notice to the higher authorities and make a decision.”

Sample Interview Answer 3

“If I saw a co-worker stealing from the company, I would not report the issue to the superior as there are chances that a superior may let it go or he may be involved himself in the theft, I would bring this issue in the notice of the hiring managers, that is, the Human Resource Department, as they can ensure that necessary actions are taken for the same, and they can even contact the higher authorities themselves, and they will surely take a right decision as they do not involve in day-to-day interaction with the employees.”

Sample Interview Answer 4

“The only way to react to such situation is to report the incident right away to the Human Resource Manager, whether you witness someone stealing, or doing something harmful or illegal to himself or to others. There is no other way out to handle such a situation because any related issues are to be taken care of by the HR Department.”

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Sample Interview Answer 5

“Being an employee of the company, my role is to be responsible and a loyal candidate that the company can rely on. So, the right way to react to such a situation would be that I should report them immediately to the manager. No organization to tolerate such unprofessional act such as theft because why would someone work in a reputed company and do such acts to malign the company’s image in any way.”

Sample Interview Answer 6

“No matter how small the thing the co-worker must be stealing, I would directly report the matter to the HR manager, as it is my duty not to let go of such acts. If the co-worker has any explanation of why he did what he did, he can very well explain it to the Human Resource Manager and the decision of terminating or giving a few days suspension would totally be the call of their department and I am sure they would make the right decision.”

Sample Interview Answer 7

“In my research, I came across the policies of this company and I am aware that this company has a strict zero-tolerance for theft policy, and I would never dare to violate it. If I ever found a co-worker stealing from the company, regardless of what the value of the thing is, I would report it immediately because letting it go will mean that I am encouraging such an act and the co-worker might steal something else tomorrow if I let it go today. So, I am sure that I would report it right away to the manager or any higher authority.”

Sample Interview Answer 8

“One thing I cannot tolerate is stealing. On the other side, I also know that some people might have their own reasons for doing something like that. But whatever the reason they might have, I am no one to ask them that even if they were my friend or I am on good terms with the employee, I will have to report something like that to the authorities as if I cannot tolerate it, so would the company will. They should bear the consequences of their actions.”

Sample Interview Answer 9

“I would not give the co-worker the chance to escape, or say something that did not happen otherwise, I would call the manager on-spot and bring the theft to his notice. In this way, the co-worker could not blame the situation on me saying that I made things up or that the incident did not happen. My point of view on such acts of burglary would be that immediately terminate the employee because we work in such a big company, we do not know what an employee might steal the absence of which wouldn’t even get noticed.”

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Sample Interview Answer 10

“Letting go of thefts will mean encouraging them. That is a risk that one cannot afford to have in one’s workplace. Small thefts could grow into something bigger if we did not bring it to the notice of the top management. Top Management knows very well how to handle such situations of theft. I can tell you one such incident that happened in the last job. I was heading to the office room where all the important documents are kept and I found a co-worker trying to change the figures in the cash register. He was the finance in charge of the company. I immediately called upon the manager as I won’t tolerate any such acts around me at my workplace and even irrespective of that.”

Conclusion

Loyalty is the best policy one could have in a workplace. So, if you ever find something like this happening around you, make sure that you immediately report it to the higher-level authorities as that will be the right thing to do and that is what we learn from these 10 sample interview answers that all these answers made sure that the issue is brought to the notice of the higher managers. Review the article and go through each and every detail mentioned in it to give the best answer to this question. Comment below what you liked about this article and share it with your friends and family. Read other articles related to common questions asked in an interview on our website.

Thank you for reading!

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00881335
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/40604595