Interview Help: If You Saw Someone Performing Their Job Unsafely What Would You Do


Sometimes interview questions are more complicated than they seem. When this happens, your answer needs to cover many topics at once. That’s how you have to handle the situation when an interviewer asks “if you saw someone performing the job unsafely what would you do?” 

At first, this question probably seems like a simple prompt about your commitment to safety. However, in reality, it covers a large number of other topics as wellBeyond safety matters, the query also touches on subjects like team dynamics, group cooperation, and leadership. 

There’s a lot going on. Stilldon’t think of it as a trick question. Rather, regard it as an opportunity.  

Answer this question right and you can impress your interviewers on many fronts simultaneously. It just takes some strategizing to cover all the bases.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you answer the interview question “if you saw someone performing the job unsafely what would you do?” 

Focus on Safety 

The fact that your interviewers asked this question indicates that thewant to have a substantial conversation about safety. They want to communicate to you that they take the subject seriously. In reply, they want to know that you feel the same way. 

To achieve this goal, stress how much you prioritize following safety protocols. Indicate that you pride yourself on knowing all the relevant procedures and restrictions. At the same time, show them that you are constantly looking out for unsafe situations, so you can help bring them into compliance. 

Team Dynamics  

The main topic of this question is obviously safety. However, it’s framed in a way that also brings in other important subjects. The most obvious of these secondary topics of conversation: the idea of team dynamics. 

 The question basically asks you to have an uncomfortable conversation with a coworker. As framed by the interviewers, the interaction here could be tense if not handled correctly. You want to show that you can handle this potentially upsetting situation with tact and diplomacy. 

Explain how you would correct your coworkers behavior without escalating the situation or causing hard feelingsYou might say something like “I would approach them in private and let them know quietly how to fix the situation.” The goal here is to show you can maintain a safe environment while not sparking arguments or without undermining the spirit of teamwork. 

Group Goals 

The way this question is framed also underlines another truth about working life. Your actions affect those around you and vice versa. Even if you follow all the proper safety precautions, you can be in danger if someone else ignores the rules. 

Consider that idea as you present your answer. Let your interviewers know that you understand this concept and that you are dedicated to keeping everyone safe. Phrases like “we succeed or fail as a team” and “safety is everyone’s concern” will help drive the point home. 


This question asks you to take a leadership role. You are guiding and instructing a coworker on the best way to perform their tasks. Given this fact, the interviewers might be testing your ability (and willingness) to slide into a leadership role. 

Take the opportunity to underline your leadership abilities. Let them know you are comfortable setting an example and taking on responsibility. It could give you an advantage in landing the job at hand, plus a good answer could set you up to potential managerial assignments down the road. 

A successful job interview involves taking every opportunity to highlight your skills. Sometimes this means digging deeper into seemingly simple questions. Developing this talent gets easier with the right guidance. A strong staffing agency, like DHR, can improve your ability to find (and to land) the perfect job. 

Contact DHR today to learn more. 

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