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Tell me about a time when you worked on a team based project when a member was not doing their share of the work.

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

Updated on 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

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.

Professional Answer Examples
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."

Answer example

"I recently worked with a particular account payables 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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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 proceed as usual and pick up the slack when necessary."

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

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Tell me about a time when you worked on a team based project when a member was not doing their share of the work.
New people or people who didn't want to work at the kennel.
Pulled them aside and asked if they need help or wanted to be transferred.
APICS competition did not work on the paper and presentation took over their share of the project.
Ask what the challenge is? how can I help? what can I take on.
Take ownership for what you can do.
Working on an installation job site with 7 others, had a team member that thought he was above that type of work. I advised him that we work as a team and if he wasn't part of that team, then he needed to go find another team.
I quietly asked to speak to that team worker and discussed their job expectations and duties of the position.
Well the project had to be done so we finished it up before the deadline the member kind of slacked along and gradually saw that we were not giving up and we encouraged him to hang in there and I gave him a couple of things to do that I knew he had knowledge doing and that he would like to do therefore we still had success and he felt better working with me.
This always happened in school projects but what I normally do is just inform the rest of the group that we had to pick up the rest of the work and finish it up and then later informed the professor about it.
During nursing school we would some times have group members not participate with the group. We would meet with the group member try to find a solution. If a solution is made and the group member still does not participate we get the instructor involved.
One time I had a delivery in the airport and our colleague who was delivering didn't want to go to the airport. So I went in his place.
I have a recurring example that is going on this semester actually. In my investments class, we are split into groups of 5. We are supposed to submit homework assignments as a group, as well work on a diversified portfolio project together. This semester, only 3 members have making a significant contribution to the homework assignments (myself included), and it can be very challenging work. So after the third assignment, I realized something had to changed; moreover, I reached out to the group to express I had over the work being done. I wanted them to understand my frustration, but more importantly I wanted them to know that I wasn't going to continue being one of the only members making a contribution to an assignment we all benefit from.
I was working with a VP of our volunteer board who was not showing up at the meeting nor contributing the same as the other board members. I had restate our strategies and expectations, and tried to connect to why they wanted to serve on the board in the first place. In the end, it was too time consuming for him and he stepped down. I assigned a new VP to the role.
We had to work as a group and that member wasn't doing their share because they needed help and didn't want to ask. I assisted that person and had our work done on time.
Everyone has a gear to turn when someone is not moving their gear it all gets backed up . So you have to address them I why they aren't doing their job.
Everyday but you pick up the slack.
This happened in Australia. We had a member who was not getting their projects completed. I went to them and asked how I may help. Once I finished my projects where I produced my maps, I went and started making maps for other members.
I had individual roles, but anyway if I can do something for the company I am available to speak friendly with the member, and i`ll try to make him/her to understand how important is for us to cooperate.
I constantly have to work with peers throughout the organization who are not doing their fair share of the work. In the past, I would usually just shoulder the work myself but now I have learned its more important to figure out what motivates someone as a team is only as strong as its weakest link.
I had to let the person know that I was not happy the way he was doing his work in a polite manner and he thank me in the end for not shouting or reporting him to supervise.
Once me and my colleagues had to organize an event. We all were given the specific duties but one of my colleague was unable to complete her work so I offered her my help to assist as my work was done already.
At my current job, a coworker that had been working for 3 months seemed to be having trouble doing their job. We work in a small close-knit clinic, where team work is very important. When one member of the team doesn't do their job then it leaves the other to do all the work. So, my co worker was not completing simple task such as cleaning kennels after a patient or boarder left, leaving the other person to do all the cleaning. It was routine that when a dog or cat was picked up that we would clean their cage immediately after so that A. We wouldn't forget and B. We didn't have another thing to do at the end of a possibly busy day. When I learned that she had ADHD I reasoned that it was probably partially due to that, so I made little signs and lists of things to get done, and had them posted with the doctors approval. They seemed to help some, but still the share of work was definitely unequal. At that point, I would approach her and ask her why she didn't do or wasn't doing a certain task. After, hearing her answers than I would explain to her the reasoning behind the way we do things or the importance of getting the task done. Sometimes I would have to repeat the explanation again, but that helped her remember and focus on the task at hand.
