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5 Questions Related to Teamwork

Being able to work effectively in a team is a critical job skill. There are very few jobs where you never have to interact with co-workers to achieve results.

Your interviewer knows that while you may be exceptional at producing individual results, if you aren't a team player it will often limit the value you can bring to their organization.

Questions related to Teamwork Skills

1. Are you more energized by working with data or by collaborating with other individuals?

What they are really asking...

Do you work better alone or as part of a team?

Tips on Answering

Consider the job you are interviewing for. If it requires a lot of teamwork then you should probably highlight that in answering this question. Similarly if it's largely independent then you should highlight your ability to work independently.

2. Describe some projects or ideas that were done successfully as part of a team effort.

What they are really asking...

Are you a team player?

Tips on Answering

Be a bit careful here, because quite often the interviewer will be trying to understand if you give credit where credit is due. If your situation was truly an individual effort that's fine, but if not make sure you talk about the contribution of your team members. Highlight what specifically your role was on the project and how you contributed to it's success.

3. Describe a disappointing team experience. What could you have done to prevent it?

What they are really asking...

What have you learned from past mistakes and how do you apply that learning?

Tips on Answering

Don't be overly negative with your answer. Provide a quick example then focus most of your time on what you learned. Don't 'blame' others, but rather focus on what you could have done differently to improve the outcome. If possible give an example of where you applied this learning.

4. Describe an enjoyable team experience. What did you like about it?

What they are really asking...

What aspects of teamwork motivate you?

Tips on Answering

You might want to talk about things like the ability to share ideas among team members, get feedback from people with a broad array of experience, learn from team members, and share your skills with others.

5.What aspects of teamwork do you find challenging?

What they are really asking...

What don't you like about teamwork?

Tips on Answering

Don't focus on personal issues here. Talk more about the challenges associated with collaboration, keeping everyone on track, managing conflict and ensuring everyone has a clear idea of what their responsibilities are. Focus most of your time talking about how you overcome these challenges.