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Behavioral Interview
Questions

| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 30

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

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Behavioral Interview Questions

  1. 1.

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

      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.

      Behavioral-based interview questions that begin with 'Tell me about a time...' are best answered using the STAR method. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. Organizing your response using this framework will ensure that you provide the interviewer with the right amount of information and detail to form a compelling answer.

      Perhaps you were able to step in and reallocate the work among your team members. Maybe you took on an extra workload yourself. Interviewers look for a candidate that works harder around underperformers, rather than becoming defeated.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "(Situation) Currently, I have a team member who does the bare minimum whenever possible. (Task) As a high achiever, I will not allow this person or their mindset to take away from my success on the job. (Action) I have decided to use it as an opportunity to shine personally. I take the additional workload on myself and deliver expectations to our clients on time. (Result) Over the last four months, I have received multiple kudos from my clients because of my dedication. It is not my responsibility to change this persons' 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."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Admin interview

      "(Situation) I recently worked with an account payables team member who was suddenly not pulling their weight. (Task) As a general administrator, I knew I should address the issue but also not overstep. (Action) I asked them in private if everything was okay. It turns out; they were going through some challenges at home. I offered to help with their tasks when I could. (Result) When I stepped in, it benefited the rest of the team, and we were able to get our A/P project back on track."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Manager interview

      "(Situation) I once had a team member who never came to meetings. (Task) As his manager, I knew that I had to have a firm conversation, reminding him of his responsibilities to the team. (Action) I approached the conversation casually, and it turned out that he did not want to be on our particular team. I spoke with the Regional Director, and we agreed to transfer this person to a different team on a 90-day probationary period. (Result) After the 90 days, the Regional Director and I discussed this persons' performance. We saw no improvement and decided to terminate his employment. It was an unfortunate situation, but better to have this happen than have to continue employing someone who didn't want to be there."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Marketing interview

      "(Situation) Last year, I had a marketing team manager who consistently submitted sloppy work. (Task) As the Marketing Manager, I always teach my team that effective marketing is all about teamwork and cooperation. (Action) To further iterate this point, I pulled this person aside in a private meeting. I explained that when one team member is not pulling their weight, it has a significant impact on a project. I continued to correct the person's work, sending it back with markups. (Result ) With each piece of feedback, this person noticeably improved. By showing fast improvements, they kept their job, and I happily continued to coach them up."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Retail interview

      "(Situation) In the store where I work, monthly mark-downs are a team effort. There is one employee who pretends to be busy on other tasks during this time. (Task) As the team lead, I know that we need all hands on deck while still attending to the needs of our customers. (Action) Initially, I tried to lead by example, but this person needed heavier coaching. Next, I pulled them aside to outline my expectations of them. I also attached consequences should they fail to perform. (Result) Now, this person is more willing to jump in and help the team. My other team members are thankful that they no longer need to compensate for her lack of contribution."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Sales interview

      "(Situation) In my current role, one of my teammates is always looking for the easy way out. (Task) As a competitive person, this bothers me because I want our team to be in the lead for all categories. (Action) First, I addressed the situation with him directly and in private. Still, he was just going through the motions. That is when I decided that I could only control my actions. I now perform an extra 25% for all tasks such as cold calls, touchpoints, and prospecting activities. (Result) So far, my added output has compensated for his lower metrics. The added benefit to working even harder is that it gives me more market insight allowing me to understand my prospects and target accounts better."

      Rachelle's Answer
       for a Teacher interview

      "(Situation) Writing a curriculum is the most extensive team collaboration I have experienced as a teacher. I have seen that, occasionally, some members do not pull their weight. (Task) At this point in my 20-year teaching career, I anticipate this. (Action) I do all I can to get everyone excited about pitching in and collaborating for the benefit of their department. If my approach doesn't work, I proceed as usual and pick up the slack if necessary. (Result) My team appreciates that I will never let them down."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have worked on many group projects. On occasion, a team member was not pulling their weight. The first step is to communicate with this individual to determine why he or she is not doing her share of the work. Sometimes it's that the amount of work isn't fair or is the person is too busy. After assessing the situation, I will offer to help to complete the task and to ensure that we still meet the deadline."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your approach shows excellent teamwork and communication skills. Very good response. I replaced a couple of missing words and eliminated pronouns.

