Answering Interview Questions: Addressing Unprofessional Attitudes in the Workplace

Workplace AttitudeAttitude is one of the most important things in any industry. The positive vibes in the workplace can be dragged down with negative attitudes; this is why it’s necessary for the company to be mindful of their future employees’ characteristics.


The company would, of course, prefer someone with a positive attitude towards work and other employees. They wouldn’t want to hire someone who’s not good at dealing with people and has a hard time being a professional.

However, aside from investigating your workplace attitude, your interviewer will also want to know how you’re going to act when a certain employee behaves unprofessionally. Your answer on how to respond to negative attitudes is also one of the interviewer’s concerns.

Why is the interviewer concerned about this?

  • To know if you’re going to cover up for your coworkers’ mistakes;
  • To see if you’re concerned with the company’s welfare; and/or
  • To determine if you’re going to be a liability to the company

Your goal is to convince the interviewer that you have a willingness to address such problems. So, to answer the question, “How would you address problems related to a team member’s unprofessional attitude?” you might want to consider the following steps:

  • Identify if it’s a repeated action or not.

Tell the interviewer that you want to evaluate first if the unprofessional action has been done repeatedly or only once, and that you want to clarify the person’s intentions.

  • Be professional.

Say that you want to keep it professional by staying calm. This could give the concerned employee a hint that you won’t tolerate the behavior, but you also don’t want to make a big fuss between the two of you or whoever is concerned about the issue.

Strike up a conversation with the person involved, but make it polite. Talk to him in a secluded place, and tell him your observations. Ask him about the behavior he is showing, and then express your concerns. You can also inform or remind him of the consequences of his actions if he continues doing it.

  • Follow up.

Tell the interviewer that you’re willing to follow up on a regular basis about the behavior of that coworker of yours, and if he insists on doing that “unprofessional act” without the knowledge of your boss, you’ll have the guts to tell your manager/department head.

Remember to remain objective and factual when answering the question. You don’t want to let your interviewer think that you’re hungry for the boss’ attention, so keep your answer true and just right.

Read 6467 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 March 2016 19:09
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.