How to Answer a Teamwork Question During an Interview

Table of contents:

How to Answer a Teamwork Question During an Interview
How to Answer a Teamwork Question During an Interview

During a job interview, the recruiter can ask questions related to teamwork to analyze the candidate's behavior - he wants to assess whether the interviewee knows how to work with others and if he will be able to assume leadership and collaboration roles within the team, as many jobs require employees to work together to achieve company goals, at least on occasion. You'll be more likely to secure the spot if you can convince the interviewer that you know how to work well in a team, and doing that is simple: just prepare well and rehearse your answers.


Part 1 of 3: Evaluating the Questions

Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 1

Step 1. Do research to understand how a particular company defines the term "teamwork"

Each outsourcer has different definitions for that same term, and you should never make assumptions about the nature of the job during a job interview - so customize your answer to each company's specific values.

  • Before the interview, carefully review the job description and note what information is provided about teamwork - this can help you gain a clearer sense of what the term means for the company in question.
  • Different jobs require different types of teamwork: a startup may be looking for a “wild card” employee who is capable of taking on different roles and working with different people; an outsourcer looking for a junior collaborator may only require that the ideal candidate get along well with other colleagues; a company intending to fill a managerial position, on the other hand, may be looking for candidates who can play leadership roles.
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 2

Step 2. Learn about the most common types of questions related to teamwork

Questions like this aren't always so obvious - although a recruiter might ask you directly, "Do you work well in a team?", this type of question is often more implicit. Therefore, before the interview, research what questions are most used by human resources professionals to determine if a candidate knows how to work well with others.

  • A contractor might ask the candidate to describe something related to teamwork by saying, "Tell me about a time when you had to work with others," or "Tell me about one of your most rewarding experiences of teamwork."
  • The interviewer may not ask for examples directly, but exemplifying the answer is the best way to deal with issues related to teamwork. The other person might ask something vague like "Do you prefer to work alone or in a team?" or "What is the biggest challenge for you in teamwork?"
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 3

Step 3. Determine what the interviewer wants to know

When asking a question about teamwork, the outsourcer wants to assess specific aspects of your personality and your ability to work with others - so you'll need to understand what those characteristics are if you want to answer the question in the best possible way.

  • Contractors use these questions to assess their ability to work alongside other colleagues, as nearly every job requires employees to work as a team. So don't forget to mention examples of times when you've done good work together with others.
  • The question doesn't have a single right answer, but the recruiter wants to find out if the candidate handles conflicts well, knows how to communicate effectively, and is able to collaborate well with other co-workers.
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 4

Step 4. Have lots of real examples up your sleeve

Before the interview, give some thought to your past experiences and try to remember good examples for answering questions about teamwork - think of several recent situations where you have worked with others.

  • Reflect on all of your past jobs, and write down any experiences of teamwork - did you need to give a joint presentation with another colleague in your last job? Did you need to work together with an editor to write a press release? Have you joined a project management team? Supervised the work of other employees? How did you interact with your supervisors?
  • Keep several examples in mind so that you can name the best option according to the recruiter's question - if he wants to know how you handle conflicts, mention a time when you disagreed with a colleague; if the outsourcer wants to assess your leadership ability, mention a time when you took on the role of team leader.

Part 2 of 3: Responding with the STAR system

Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 5

Step 1. Learn the aspects of the “STAR” system

This abbreviation is the best way to answer questions about teamwork, and each letter corresponds to an important part of the answer.

  • "S" stands for "situation" - talk about the situation in which you needed to work as a team.
  • "T" stands for "task" - explain what task you needed to complete within the team.
  • "A" stands for "actions" - what actions did you take to ensure the success of the task at hand?
  • "R" stands for "results" - mention concrete results. How did your actions benefit the company? How did your work contribute to resolving the situation?
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 6

Step 2. Start by defining who you are

Start the answer by explaining your personality type to the interviewer - are you more focused on processes or results? How easy is it to delegate decisions to the rest of the team? Are you patient or impatient? Can you accept criticism or offer constructive criticism? This information provides an overview of how a candidate works in a team, and you may find examples that illustrate these personality traits.

  • Begin the response by saying something like "I am a person who…", and explain your personality in general. Continue with "I like…" and explain how this personality influences your behavior at work.
  • For example: "I am a person who focuses on the strengths of others rather than the flaws. I like to explain how team members can take advantage of their own strengths, offsetting any shortcomings."
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 7

Step 3. Begin the response with a description of the task and situation

Now, explain how the characteristics mentioned in the previous step influenced a specific occasion - what was your participation? What task did you need to complete? Give a recent example from your experience working in a team, and choose a situation that is relevant to how you described your personality.

