Interview Questions and Answers: Staff problems for supervisors

It's easier than it looks to develop a good framework for your responses. The primary considerations for any supervisor, when dealing with staff problems, are:

  • Employment law
  • Anti-discrimination law
  • Equal Opportunity
  • Criminal law
  • Statutory law
  • Management policies

In all staff matters, the applicable laws are the main issue for employers. As a supervisor, you probably know most of the laws by heart.

Note: If you don't know, get help. You must understand these issues, because you can get into serious trouble if you don't.

Interview questions and issues

Most questions will be strictly practical, with the odd hypothetical to test your skills. You're really being asked how you'll do this job.

Here are a few typical questions to show the depth of the issues:

  • What do you do if someone refuses to obey an instruction?
  • How do you deal with absenteeism?
  • How do you operate a leave roster fairly?
  • How do you monitor a trainee?
  • How do you deal with poor performance?
  • How do you deal with breaches of discipline?
  • As you can see, all of these are practical, yet potentially tricky questions. You probably thought of answers while reading. These interview questions are extremely important. Make every effort to give the best possible answers. These answers will get you the job.

    Structuring your answers

    Each answer must be based on the right laws for the cases. The best structure is based on the STAR technique, with some slight modifications.

    Situation and Task

    Refer to the law at the start of your answer. 'The law/legal situation is that...'


    Whatever action you take also has to be in accordance with the law. Your answer must show that this action is the correct procedure, according to one or all of the relevant laws. Don't guess on this, but read up on your options.


    The result must be that the employer has acted correctly, according to law.

    Mistakes cost employers millions, every year.