Teamwork job interview questions and answers
Interviewers will often ask questions about how well you work with others from your previous job. This is because teamwork is an integral part of working in any organization. Questions like, “How well do you work in a team?” or “Tell us about a time where you motivated members of your team to work on a project they initially were not spurred to” are what they ask to know if you like working in a team or not or if you really do well at it. Teamwork is important in working in any organization so, you should prepare yourself for questions in this regard. Teamwork questions are the most common of all behavioral interview questions whether you are applying for a supervisory, managerial or junior level position.
Tips on answering teamwork job interview questions
During interviews, especially with questions about skill and competence, it is expedient that your answers are positive, detailed and specific. Beating about the bush is a sign of unpreparedness of inexperience. So understand what teamwork is before going for the interview. Take your time to review the job description as sent to you in your invitation mail. If your invitation mail doesn’t carry any description, source for general job functions for the role and work with that.
Your ability to demonstrate you’re a team player will depend on how well you understand what “teamwork” means for the role you’re applying for. To prepare for senior level or managerial roles, you should equip yourself with enough examples from your past works that show how you worked with or manage a team successfully.
For entry or junior level positions, none official experiences like extracurricular activities or academic roles that show you worked with a team and excelled at it.
For junior/entry level roles, below are some questions you should expect:
- Describe a team project you worked on.
- Tell me about a team experience that you found rewarding.
- Tell us why you consider yourself a team player.
For senior/managerial roles, below are a few questions you may be asked:
- Share with me an example of when you fulfilled a leadership role.
- Describe for me a time when you were required to manage a challenging team dynamic.
- Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a serious conflict.
- Tell me about a time you were involved with a team project that failed.
Teamwork job interview questions and answers
Below are some teamwork interview questions and how to answer properly.
Please provide an example of when you were part of a team. What was your role? How did you contribute to this task group? How often did you interact with other team members?
I worked as a quality assurance manager for XYZ engineering firm. It was my job to make sure all project guidelines were followed and that product specs were being met. It was also my responsibility to communicate directly with the project manager, COO, and about 20 other team members. When project guidelines were missed or ignored, or project phases didn’t meet spec, I communicated my findings to the project manager who in turn took the necessary action to fix the problems.
For about two years I worked with a project manager who felt that project guidelines were too strict. Consequently, he was reluctant to enforce guidelines and reprimand other team members when work was performed outside of guidelines. I had to walk a fine line between maintaining peace and doing my job. On one specific occasion, where there was a violation of protocol. I took it upon myself to communicate my findings directly to the COO. With his permission, I also communicated directly with several team members to remedy the situation.
When the project manager caught wind of what I had done, he was pretty upset. He called me into his office and immediately confronted me about superseding his authority. I was direct and honest in my response to his affront. I let him know that I felt he was one of the best project managers I had worked with BUT he had a tendency to ignore important quality assurance guidelines. Furthermore, I told him that I was only there to do my job and that as long as he saw fit to have me on his team I would continue to my job to the best of my ability, even if he didn’t feel my role was necessary.
To my surprise, he apologized and told me he appreciated my candor and integrity. He did admit he didn’t see the necessity of my position but that as long as it was required by corporate he would respect it.
What did you do when you had an experience where there were issues or strong disagreement among the team members?
I have worked in teams where individual members feuded and disagreed with other members. I typically ignored these issues at first since my colleagues usually resolved their differences quickly. If problems were not resolved quickly, I met individually and together with each feuding party and recommend a workable compromise. I always tried to maintain an objective perspective and not involve myself directly in the conflict.
How did you manage issues as a leader in a team project?
I have handled and resolved various problems while managing group projects. To resolve problems, I gathered data and relevant facts, determined root causes, spoke with team members, and developed solutions that presented as suggestions. I always tried to help team members see the solution that I felt were evident without forcing the solution upon them.
Tell us about your experience working with peers. How did it go? Have you ever faced difficulties and disagreements?
I feuded with a colleague while I worked at (identify organization) as a (identify position). Even though we disagreed about (identify conflict), I worked with my colleague to resolve the problem. To do so, I communicated openly with him or her and agreed to compromise and modify my behavior. The most effective way to resolve a problem is through open communication. While discussing the problem with my colleague, I respected his or her perspective and listened attentively.
Describe your role as a team leader. Tell us about the challenges you faced in trying to resolve issues among team members. What could you have done to be more effective?
When resolving problems among team members, I typically meet with them individually and collectively to collect facts and propose a compromise. I typically try to maintain an objective perspective and not involve myself in the conflict itself. However, on one occasion I felt compelled to take sides in disagreement and directly reprimand a subordinate for breaking with company protocol and ignoring project guidelines. The subordinate quit the next day. If faced with a similar situation today, I’d try to find a less confrontational solution.
Have you ever had difficulty working with a manager?
I had a rocky start with a new project manager who was hired to replace our previous project manager. The new project manager had a very different personality than the previous project manager. He was gruff, unyielding, and it was his way or the high way. Many team members, including myself, felt like we were always walking on eggshells.
Even though the new project manager’s personality didn’t change much, I gained a new appreciation for why he acted the way he did. I even came to agree that maybe he was the type of manager that was needed to head our project.
Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!
- Career Change
- Career Goals
- Conflict Resolution
- Creative Thinking
- Cultural Fit
- Customer Service
- Growth Potential
- Honesty & Integrity
- Job Satisfaction
- Entry-Level & No experience
- Prioritization & Time Management
- Situational & Scenario-based
- Stress Management
- Telephone Interview
- Work Ethic