  • For example, describe the situation by saying something like "I was responsible for evaluating the work of a group of freelance writers at the magazine" - this shows that you oversaw the work of the writers and that you were responsible for reviewing their work.
  • Now, be specific - which task presented a unique challenge? For example: "One of the editors was very hardworking and wrote very well, but tended to write articles too quickly. The texts were always delivered in advance, but had many typos, which made the work of the editorial team difficult".
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 8

Step 4. Explain your actions

This is your chance to be the star of the story, so focus on the attitudes that set you apart from the rest of the team - the ideal answer will mention details about your exceptional ability to react to certain situations while also highlighting other qualities of the team. your personality, such as patience, creativity and punctuality.

  • Say something like "I emailed the writer requesting a private meeting as I wanted to talk to her in person" - this phrase denotes your ability to take the initiative to solve a problem.
  • Keep saying something like, "I tried to focus on what she was good at, and I said, 'Luísa, you're a fantastic writer, but I think your passion is hurting your work. You get so excited about your ideas that you don't pay attention to them. small details'" - this emphasizes a focus on the positive aspects of the writer, reinforcing her opening sentence.
  • Finish by stating how you resolved the situation. For example: "I talked to Luísa about what actions she could take to find the typos, such as rereading the article the next day, reading the text aloud, and other things like that".
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 9

Step 5. Report the results of these actions

Recruiters are looking for results, so take the time to mention the consequences of your actions, explaining how they benefited the company.

  • For example: "As a result, Luísa's articles had very few typos. I was happy to keep a talented writer on the team, without having to stress the rest of the editorial team."
  • This response shows that he was able to manage the relationship of the team members, as he managed to keep a talented employee on the team and, at the same time, took care to avoid the frustration of the editorial team.
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 10

Step 6. Ask follow-up questions

Clear up your doubts at the end of the interview to show interest in the position, and ask something specific about teamwork if this is an important feature of the company's culture - that way, you'll show that you're willing to meet the hirer's needs.

  • Show interest in other employees by asking something like "Can you talk a little bit about the team I would work with if I were hired?" - this question will show enthusiasm to discover the best way to interact with your potential co-workers.
  • Try asking a question like "What would be the skills of the ideal candidate for the position?" - in this way, you will show that you are willing to learn the best way to adapt to the company's environment.

Part 3 of 3: Choosing relevant examples

Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 11

Step 1. Name a recent occasion

Perhaps a candidate resolved a major conflict back in college, but the example won't be very valuable if that person graduated more than three years ago - contractors want to know who you are now, so pick a recent situation.

  • Prefer to mention a position you have held in the last 12 months.
  • If you've been unemployed for a while, do you have any examples that aren't related to a job? Situations faced during a volunteer service, for example, may also highlight your experience of working as a team.
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 12

Step 2. Choose an example that puts you at a good angle

Show that you would be a valuable asset to the company by choosing a story that makes you shine - mention a situation where you produced fantastic results in your previous job, successfully resolving a conflict.

  • Don't mention situations where you were disappointed or frustrated - focus on positive experiences where you were able to solve the problem effectively.
  • Results are also important. Perhaps it resolved the conflict between two co-workers, but the only result was a decent 20-minute presentation - in which case, look for situations with more significant consequences. For example, mention the time you resolved a confusion between an employee and a customer, and tell how your intervention resulted in a big sale for the company.
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 13

Step 3. Look for examples that highlight your strengths

Don't just focus on teamwork when answering these questions - you'll have little time to talk about all your strengths during a job interview, so take the opportunity to provide as much information as possible.

  • Reflect on other positive attributes that have been helpful in these teamwork experiences. Let's say you made a great sales pitch in conjunction with one of your colleagues-in this case, in addition to good teamwork, what other skills were needed to make a positive outcome of the situation?
  • Perhaps you've set and met a deadline, used great verbal communication skills, or exhibited excellent interpersonal skills-so look for ways to highlight these talents as you describe your teamwork experience.
Answer a Team Player Interview Question Step 14

Step 4. Rehearse

Ask a friend or family member to play the role of interviewer to help you practice your answers. Write a list of examples of possible questions, but also encourage the person to come up with other questions of their own - this will help prepare you for the pressure of having to answer an unexpected question without you having had the opportunity to formulate a perfect answer in advance.

  • The more you practice and get used to answering possible questions, the easier it will be for you to remain calm under pressure.
  • Ask the "interviewer" to challenge you with tough questions, and tell him that he should resist the temptation to make criticisms or suggestions until the end of the essay - in this exercise, your loved one should see you as just another one of the many strangers they would be interviewing for position.


Don't be afraid to clarify your doubts when you don't understand a recruiter's question - the additional questions are a good way to get more information about the company's vision for teamwork


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