Job Interview Question: Share a Rewarding Team Experience

Job interview questions about teamwork are behavioral job interview questions. These questions are frequently asked during job interviews because they give the interviewer insights into your abilities in being a good team player. Therefore, when the interviewer asks you to share a rewarding team experience, you need to come up with a good example of a time when you worked with a team to a successful end product.

Teamwork in the workplace has become increasingly important. Also, valuable team working skills are needed in companies that want their workers to function together to discover innovative solutions. You can, therefore, expect interview questions about your teamwork abilities or your team building and leadership history.

Other teamwork behavioral job interview questions are:

  • Tell me why you consider yourself a team player
  • Describe a team project that you worked on
  • Tell me about a project that required input from people at different departments and levels in the organization
  • Tell me about a team project that failed
  • What is your idea of an ideal team-building exercise?

Why the interviewer is asking about rewarding team experiences

Most jobs require working with other people on a day to day basis. Therefore, the interviewer is interested in how you value team experiences. Furthermore, the questions that he or she asks himself during the interview are:

  • Do you work well with others?
  • Are you easy to get along with?
  • Are you able to communicate effectively with different types of personalities?
  • Do you fit within the team and company culture?

It’s important to understand that the interviewer is not looking for a self-centered answer. This question is asked to learn more about your work style within a team, how you and what kind of successes you value, and your overall personality. When this question is asked, it’s actually a great opportunity for you to showcase that you’re an excellent team player and that you possess the needed skills for the job.

Tips for answering job interview questions about rewarding team experiences

Before structuring your answer, always review the job description carefully. This will give you the information needed to understand what teamwork is considered as in that specific position. This way, you can link your answer to the job description and play into what the interviewers might like to hear from you. Talk about a time when you worked on a successful project in a team setting. Also, focus on the positive results of the teamwork and specifically how the collaboration resulted in a favorable result. In addition, you can discuss the exchange of ideas between co-workers, how you learned from each other and gave valuable feedback, or how you together came up with creative solutions.

Points to emphasize in your answer:

  • Employers are looking for colleagues that thoroughly believe in teamwork. Go for an example that shows that you do too.
  • Try to relate your answer to the company’s core functions and values. You can get more insight into this by reviewing the job description.
  • Make sure that your most rewarding experience reflects positively on yourself and the team.
  • Include specific details about how your most rewarding team experience came about.

What to avoid in your answer:

  • Don’t provide an answer that is just centered around you. Provide a situation to the interviewer that shows that you’re a team player.
  • Avoid taking all the credit for the result of your most rewarding experience; include all the people that contributed.
  • Describing your most rewarding team experience is a moment to shine. However, don’t brag too much and stretch the truth to something that it’s not. Keep your focus and provide a realistic situation. The interviewer is usually able to tell if you’re lying by asking follow-up questions.

Always use the STAR-method to provide your answer to the interviewer.

The STAR-method stands for:

Situation: First, you describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish. Try to describe the situation as specific as possible and give enough detail for the interviewer to understand.

Task: Describe the goal that you were working towards.

Action: Next, talk about the actions that you took to address the earlier described situation.

Result: Describe the outcome of your actions. What exactly happened, and what did you accomplish? What did you learn? Etc.

Sample answers to interview questions about rewarding experiences

Sample answer 1: 

‘In my previous position as a retail store employee, we got divided into teams by department to work for the holiday sales period. Each department would compete with each other to get the highest revenue to get a bonus. My team and I created an action plan in which each person was to cover a specific area of the sales floor. This way, all customers that needed assistance would be assisted and helped to choose the products they needed. We achieved a 15% sales increase from the previous year’s holiday sales period. Furthermore, we were the best selling team from all departments, and we all got the bonus that we worked so hard for. For me, this experience was really rewarding because we put the plan together and executed it as a team.’

Sample answer 2:

‘In my last job, I was part of a human resources team at a company that was expanding. We all collaborated to create an HR plan to support the company’s growth. First, we clearly defined roles and responsibilities to make sure that the hiring processes would flow as efficient as possible. We did this to manage and maintain the company culture throughout the growth spurt. By working closely together, we were able to get everybody aligned and simultaneously sharpen the focus on the company’s core values. 

Our HR plan was focused on how we would recruit, develop, and retain the current and new employees as the company would grow further. Our team completed this project ahead of schedule, and we got positive reactions from the company’s management regarding the job applicants that we suggested to them. For me personally, this was a very rewarding project because even though we were under time pressure, everybody knew their responsibilities. By keeping our communication lines short and clear, we were able to pull it off. Whenever there was a concern within the team, it was discussed openly so that we could resolve any issues as soon as they occurred.’

Sample answer 3:

‘At the previous company that I worked for, I was part of the event management team. We would organize network events for our professionals, where we would invite potential clients and industry specialists. We scheduled meetings every week to go over the details and discuss the program, such as guest speakers and presenters. Our team consisted of co-workers from every department in the company so we could finetune who we should invite and let speak based on everybody’s needs and input. This way, we made sure that every time we invited someone to talk about a topic, it was directly related to the company’s needs at that moment.

We got great feedback from colleagues because, for them, it was a great opportunity to network and share their skills and expertise in an informal setting. Several business deals have come forward from our efforts to make these sessions as relevant as possible. For me personally, it was a great experience to work with such talented people from different departments. We all learned a lot because of everybody on the team that had their specific input and knowledge.’