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Tell me about a time when you showed initiative by taking the lead on a team project.

1 of 30 Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated July 22nd, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

The interviewer wants to see that you are confident enough to take the initiative when the opportunity arises. Talk about your motivation and passion for being an active leader in the workplace. Describe any project or learning experience where you saw a chance to lead and took advantage of it. Talk about the success of the project and your biggest takeaway from experience.

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"In my previous role, I recognized that our team needed a training program to bring others in at a quicker rate. I took the initiative to create the training program, playbook and schedule, incorporating all the work we did in a way that people could easily replicate. The team loved having it, and more so, enjoyed having others, fully trained, join us quickly."

Answer example

"When I first started in my current role, I took it upon myself to organize the digital files for the company. They were a mess, and it was a huge challenge, but I was pleased with my ability to take on a project that nobody else wanted to do."

Answer example

"In my previous role, I took the lead on a communication project to help pass along pertinent information to our 2nd and 3rd production shift in a more effective way. We ended up hanging announcement screens throughout the building. The project was a success."

Answer example

"Our company was discussing a new product launch into the European market. I reached out to the head of the marketing department and asked if I could be the lead product researcher. I stated my case by discussing why I would be the best fit for that opportunity. She agreed and gave me the opportunity to take the lead. The project was a great success which gave me the confidence to speak up again. Next week I will be starting another project where I'll be the lead product researcher."

Answer example

"When our new season's merchandise comes it, we often require a lot of extra hours to get settled. Although I am not a manager, I do help to organize the team while ensuring that the sales floor remains attended. I like the organization aspect and am a positive person, so people naturally want to follow me."

Answer example

"In my last role, I identified the need for ongoing learning and training, so I founded our weekly lunch-and-learns with a different weekly topic. I worked across departments to feature different guest lecturers and industry experts from our board to educate the sales team better so we would all be more effective in our pitches."

Answer example

"I took the lead by spearheading the development of testing our curriculum. I suggested we write and implement testing of the students' knowledge and helped delegate, compile, and ultimately approve the tests we ended up using. They've proven very effective, and we've refined our curriculum and targets because of it."

Bank Compliance Officer
Answer example

"The accomplishment I am the most proud of is managing a very large project on a very tight deadline. The project was (X project related to the position you applied for, as per the job posting), which I successfully led and managed while employed for (X company) as (X position title). The project involved (X further information pertaining to this project, including areas related to the position you applied for, as per the job posting)."

Ramp Agent
Answer example

"In a previous position, I was responsible for managing a very large project on a very tight deadline while leading a team of twenty individuals. The project involved (X duties related to the position you applied for, as per the job posting), which I successfully led and managed while employed for (X company) as (X position title). This experience helped develop my leadership skills and made me value the ideas and general contribution of each team member."

Audio Engineer
Answer example

"In my previous job, I was the motivating force to help everyone get our work done on time. While everyone else preferred to work slowly, I would get my work done quickly and help everyone else so we could check over our work and make sure it was error free."

Wildlife Biologist
Answer example

"I lead a team of individuals when working as (X position title) for (X organization). In this role, I was responsible for (X number of professionals) and (X further related duties, relevant to the job posting). As a result of my leadership and team management skills, we were able to complete the projects ahead of the deadlines and my employer proved highly satisfied."

School Cross Guard
Answer example

"Our company was discussing a new product launch into the European market, I reached out to the marketing department and asked if I could be the lead product researcher."

Video Producer
Answer example

"I have lead a team of individuals when working as (X position title) for (X organization). In this role, I was responsible for ten representatives and (X further related responsibilities including, e.g., the management of numerous duties on a short deadline). I realize this particular experience is not related to this position, however the team management skills acquired in this role will highly benefit me in this position at your company. I thoroughly enjoyed taking on a leadership role as I love leading team members to success."