Try and sort it out very well.
My volunteer group organized a fish fry fundraiser. All team members was on board except 1 member, she did alot of talking. I step up and coodirnae.
I can't think of a time, but if it ever happened, I would talk to that member first about it. If that does change anything, then I would talk to the supervisor.
Espie is very customer oriented with MPOS, whereas others of us are more task oriented. Ie. Go backs. It felt as though she was not pulling her share of the go backs. Discussed it with her. As well as management. Hindsight. Everyone has different strengths which is what makes a team so strong. So now we utilize her to her fullest potential.
As the manager, I spoke to the associate separately and talked about teamwork, and what was expected.
First our group had a meeting with the person to find out why she wasn't doing her share. We find out she was a single parent who worked full time and a full time student. Our group agreed to split some of her share.
In one of my courses we were assigned a hands on assignment and we had to write up a report about it. We had a team member who became absent during the meeting times for completing the assignment and ultimately did very little to contribute. I expre.
Well when my team member was not doing there work I had told the supervisor that they was'nt doing there share of work and I wounded up doing their work for them.
When I worked at the ER, we were short staffed one night. I had a co-worker that was known for being un-motivated. I was up running around like a crazy person and she was sitting at the desk. So I decided I would have to work around it and figure out a way that we could work together. So, I spoke with her and asked her to chart the documentation and I would be the runner for the night. She was happy with that because she did not like to move much. So we actually worked well together and got a lot accomplished.
We where given a task to save our customer but one of our team member was not participating. Then I sit down to term and try to found our whatwas the cause of that by setting up an meeting up and trying to push therm do do the job.
Team work is more important to exchange ideas and goal will be the same for all and working together. While working on project everyone needed to finish their work on time because these thing brings positive attitute towards finish work but if someone is there who is not able work their own work so its a leader responsibility that he need to explain him/her how it does matter.
In the past I have had coworkers who I knew were not as driven or motivated to get tasks done. I worked harder to get everything done. Eventually our management spoke with the employee in a positive light and htat person started working harder and was more focused. I helped them when I could and was positive.
Bio lab talked to them offered to help out.
This is normally the case in group work at university. There is always one person who doesn't pull their weight on a project... Thankfully it's not always the same person on each project. So we let it ride - next time they will lead and do more work.
I called the person in private. And asked him what is happening because she is not performing they she should. And she should tell us in future in order to help where necessary.
There have been many times when I have worked with a team, and there has been a member who was not doing their share. In a previous role, I have worked in a team that was handling the processing and submission of paperwork for customers in relation to a government rebate from medicare. During this period, we had a new addition to our team, and this individual was not up to speed on how to use our computer systems and lacked knowledge of the processes we followed in our to submit the paperwork. Every other morning for approximately two weeks, when I got to work in the morning, there was a pile paperwork on my desk with a note stating where this individual had left the process, and asked if I could finish it. Previously, another team member had tried to provide a sort of training day for the new member, however, I could see that it may not have been effective. So I spoke with my manager and asked if it would be okay for me to implement a sort of buddy system for a week with the new member. On approval I organised this with the new member, and also wrote protocols with pictures so that there were instructions if the new member needed reference. Because I was able to show initiative and did so in a respectful way, I was to encourage confidence and knowledge in the new team member, who was then able to work more autonomously.
I worked with a team developing health and nutrition curriculum for high school students to present to elementary students. When I saw one team member not doing their share of the work, I first made sure they understood their part, checked if they had questions for the team, or if they needed any clarification. I have found in a some projects, a member doesn't want to ask for help and this holds them back from completing their part. Communication is key to good teamwork.
- New team member. Lack ability to use the system and lacked knowledge of policies. I was doing half their work. - I asked my manager if I would implement a buddy system for a week, in order to get her up to speed. I also wrote protocols and instructional manuals with pictures so that the new member had a reference point. - outcome was the member doing their share of the work, and we built the rapport to have open channels of communication.
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