Answer Interview Questions About Being a Team Player

Includes Tips and Examples

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"Are you a team player?" You'll hear that question in pretty much every interview you'll ever participate in. That's probably because working on a team is crucial to nearly much every position, from entry level to director. Here are some points to consider and the best ways to answer.​

Understand the Nature of Teamwork

Before you answer, consider how you best contribute to a team.

  • Do you get along easily with people?
  • Are you an effective collaborator?
  • Can you communicate with people from various backgrounds and with different personalities?
  • Can you motivate people?
  • Do you know how to push back tactfully?
  • Can you mediate conflicts?
  • Can you deal with difficult personalities?

Tips for Answering Interview Questions

When talking about teamwork and relating anecdotes to share your accomplishment, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Stick With Recent Examples: Try to choose an example from the past unless something older is especially impressive. Relaying an outdated story about how you worked with a team to get the whole company access to high-speed internet doesn't grab attention.
  • Toot Your Own Horn: Pick an experience that shines the spotlight on you and shows how you contributed to a team that achieved spectacular results.
  • Consider Relevance: Relay an example that's most relevant to the company you're interviewing with. Draw the parallel so they can see how you'd succeed on a team with them.
  • Add Value: Choose an example that serves to demonstrate added strengths in addition to teamwork.
  • Focus Your Response: Highlight your story in bullet point form rather than memorizing a script.

Sample Answers About Working on a Team

  • I enjoy working in a team environment, and I get along well with people. In my past work experience, I implemented a system to help organize the communication between my coworkers to enhance our productivity as a team.
  • I believe that I have a lot to contribute to a team environment, and am comfortable in both leadership and player roles. I'm outgoing, friendly, and have strong communication skills.
  • I prefer teamwork. Different team members contribute different perspectives and the synergy between team members can produce creative and productive results.
  • Collaborating with others helps to teach you more about yourself and your own strengths and weaknesses. Are you a better listener than a leader? Are you better at coming up with big ideas or putting them into action?
  • Working in teams is both beneficial and challenging. It can help you help develop communication, negotiation and problem-solving skills while enabling you to share ideas. It can also be more enjoyable since we all like to belong. However, it's also a challenge in that it exposes you to new and perhaps unfamiliar ways of working along with new ideas that you might not be comfortable with. 
  • Teamwork gives me a greater sense of responsibility in creating unity among the team members and thus helps to further my professional development. I think it's also a fruitful process in that team members with certain strengths balance out people with certain weaknesses and we can all learn from each other.
  • I think teamwork leads to increased productivity and performance: groups that have a good synergy can achieve more than employees working on their own. Teamwork brings together people with a broad range of skills and allows me to deepen my understanding of a particular challenge.
  • Teamwork helps me sharpen my interpersonal skills -- speaking confidently and assertively while also actively listening to others. It's a great scenario in which to develop leadership skills.