How to Answer Teamwork Interview Questions

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February 16, 2021
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In a job interview, you're likely to be asked questions about teamwork. Questions vary a lot but there are a few similar ones that often come up. Employers want to know if you're the sort of person that will work well as part of the team if you were to get the job.

The following article will go through some of the most common teamwork questions you may have to answer in an interview and some of the things you could say to help you secure the job.

Why Am I Being Asked Teamwork Interview Questions?

Most jobs will require some sort of cooperation with a colleague or team in some capacity. Whether that is a big part of your job or not, it is likely that you be asked some sort of teamwork interview questions by the hiring manager to gauge how well you work with others. Employers want to know about your communication skills and how you work as part of a team.

The hiring manager is also likely to want to know what your attitude is towards teamwork, even if you're not expected to engage with other team members much. Another reason they may bring up this topic is to discover what sort of environment you work best in. They're always looking for examples, so be sure to give plenty

How to answer teamwork interview question

The following article will run through some examples of questions you're likely to encounter in your job interview. It will also provide some insight into how to answer teamwork interview questions.

"How do you feel about working with a team?"

This is one of the most common behavioral interview questions that has to do with teamwork. Your answer will show just how much of a team player you are and if you can be relied on to produce good work independent of which team members you have to work with. Make sure to give examples of how you have worked well with team members in the past.

"Can you provide any examples of a time when you showed strong teamwork skills?"

Hiring managers are looking for people who have strong teamwork skills. If you can be productive with others and enjoy teamwork, be sure to go into detail about that. Pick out a few good examples to have ready for when this interview question comes up.

Make sure to mention the skills needed to successfully complete whatever task you're talking about. It's all about detail when it comes to answering behavioral interview questions.

"Can you tell me about a time where you were involved in a team project that didn't go according to plan?"

Employers obviously want their teams to be successful, but it's okay to have instances where this wasn't the case. Make sure to be truthful and honest if this question is asked. Being caught lying is not a good look and will certainly derail your chances of getting the job.

When you describe an example of your team failing to meet their project objective, be sure to go into detail about why this was and how you would prevent this from happening again when working in a team. Here, the interviewer is looking for you to show that you have learned from this experience whether it was your fault or not, and your ability to work toward a solution in a team environment.

"What do you think is the most important thing to make a team function well?"

This is a particularly important question to prep for. It's very open-ended and you can basically answer it how you see fit. Whichever aspect you pick, make sure you have team experience examples to back it up. The employer will use this answer to ascertain whether or not they think you could fit into the team environment they currently have.

Give an answer that shows that you are a team player, or even team leader, and that you value everyone's contributions. If you can provide a recent example to back up anything you do say, even better.

Use team leadership or at least teamwork related examples to demonstrate a time when you worked well as a team member. Whether it was working on a team, projects with other employees, in a customer service setting, or any other example of teamwork success--especially with a leadership role--the hiring manger will want to hear all about it.

"What strategies do you use to motivate a team?"

This question is more directed towards a leader but do not worry if you don't see yourself as one. Prepare an answer that shows you are considerate of others and perceptive enough to understand everyone's individual needs. Share examples if a group project where you work together as an active team member with other people.

Teamwork may be about working together but within that there is usually a leader. So consider a time when you lead team members somehow and resolved a conflict through teamwork with team players.

Show that you have the capacity to be that leader when called upon and that you have the initiative to take on this role when needed. Do not be afraid to be creative, hiring managers will appreciate any answer that shows thoughtfulness and a willingness to think outside the box.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I demonstrate my teamwork skills if I have limited work experience?

Even with limited work experience, you can demonstrate teamwork skills by discussing experiences from volunteer work, school projects, or sports teams. Focus on specific instances where you collaborated with others, resolved conflicts, or contributed to a team goal. Share the outcomes and what you learned about working in a team.

Can you give an example of a good STAR response to a teamwork interview question?

Certainly! For example, if asked about a time you worked well in a team, you might say: "Situation: During a group project in college, we had a tight deadline. Task: We needed to compile a comprehensive report. Action: I coordinated with team members to delegate sections based on each person's strengths and set up regular check-ins. Result: Our collaborative effort led to a well-received report and we finished two days ahead of schedule."

What's the best way to handle a question about a team conflict in an interview?

When addressing a team conflict question, focus on the resolution rather than the conflict itself. Describe the situation briefly, explain the steps you took to understand different perspectives, and highlight how you contributed to a constructive solution. Emphasize the positive outcome and what the experience taught you about teamwork and communication.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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