Written by:

Heather Douglass
Heather Douglass has over 20 years of experience recruiting and hiring candidates. She has a knack for resume writing. You can find her on twitter at @heatherinidaho.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
First written on: 03/06/2011
Last modified on: 07/22/2018

More Interview Questions

View user-submitted Answers

Tell me about a time when you showed initiative by taking the lead on a team project.
Simple answer which I answered in the 4th when every one lost hope and we came up with a new and innovative and flexible thinking. I've never got one because we all think the same we are not working for others we are working for our selfs.
During the Conroe LEan iniative that won a state award for managment and innovation in <br />Working together building efficiency.
Yes we had conducted a project and I am the initiator for dust controlling in the mines.
It was in secondary school when we were doing our geography projects we were divided into groups and with that I saw the chance of using my leadership skills, actually I sacrificed all the free time that I had for researching for info for my group even tho that affected me negatively I learnt something from it which is all work and no enough rest is bad for the brain.
Physiology lab when we dissected.
In my btech project.
I already answered that in the previous question.
Working on a bridal shower, I took the initiative making sure everything was being planned accordingly.
I can proudly say I thought and coordinated the GRC3project all by myself, especially liasing with the group of collaborators in Vienna.
We were building a new Lab. My department was given approval to come up with a new design to improve productivity in our area. 12 people are too many fingers in the pot so I became the spokesperon and we all came up with a great design that is still in place today.
Meeting our goals is always a challange, I have showed initiative and leading a team project in different occations. I have assist develop the presentations, the paperwork involve, and the scene scenarios. Been a team leader is part of what I do and it has work at reaching out goals.
I saw our online campaign needed help. So I utlized my resoures and through facebook and other online sites was able to increase our membership.
I have been the leader at my counter at many times.
I was the C-Sat superstar of my team. the project was improve the c-sat score of the team. I guided my teammate to get a c-sats.
I always send emails to my team to set up meetings for us to brainstorm for ideas. I also do more research and contribute as much as I could without thinking about how much others are doing so far as we all on the same track.
Writing curriculum for my health class to be placed for online instruction.
Home activities for people with learning disabilities.
A board member was in charge of a project for the instalation of a water fountain in the front of the building, when I realize that the plans were all wrong I took over the project with a succesufull result.
I took the lead on a project simulation model. I designed the model and helped with the trials.
In our village. I was the officer in charge for all of the projects that we planned to do in our playground mostly in our basketball court. Then one day the basketball ring broke. And no one will do that and took the lead to bring it to the welding shop. The and after that I put it again to the ring board.
Take lead in EOS workshop.
Recently we planned the 2010 North American Congress in Houston and it was a huge undertaking. Various sub-committees were formed to make sure that the running of the congress went smoothly. I was serving on the operations and entertainment committe. However the committee in charge of finding and finalizing a venue was not having any luck in getting the hotels to negotiate with them. Being from the travel industry I stepped up and started sending out emails to all the contacts I had at the various hotels and took the lead in finding the venue and negotiating a good rate for the congress.
I have never taken lead in anything before but would love to have the opportunity to do so.
At Barber Foods, I volunteered for Six Sigma training and to lead the Process Improvement project for the packaging process.<br />I had to pick a team members, set up meeting schedules and goals, and ultimately report results to senior management. <br /><br />I am always looking for opportunites to demonstrate my leadership abilities.
We had to find our own research and come back together with it all, so I assigned everyone what part of the topic to research.
Currently I am working with a team of other marketing interns for a start up business called work truck solutions. Right now I have taken the lead in my group as we conduct market research for commercial truck websites. I am the primary contact between group members and the internship coordinator. I also have developed the criteria we are researching on and created an excel spreadsheet in which I compile all of our findings into one.
Wanjii panels, sagana panels.
When I am at team leader that point of time .
The every time all of them can attain a good target.In every members of the team project that can be sharing the particular topic the good ideas that can be share and finally reached the particular time we will do the project.
My team had to present the quarterly meeting in December and there was a big disagreement over if we should do a Christmas skit/story or something not related to Christmas. The team was spit and our deadline was approaching. Out of respect for people with different faiths I suggested instead of doing a Christmas presentation we would put together a end of year recap presentation. Each team member discussed different milestones that occurred during the year and within the presentation I used Christmas colors and used phrases such as Season's Greetings or Happy Holidays at the end instead of Merry Christmas.
All through school. I always took the assignment.
When the migration was about to be done I gave my name to my manager and took the initiative to migrate the process.After successful completion of the same, I was the only person who was aware of know how of the process. Hence, I took the lead in a team project. And, also it happened with me when I did few process improvements.
In the cross-sectional surveys, there's a lot of work involved and at that point delegation of tasks is paramount. I have ensured that I have motivated teams to take up roles and work together in a team, while talking the lead to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
As an electronic technician, often times I would be the first person to work with many of our new medical monitors.I would be the first person to work with equipment that generally would have software or hardware bugs. This was when I would have an opportunity to be able to make quick changes through trial and error to where I could make a hardware change, test, and often find a solution to report back to our engineering team.
Remerchandising pads with Marlee based off of empty fixtures, available product. Reticketing. ACTUATE. SIM. Teaching SE about reticketing right on the registers.
In our college, one of our courses required mock telephone conversations. There was no set on campus to facilitate this process. I contacted the carpentry program and ask them to set up a mock telephone section in our classroom so that the students could get the hands on experience they needed.
This year I am secretary for my hall council. In the beginning of the term we had a bake sale that was assigned to the treasurer. She didn't do her job and me and another member volunteered our time to get it done. We made our way to Target to by everything, I payed for all of the supplies, and we spent hours in the kitchen getting everything done so that hall councils event would actually get done.
As a student when I had down time I would offer help to the other RT's to see their patients or help set up rooms for admissions. I also performed ventilator checks to have ready for new admits.
During matriculation program.
Research and suggest possible solutions and set goal & objective.
I was class president in my program of about 30 people. During graduation time there were a lot of deadlines and tasks for us to meet and it was getting confusing. I took the initiative by emailing my classmates an organized list of the dates and tasks for us to do. They all appreciated it and there wasn't any more confusion.
We had a project in cultural diversity. I volunteered myself as leader and my group agree. I designed poster for presentation slides. We got A plus for creativity.
I lead an employee engagement intiative from scratch, quite a successful one. High energy, fun packed and very well organized.
As I said I had individual roles, but anayway I am a good team worker, helping my colleagues in any situation I can.
I have been given task before in the initial project of portfolio I studid it with co members and as the time passes I took controll of that and eventually leading the project.
In school projects when no one had ideas of how to present our information I would take the initiative to come up with ideas and then as a group we would decide which one was best.
Food Drive, Toy Drive. For the past two years I have volunteered to coordinate the governor's food drive/toy drive for our agency. I planned all events and collected all toys and food.
We were responsible for setting out a Easter display. While they were bringing out the products I took the initiative to start setting up the display and organizing the table.
A friend of mine was being badly boolied at school. Everyone was seeing and laughing at him. I felt bad and went ahead slaped the guy who was booling him and took him away...
Final year project, contraption design and fabrication all those things I lead my team. And succeed too.
In my city there was British Council Library for past 42 years but due to global policies BCL authorities declared to shut the down the Bhopal unit.Bhopal had 5000 library members. I was a regular visitor to the library as it was my most trusted and only knowledge nest.When the news about the closure came, members just moaned over but I looked out what can be done to save it.So, I gathered members who implicitly or explicitly wanted to save the library and made them understand that their voice can help in saving this library.I was the leader of th campaign and we could successfully complete it with success.
Many times I stepped up to complete tasks that others were not inclined to do for various reasons on our volunteer team and for co-workers. I pushed myself from my comfort zone to gain experience and to secure my place as a team player.
I took the lead on our last holiday setting up variety of meat choices and it was a big hit with customer on variety and style.
When I was a server we always had promotional contest I would alway give the server on the shift I worked a little pep talk to get them in the ballgame.
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