- What is teamwork?
- Why do interviewers ask questions about teamwork?
- Teamwork interview questions to prepare before an interview
- Interview tips
No matter what industry you’re a part of, interviewers can ask a variety of behavioral or situational questions to evaluate your teamwork abilities. In order to have a successful interview, you should prepare your answers to these types of questions ahead of time. Learn more about what teamwork is and what kinds of questions to expect during an interview.
What is teamwork?
Teamwork is the process of working collaboratively and cooperatively with a group of people in an effort to reach a common goal or accomplish a common task efficiently. It involves people working together and communicating effectively despite any issues, hurdles or disagreements that may arise. As an employee, it’s important to exhibit your ability to work well as part of a team during the interview process. This includes highlighting your communication skills and interpersonal skills through specific examples.
Why do interviewers ask questions about teamwork?
Interviewers ask teamwork questions in order to understand how well you work within a group. Evaluating your teamwork ability is a great way for them to determine whether or not you’d be able to handle group projects and if you’d make a good fit for their company overall. Asking about teamwork can also help them gauge whether or not you enjoy working in a team. If you enjoy group work and your job overall, the happier you’ll be. This can positively impact your work and overall performance on the job.
Interviewers may also ask questions about teamwork to determine what role you tend to take on when working in a group setting. For example, if they ask you a behavioral or situational question regarding teamwork, you need to describe how you handle a particular circumstance. Based on the answer you provide, they can determine if you exhibit the qualities of a leader or a team player.
Teamwork interview questions to prepare before an interview
Here are some examples of teamwork questions and answers:
How do you feel about working as part of a team?
Hiring managers ask this question to determine how well you work in a group setting. It also lets them evaluate your communication skills. Show your ability to work as part of a team by providing them with an example or two of when your teamwork skills were effectively used.
Example: ‘I highly enjoy teamwork because I believe a company’s best projects are produced when employees are given the opportunity to collaborate. Working in a team allows employees to bounce ideas off each other and come toward the best solution. In my most recent position, I was made the lead of a new design project with a brand new client. Because of our ability to communicate effectively and understand each other’s needs, we were able to create a quality project that not only pleased the client but was completed in a timely manner.’
What role do you typically play in team settings?
This question is used to determine the part or role you play in a teamwork environment. This includes the role of a follower, leader or mediator. Provide an example or two that highlights the roles you’ve played in the past and what you did within that role.
Example: ‘For the most part, I tend to be a leader in a team setting. Though I welcome the opportunity to take someone else’s idea and put it into motion as a follower, I enjoy the organization and coordination that comes with the role of leader. In one of my previous roles, my supervisor made me the lead for a new client project. I was in charge of creating a dynamic design and coordinating with the rest of the art department.’
Describe a time when you found it difficult working with other team members and how you overcame it
Hiring managers ask this question to determine how you handle certain situations. When you answer this question, make sure you speak positively about your coworkers, and show your ability to get the work done regardless of any obstacles.
Example: ‘When many people work together, it’s common for there to be disagreements on how a task or project should be completed. When this happens, it’s important to listen to everyone’s concerns and come to an agreed solution. When I worked on creating a new menu for a local restaurant, there were many differing opinions in regards to the overall aesthetic. When this happened, I made sure everyone’s opinion was heard and validated. This helped ease tensions and opened healthy communication for the rest of the project’s duration.’
Do you prefer to work independently or as part of a team?
When hiring managers ask this, they want to know what style of work makes you the most comfortable. They’re interested in how you prefer to work. When you answer, make sure you’re honest and open to both styles of work despite your preference.
Example: ‘I enjoy working both independently and as part of a team. I enjoy the collaboration that takes place in a group setting and the ability to receive input from others. However, I also enjoy getting right to the task at hand and managing my own time when working independently. Ultimately, I enjoy starting out as part of a team, then branching off into our own individual tasks.’
How would your teamwork ability contribute to our company?
Hiring managers want to hire candidates that are qualified for the position. When they ask this question, they are gauging whether or not your abilities align with their company’s culture. It also lets them know whether or not you’d be a valuable employee. Before answering, research the company to get a better idea of the company culture.
Example: ‘As an employee, I’m very flexible and am willing to put in the extra work when needed. If a team member is unable to fulfill their duties for whatever reason, I am happy to step in. In one of my recent roles, a team member got sick unexpectedly. I was able to jump in quickly and accomplish all of our duties in a timely manner.’
Here are some general tips to keep in mind for this type of interview:
Providing examples of your teamwork expertise allows interviewers to get a clear idea of your abilities. Describe the specific actions you took during a group setting and how they were beneficial.
When you answer questions regarding teamwork, it’s important to remain positive and avoid speaking negatively about others or your past positions. This shows interviewers you have a positive outlook on your work.
Research the company
Before your interview, check the company’s website to get an idea of how teamwork works within the culture of that company. This will help you to better prepare your answers.