Killer Interview Question: Tell Me About A Time You Went Against Company Policy

Are you a bit of a rebel at work? This week’s KIQ wants to find out.

There are rules to follow at work but sometimes you just can’t help but break them. This is especially true when you’re in a bigger organisation that’s bogged down by bureaucracy. But how honest should you be when you’re confronted with this question at your next job interview: “Can you tell me about a time you went against company policy?”

There is a chance that the interviewer is trying to find out if you’re a troublemaker, but according to James Reed, founder of one of the biggest job sites in the world, most hiring managers just want to determine if you’re an independent thinker.

He said:

“It’s okay to present yourself as an occasional rebel, but make sure you’re a rebel with a cause who goes through proper channels.”

But don’t assume your potential new employer will tolerate you flouting the rules all the time:

“… While many [companies] tout their commitment to innovation and limited bureaucracy, most continue to value consistency and the ability to confirm to ‘how things are done around here’. For this reason, you need to handle this question with care.”

You must strike a fine balance when you answer this question. Bring up an example of a time when you went against company policy, not because of personal reasons, but because the rule wasn’t serving the business or its clients. If you can, talk about the steps you took to change those rules to better suit your company.

Another thing to consider is that the question may also be a sign that the company you’re interviewing for doesn’t tolerate rule-breakers. So if you value your freedom in the workplace and being able to make your own decisions, then the company may not be for you.

How would you tackle this question? Let us know in the comments.

[Via Business Insider Australia]

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