Teamwork Interview Questions & Answers

A commonly discussed topics during interviews is teamwork. Employers are interested in how you feel about working as part of a team. They want to discuss your teamwork experience to uncover how you function as a team member and how well you fit into the company culture. They do this by asking you teamwork questions.

Therefore, preparing answer scenarios of times you successfully worked as part of a team is essential. For example, the interviewer could ask you:

There are many ways you can answer these questions. However, your goal is to provide concise and to the point answers that demonstrate that you’re a team player. The interviewer expects you to provide them with specific examples of work experiences.

Whether you’re seeking a management or non-management related job, you should be able to give a strong answer that includes a real-life example of times you worked as part of a team.

In this blog, teamwork questions are discussed, and you can find out how you should answer them. Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.

Why Employers Ask Teamwork Questions

As you’ve probably guessed, teamwork questions are used to assess if you like to work on a team, how well you work in groups, and what role you tend to take on in team projects. For instance, if you’re a team worker, a specialist, a mediator, a coordinator, or a follower. Another reason why interviewers focus on your teamwork skills is that they want to know if you’re easy to get along with.

There are several ways you can respond to teamwork questions. The most important thing to focus on is providing specific examples of times you successfully performed on or managed a team. You need to remain positive and able to explain why you value teamwork.

A popular way of assessing your teamwork skills is by using behavioral interview questions. The kinds of questions are used to assess your teamwork skills based on your past behavior in teamwork situations. Your answers tell the interviewer more about your character, experience, and work ethic.

Behavioral Questions To Assess Teamwork Skills

The rationale behind behavioral questions is that your past behavior is the predictor of your future job performance. Furthermore, interviewers are behavioral questions the most pragmatic way to uncover past work experiences.

Behavioral questions about teamwork are used to get insights into who you really are and how you approach your work. Basically, the interviewers want to get the following questions answered:

  1. Are you easy to get along with?
  2. Are you able to communicate effectively with different personalities?
  3. Can you adequately respond to situations that occur during your work?
  4. Are you able to adjust to changing work environments?
  5. Can you assist your colleagues or team when needed?
  6. Are you flexible in your approaches to situations at work?

Interview questions about your past teamwork experiences are a great opportunity for you to show that you’re the right candidate for the position. With the right preparation, you can use your answers to your advantage by demonstrating that you’re a true team player.

Commonly Asked Teamwork Interview Questions

  1. Tell me about a team project that you worked on
  2. Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict within the team. How did you handle it? What was the result?
  3. Are you easy to get along with?
  4. Tell me about a project that required input from coworkers at different levels in the company.
  5. Describe a team experience that you found rewarding
  6. Describe a time when you had to mediate a disagreement? (conflict resolution)
  7. Tell me about a time you took the lead in a team project. How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?
  8. Please provide an example of when you were part of a team. What was your role? How did you contribute to this task group?
  9. Tell me about a time you had difficulties working with a manager.
  10. How you deal with criticism from managers or colleagues.

How To Prepare For Teamwork Questions

Before you start preparing answers to teamwork questions you expect, it’s important to take into account that teamwork is an essential aspect of their company culture and work environment. In many industries, teamwork and the ability to collaborate efficiently and effectively is crucial for success.

This means that if you enjoy working individually or if you lack the right interpersonal skills, this could hurt your chances of landing the job. Therefore, avoid making such an impression at all costs.

Below we discuss a couple of steps that you can take to figure out which questions you can expect and how you should prepare answers for those questions.

Research the company & position

Before your interview, it’s essential that you thoroughly research the position and company. Read the job description carefully to find specific skills that a candidate needs to possess to perform the job successfully. Think of skills such as adaptability, communication, and problem-solving.

Also, read the company website to get more information about their mission statement and who their main clients are. Furthermore, check their LinkedIn pages and other content/news related to the company.

Your research will help you identify the required skills, qualities, and experience for the position. In turn, you can use this information to make an educated guess about what kind of interview questions you can expect.

Identify the required skills and experience

Based on your research, you can identify the required competencies and skills for the job. The majority of interview questions about teamwork will be behavioral questions. Behavioral interview questions about teamwork are an excellent opportunity for you to demonstrate your talent, skills, and experience. In other words, your suitability for the job.

For example, the interview could ask, ‘Tell me about a time when you and your team had to complete a project under a tight deadline.’ If you answer this question with a specific scenario in which you successfully performed as part of a team, this will give your answer more weight and will, therefore, be more convincing.

However, to be able to provide a strong answer on the spot requires preparation. It’s essential that you explain the situation to the interviewer, your task in that situation, the actions you took, and the results you got from your actions. In short, this is called the STAR method of answering behavioral interview questions.

