Interview Questions and Answers: Staff discipline questions

How you enforce the rules is how you operate as a supervisor. It's your job. As a supervisor, there are things you can do, and things you can't. Your authority is real, but limited.

The bottom line for a supervisor's power is:

What you can't do-

  • You can't fire anyone directly. That has to be authorized by the employer.
  • You can't enforce docking of pay. That also requires authorization.
  • You can't require staff to do anything outside guidelines.
  • You can't take any action 'bending' applicable laws.

What you can do-

  • You can recommend dismissal.
  • You can recommend disciplinary actions, including docking of pay.
  • You can give instructions within guidelines which staff must obey.
  • You can take disciplinary action to ensure staff follow applicable laws.


The level of authority defines the role of the supervisor.

When dealing with the various difficult interview questions that disciplinary issues can create, be careful to stay within the area of 'what you can do.'

The last thing employers need is a supervisor creating more problems out of other problems. If your interview answer even suggests you don't know your level of authority, you can talk yourself out of a job.

Your interview answers

Make sure that:

  • Answers conform to employment laws.
  • Equal Opportunity law isn't breached.
  • Management's role is given in the right context with situations.
  • All formal procedures are covered properly.