Job Interview Questions and Answers About Teamwork
A common topic in job interviews is teamwork. Often, an interviewer will ask you a question such as “How do you feel about working on a team?” or “Tell me about a time you solved a problem as a team” or “How would you motivate team members if you were working on a project together?”
With these questions, interviewers can get a sense of whether or not you like working on a team, how well you work in groups, and what role you tend to take on a team project (for example, a leader, a mediator, a follower). These questions also show whether you are easy to get along with, which is important in almost any work environment.
There are many ways you can respond. The most important things to remember when answering questions about teamwork are to remain positive and to provide specific examples.
These are some tips for answering these kinds of questions, as well as a list of sample questions about teamwork, and best answers for each question.
3 Ways to Answer Questions About Teamwork
Tips for Answering Teamwork Questions
You want to demonstrate to the employer both that you are enthusiastic about teamwork and that you get along with colleagues.
Before your interview, think about what you most enjoy about working on a team. This will help you to be positive when answering questions about teamwork. For instance, you might appreciate the opportunity to gain insight and feedback from colleagues.
Of course, you also want to be honest. Sometimes, you have to describe a negative teamwork experience. For example, an employer might say, “Tell me about a difficult experience you had when working on a team project.” If you say you have never had a difficult experience, the employer may think you're not telling the truth. Plus, that answer doesn't reveal how you are as a team player or how you handle difficult situations, which is what interviewers really want to know.
Instead of dodging the question, try to focus on how you solved a difficult problem.
For instance, you might answer, “I have worked on teams where one or two voices tend to dominate the group, and other peoples’ ideas are not heard. I try to be a good listener in teams, taking the time to understand everyone’s ideas, and making sure everyone’s suggestions are discussed.”
Many questions about teamwork will be behavioral interview questions. These questions require you to provide an example from your past work experiences. For example, an interviewer might ask, “Tell me about a time you had to complete a group project under a tight deadline.”
These kinds of teamwork questions require you to think of examples from past experiences working in a group. To answer these questions, describe the specific example you are thinking of (it helps to think of examples in advance). Then explain the situation, and what you did to either solve the problem or achieve success. Finally, describe the result.
Even if the question is not a behavioral interview question, it is often helpful to provide a specific example. For instance, situational interview questions ask you to consider a possible future situation at work. An interviewer might ask, “How would you handle a conflict between two team members?” Although these are about future situations, you can still answer with an example from a past experience.
Tailor Your Answer to the Job
Try to provide examples that are closely related to the job you are applying for. Think about past work, internship, or volunteer experiences that required skills similar to those needed for this job.
Consider also the company and position-level of the job. Large and corporate companies may value different teamwork traits than small businesses or start-ups. If you are applying for a management-level position, try to use examples that display your leadership skills and team-building skills. If you're applying for a support position, share how you've helped resolve conflicts or kept team members on deadline.
Sample Questions and Answers
- Give some examples of teamwork - Best Answers
- Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager? - Best Answers
- How do you feel about working on a team? - Best Answers
- How do you feel working in a team environment? - Best Answers
- Do you prefer teamwork or working independently? - Best Answers
- How would you describe your ability to work as a team member? - Best Answers
- What strategies would you use to motivate your team? - Best Answers