Based on the most important competencies and skills regarding teamwork that you have identified, you can prepare answers to behavioral interview questions. Based on your research, you can make an educated guess about interview questions about teamwork that you can expect.

Read more about common job interview questions.

Focus on experiences related to the job requirements

Based on your research and specific teamwork skills you have identified, you can start making a list of related work experiences. Make sure to highlight situations where you demonstrated successful teamwork behavior related to the competencies, skills, and abilities required for the job.

Focus on delivering a concise and to-the-point answer. Make sure to prepare approximately answers to 3 to 5 common interview questions per topic. If you’re creative, you can prepare your answer scenarios in such a way that the skills you describe in it apply to multiple types of questions.

For example, when answering interview questions about teamwork, you have likely used scenarios that include communication skills, problem-solving skills, and adaptability. So, if you have prepared answers and the interviewer skips in-depth interview questions about communication but focuses more on adaptability, you can still use the answer you would have used to answer questions about communication.

Prepare successful and challenging answer examples

When it comes to teamwork situations, the interviewers want to know how you function as part of the team and what your personal views on teamwork are. It’s therefore important that you are able to discuss situations in which you succeeded as part of a team but also times where you failed as part of a team.

Interviewers are interested in discussing successful situations, but they also want to zoom in on challenging teamwork situations that you have encountered. They want to know how you react and handle such situations. For example, the interviewer might ask you, ‘Tell me about a time you were on a team project that failed.

You must be able to reflect on situations in which you failed. They do this to assess your self-awareness. For example, by asking you how you might handle a similar situation differently at the current stage in your career.

Use the STAR interview technique

When the interviewer asks you about specific teamwork situations, the most efficient way you can answer is according to the STAR interview technique. The STAR method allows you to concisely provide the interviewer an answer by logically walking them through the situation. It’s important that you give your interviewer answers in the form of a story, and you need to structure this story logically.

STAR is an acronym that stands for a situation (S), your task (T) in that situation, the actions (A) you took, and what results (R) you got based on your actions. These are the necessary steps you take in your walkthrough. It allows you to efficiently demonstrate the teamwork skills and abilities required for the position and what the interviewer wants to see.

Below we discuss the STAR interview technique in more detail.

STAR Interview Technique

The STAR method is a way of structuring your answers in an efficient and logical way. Below, the STAR acronym is broken down into each step.

Situation

Start your answer by explaining the situation that you faced. The start of your answer ‘story’ should answer questions such as:

  1. What was the situation/problem?
  2. Who was involved?
  3. Why did the situation happen at that time?

It’s important to provide context around what problem needed to be solved. Furthermore, make sure to provide relevant details.

Task

Next, explain your specific role in the task ahead. Include important details, such as specific responsibilities. Focus on giving the interviewer an understanding of your task in solving the problem. This part of your answer should answer questions such as:

  1. Why were you involved in that specific situation?
  2. What’s the background story?

Action

After you describe your task, it’s time to specifically discuss the actions you took to solve the problem. Give the interviewer a step by step description of the actions you took. This part of your answer should answer questions such as:

  1. What steps did you take to resolve the situation you were in?
  2. Why did you choose to complete your tasks this way?

Result

Finish your answer by discussing the results you got from your actions. Detail the outcomes of your actions and ensure to highlight your strengths. Also, make sure to take credit for your behavior that led to the result. Focus on positive results and positive learning experiences. This part of your answer ‘story’ should answer questions such as:

  1. What exactly happened?
  2. What did you accomplish?
  3. How did you feel about the results you got?
  4. What did you learn from the situation?
  5. How did this particular situation influence who you are as a professional today?

Teamwork Questions & Example Answers

Below we discuss a couple of example answers to common teamwork interview questions. However, these are ‘general’ examples. Do not forget to structure your own answers in a way that includes enough detail to convince the interviewer that you’re the right person for the job!

Teamwork Question 1: ‘What’s your opinion on teamwork vs. individual work?’

‘My five years of experience in different sales positions made me comfortable working within a team as well as working alone. A lot of sales meetings are one-on-one with clients who are good to discuss details discretely, but I definitely understand the value of teamwork too.

Creative sessions within our sales teams really benefited my approach to sales strategy, setting targets, and general best practices. Also, having a team behind you can create greater confidence among the team members because there’s always someone that can advise you in certain situations.’

Why this is a strong answer:

  1. The provided example is related and relevant to teamwork.
  2. This answer shows that you understand the value of teamwork in determining but also that you’re also pro-active when you need to work alone.

Teamwork Question 2: ‘Tell me about a time you worked well as part of a team.’

I tend to do well in team settings because I can relate to others well, approach situations professionally, and through my experience, understand what it takes to get the job done.

