This one is pretty awkward. Of course we’ve all taken a pen or two … so if you say you haven’t, they might think you’re a liar. But if you say you do it all the time and act like it’s no big deal, that’s a problem too.
James Reed, an author and chairman of Reed, a top job site in the UK and Europe, writes in his book that saying something like, “I have one or twice taken a pen from the office in an emergency but I have always returned it the next day or the day after,” is a terrible response. Why? The interviewer knows that pen is still on your desk at home, and might challenge you.
He suggests going with something more realistic, like: “Well, I’d be lying to say I haven’t ever absentmindedly slipped a ballpoint into my jacket pocket, but it usually ends up back on my desk the following day, unless I leave it at home. I haven’t got a spare room full of paperclips and staplers, though, if that’s what you mean.”