How to respond to an unexpected question, such as Have you ever seen a safety violation, and what did you do about it?
What is the employer really asking?
The employer wants to see how you think on your feet — but also expects a thoughtful response to an issue that is very specific to the workplace — and important to the job or organization. S/he wants to know if you have had any experience with this particular issue.
How job-seekers should respond to this question
Take a moment to pause and compose yourself and decide if you have ever experienced the situation asked about.
If you have experienced what the employer is asking about, describe the situation and how you handled it.
What to do if you have never experienced the issue in question? Explain how you would handle the situation when you experienced it.
A similar version of this unexpected question for retail and hospitality jobs:
Have you ever had to deal with an angry or unhappy customer, and how did you deal with it?
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