Teen job interview questions about one's ability to work on a team are common. They can also be challenging. Most employers simply want to know if you’re a good team player, in advance of making you a job offer.
Always review the job description carefully in order to understand what each particular employer means when they use the word teamwork. In most instances, a prospective employer is looking for people who can pitch in and take on many different roles. However, for an entry-level position (which is most likely to be the case if you're a teen with little or no experience) it may simply mean that an employer wants someone who can get along with others in a professional environment. When answering the question, be sure to provide a specific example that demonstrates your teamwork ability.
Answer the Questions Convincing
It is particularly important for new grads to be able to talk about their teamwork skills in a very convincing manner. That's because early in your career you probably don’t have a strong professional track record to draw upon. Therefore, the hiring manager will be hiring you based on your potential abilities and you'll be judged by your academic, extracurricular, and internship experiences. In the interview, they are just trying to get a sense of what you would be like in a team situation.
Questions about teamwork can be general, such as, "Tell me about a team project that you have worked on." Or, "Tell me about a team experience that you found rewarding, and why." You may also be asked to discuss a challenging (though typical) team dynamic, such as a time when you worked with a difficult team member.
All of these teamwork questions offer you an opportunity to explain how well you collaborate with others. You can ace these questions and move closer to a job offer if you spend a little time preparing.
Appropriate Answers About Teamwork
Adapt any of the three answers below to show a potential employer that you are a team player.
- I have had many experiences working with a team as a member of my high school athletic program. As a member of my sports team, I understand what it means to be a part of something bigger than myself. Team sports has taught me how to work with a group to accomplish a shared goal.
- As captain of my debate team, I acquired many different team-building skills. I have learned how critical it is to make every member of the team feel important, included, and motivated to be the best that they can be.
- Over the summer I interned at Just Practicing Law Firm in downtown Detroit and six of us teamed up to research a particularly difficult case. We decided to split up the research and meet twice a week and then pool our research results. I discovered that I could never have completed the work on my own, but working together we got the job done. I enjoyed the experience of a shared experience in which each of us used our best skills and talents to produce one cohesive result.