For example, in my previous position, I worked as a team leader on a project that involved members from different departments with different backgrounds and skills. This group was put together to finalize the project as a collective and produce a result that we could not have achieved individually. As you can imagine, ongoing and clear communication was very important during this project.

I led the project and broke the project down in weekly sprints to help us reach our targets. Besides weekly meetings, I organized a short 15-minute session at the start of each day, where each team member would answer the following three questions: 1. What did I do since yesterday? 2. What will I do today? And what problems am I running into? These meetings made sure that everybody could continue their work instead of waiting for the weekly meeting to discuss their issues.

For me, this was a great way to stay in constant communication with the team and not only focus on our own goals but also helping team members in reaching theirs. The result of the project is that we provided five distinct deliverables and recorded over $100,000 is cost savings in the last two quarters.

Why this is a strong answer:

  1. The provided example is related and relevant to a time you successfully worked as part of a team.
  2. This answer shows important team skills such as being pro-active, leadership & management skills, problem-solving skills, and adaptability.
  3. The new situation led to increased productivity, which gives more weight to the scenario in which you had to adapt.

Teamwork Question 3 (Entry-Level): ‘Are you a team player? Can you give me an example?’

Throughout my academic and professional career, I have developed my skills as a team player. I have played rugby since middle school, and it has taught me the value of communication, contributing to a team effort and reaching a shared goal. I understand what it means to be a part of something bigger than just myself.

During my summer internship at XYZ Bank, I was asked to join a team to work on a project because they needed an additional team member. As I joined an already established team, it was important that I stayed on track to deliver my parts of the project. Even though I was only responsible for a small part of the project as a whole, other team members relied on me to prove my work in order to progress.

I made sure I kept everybody updated during the weekly meetings and worked closely with several senior team members. This way, I made sure that I stayed on track and was able to get feedback on my work frequently. I delivered my parts successfully, and the project was ready to go into the next phase. For me, this was a very informative and educational experience on efficient teamwork.’

Why this is a strong answer:

  1. The provided example is related and relevant to teamwork skills.
  2. This answer shows that you have what it takes to be part of a team but also have the potential to grow.
  3. This answer shows important skills such as being pro-active, problem-solving skills, and adaptability.
  4. The new situation led to increased productivity, which gives more weight to the scenario in which you had to adapt.

Teamwork Question 4: ‘Tell me about a time you had difficulties working with a manager.’

‘In my previous job, I worked with a team manager, where I initially had difficulties getting along with. With regard to my job performance, I got less feedback than I got from other managers in my career, which made it difficult to meet expectations at times. This made it hard for me to evaluate my performance, as well. In the beginning, we had some disagreements, but these were based on misunderstandings.

I requested a meeting with him and asked if he could provide me with more direct and specific feedback on work that needed to be done. He understood what I asked him, and from that day on, we were on the same page in terms of expectations. We had a successful working relationship for over three years after that meeting and worked together on multiple projects. Eventually, he got promoted, and I got a new manager to run the team. What I learned from my previous experience is that I should take time to discuss management styles with new managers and make sure that expectations from both sides are clear.’

Why this is a strong answer:

  1. The provided example is an honest answer about a difficult time with a manager.
  2. Furthermore, the answer described how you proactively approached the situation to successfully resolve the situation. This gives the answer more weight.

Teamwork Question 5: ‘Describe a time when you were part of a team and had to perform a task you had little or no experience in doing.’

‘In my previous position, my manager had to unexpectedly leave for six months due to a medical condition. Because of this unexpected turn of events, our director asked me to step in as an interim manager. At the time, I was familiar with the basics of management and what my manager was looking for in our team because I worked with her for quite some time. However, I was certainly not trained to be a manager yet.

I accepted the interim position because I enjoy challenges and was confident enough to think that I could do it. I gathered the team and told them about the situation we were in. Also, I asked them to cooperate together as well as possible and that we had to get through this period together. Furthermore, I asked another manager to coach me during the process to make sure all projects would stay on track, and the team would stay productive.

We managed to get through the six months very well, and all the projects were finished on time. When my manager returned, she was very pleased with the work the team delivered, and I even got compliments from our director. My performance led to me being promoted to team manager myself at the end of that year.’

Why this is a strong answer:

  1. This example shows that you’re not hesitating when uncertain events occur but also that you possess teamwork skills and leadership potential.
  2. The provided example is relevant and directly related to the question and teamwork in general. Furthermore, it show’s that you’re able to adapt when a situation asks for it.
  3. This answer shows important skills, such as being proactive, stress management, problem-solving skills, teamwork, and creative thinking.
  4. Your choice of taking up the task of interim manager turned out successful, which gives more weight to the situation.

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!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic