Show the interviewer that you have great leadership abilities by discussing how you redistribute the workload when a team member is not pulling their weight. Avoid speaking negatively about anyone and keep your answer focused on the solution you created, and the positive outcome of your actions.
Perhaps you were able to step in and reallocate the work among the team members. Maybe you took on the extra workload yourself. Interviewers will be looking for a candidate that works harder rather than becoming deflated around under performers.
"Currently I do have a team member who does the bare minimum whenever possible. I will not allow that to take away from my success on the job so I have decided to use it as an opportunity to personally shine. I will take the additional workload on myself, and deliver to our clients on time. Over the last 4 months, I have received multiple kudos from my clients because of my dedication. It is not my responsibility to change her work ethic; however, I can choose my own actions. My choice is to work hard and be a dedicated employee no matter what others are choosing to do."
"I worked with a team member who was not pulling their weight before. I asked them in private if everything was okay. They were going through some challenges at home and in the workplace. I offered support to pull my weight and help with theirs when I could. It benefited the rest of the team and that was what I felt was most important."
"I worked with team member who never came to meetings. It turned out that he did not want to be on the team, but was forced by his supervisor. We talked about it for a while, and he ended up helping us more than he was. We did have to take some of his assigned responsibilities and shift them to other team members. It was an unfortunate situation."
Sales answer example
"I feel like school really prepares you for the slacker in the group project- I can remember being in grade school and there is, without fail, someone who does not hold up his or her end of the bargain. That said, it continues throughout the rest of your life, it seems!
One of my teammates always looks for the easy way out: logging the exact minimum number of calls per day, account touches per week, etc. which directly impacts my ability to succeed in my role. While this is very frustrating, and something I've tried addressing with him, he is just going through the motions until he finds a new job, so there is nothing I can do to make him try harder. That said, I have been sure to do an extra 25% over quota for calls, talk time, and account touches to try to compensate for his lower metrics with the added benefit that it gives me even more insight and data to better understand my prospects, clients, and market."
Retail answer example
"In doing the weekly markdowns, it's a team effort. From doing the actual markdowns, to re-merchandizing the mannequins and the set up of the department, we need all hands on deck to be really successful while still attending to the needs of our customers who visit the department during this time.
There is a particular employee who likes to act very busy in the dressing room during the mark-down time. I always try to lead by example and rally the troops, so I'm sure to bring her in and get her involved, yet somehow she always seems to sneak out for whatever task she deems more preferable. Currently, I have no supervisory capacity over her, so all I can do is lead by example, gently point out that it's a team effort, and make sure to compensate for her lack of contribution, while hoping that she either comes around or management takes notice. That said, I'm not going to let the department down by letting her inaction cause us to not meet management's expectations, so I'll stay late or work twice as hard to compensate for her minimal contributions."
Teacher answer example
"Writing curriculum is probably the largest team collaboration I'm a part of and there are occasionally members that don't pull their weight. At this point, I anticipate it and it doesn't phase me. I do all I can to try to get everyone excited about pitching in and collaborating on the future of their department, and give everyone the option to be a part of development that they are interested in. If that doesn't work, I just proceed as usual and pick up the slack when necessary."