Tell me about a time when you worked on a team based project when a member was not doing their share of the work.
This question has been answered 7 times by professional recruiters and hiring managers. View their answers below.
Show the interviewer that you have excellent 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 underperformers.
Admin answer example
"I recently worked with an accounts payable team member who was not pulling their weight. 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."
Basic answer example
"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 shine personally. I will take the additional workload on myself, and deliver to our clients on time. Over the last four 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 actions. My choice is to work hard and be a dedicated employee no matter what others are choosing to do."
Manager answer example
"I once worked with a team member who never came to meetings. It turned out that he did not want to be on the team. Our regional director transferred him. We talked about his situation for a while, and he decided the best choice was for him to step down from his role. We did have to take some of his assigned responsibilities and shift them to other team members after that. It was an unfortunate situation but better to have this happen than have to continue employing someone who didn't want to be there."
Marketing answer example
"Marketing work is all about teamwork and cooperation, so it is very apparent when one team member is not pulling their weight. I had one team member last year who always submitted sloppy work. I would correct it all before sending anything out and, thank goodness, I was always the last set of eyes before submitting. They lost their job, and I happily continued to deliver, as always."
Retail answer example
"Weekly markdowns is 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 successful while still attending to the needs of our customers. There is a particular employee who likes to act very busy in the dressing room during the mark-down time. 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."
Sales answer example
"I feel like school prepares you for the slacker in the group project! I can remember being in grade school and there was, without fail, someone who did not hold up his or her end of the bargain. In my current role, one of my teammates always looks for the easy way out. For instance, logging the minimum number of calls per day. This behavior 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. The added benefit is that it gives me even more insight and data to better understand my prospects, clients, and market."
Teacher answer example
"Writing curriculum is probably the largest team collaborations I experience as a teacher. 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 get everyone excited about pitching in and collaborating on the future of their department. We give everyone the option to be a part of a development topic of interest. If that doesn't work, I just proceed as usual and pick up the slack when necessary."