      "I have worked on many group projects and, on occasion, a team member will not pull their weight. The first step is to communicate with this individual to determine why they are not doing their share of the work. Perhaps it's because the amount of work isn't fair, or this person feels they are too busy. After assessing the situation, I will offer to help to ensure the task is completed on deadline."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (6) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "I recall a time that we are working on the variation to enrollment applications that each of us was allocated a number of cases to process. I noted one member did not work on his allocated cases. I approached him privately and explained to him that this project is urgent as students need to be enrolled in the correct courses by the beginning of the semester. I also showed my willingness to help him if he's caught up with any other urgent things."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your response shows willingness to work with team members who may be struggling to complete their share. Good answer!

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (4) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "I was working on the project to improve coordination between the production, logistics and quality department. The Logistics Manager was not cooperating with me, the project leader. I decided to ask him for a cup of coffee; where we discussed the issue. He was unhappy that I was the new manager who was given this role. I said that we had to work together to improve delivery performance and that personal feelings should not be allowed to impact the project. If there was an issue we could sit down over a cup of coffee and resolve the matter. This worked and we were able to work together and improve the delivery performance from 80% to 95%."

      Lauren's Answer

      Great response! I like that you provided a specific response and concluded with a measureable outcome.

      "When working on a quality improvement project, I collaborated with a manager who had difficulties with me leading the endeavor. When I noticed breakdowns in communication and decreased productivity, I requested a meeting. Together, we discussed issues with the project over a cup of coffee. After an open and honest discussion, the project’s delivery performance grew from 80% to 95%. I credit my open communication and leadership to this outcome."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "Several team members would come in late and leave early and leave work for others to do."

      Rachelle's Answer

      That doesn't sound like a collaborative workplace! Good example, but the interviewer will want to know your action steps. I have revised your answer slightly, to help with clarity and impact.

      "In my current role, several team members are regularly late, and often leave early. When there is work left to do, I will put in the extra time and care to ensure the completion of tasks; however, I will not allow myself to be taken advantage of. If these situations occur without reason, I will report them to my superior."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "I had a situation in the office when I was assigned a job with another person who was doing not enough to complete it by the due date. Then I took the lead to complete the assignments by their due date. It took extra effort to finish the job in time. I have the habit of taking on extra responsibility and helping others. I can do multiple tasks at the same time, efficiently and confidently."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It's good you are showing the interviewer your ability to take on extra work, ensuring that work deadlines are met. I have reworded slightly for the sake of flow.

      "I was recently assigned a job with a coworker who was working too slow to meet our deadline. I reacted by taking the lead and completing the assignments by the due date. It took a lot of effort, but I finished the job in time. I am willing to take on the responsibilities that others will not, as I am very good at multitasking and working with efficiency and confidence."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)
      Anonymous Answer

      "At work we have to change our password to use the computers every 26 days, we were really busy this day, and one of my coworkers kept saying all day her password wasn't working, When I had to go to lunch one of my coworkers had to go home. The other one's password was locked, so I decided to stay and finish all the in-store and essential fills for an hour until the second pharmacist came and helped us. Patients should not have to wait longer because we have technical problems in the pharmacy."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This sounds like a frustrating issue, indeed! What would you have done differently if you could have? How could you have encouraged your team members to stay on top of their password change responsibilities?

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "Three years ago, I started working as a staff pharmacist with a team of six technicians at the busiest pharmacy at the time. In my opinion, working in a retail pharmacy is like working on a group project. Everyday, each member on the team has to do their part for us to ensure the safety and satisfaction of each patient. On my first week of working there, I noticed that this one technician was constantly late to come to work by about 30 minutes. She was a part-time employee, and she was scheduled a few days per week for the middle shift that started at one o’clock. With her being late, the morning shift technicians were not able to take their lunch break on time, as they had to wait for her to come before leaving the pharmacy. At the end of that week, I decided to have a one-on-one conversation with her and give her a warning. I explained how her behavior was affecting the workflow and how the other technicians felt about the situation. The next week came and I saw no improvement, so I talked to her again and told her that I would have to discuss this situation with our pharmacy manager and store manager, and that this would be included in her employee record and reported to the HR department. I asked if there was anything I could do from my end to help her, such as tweak the schedule somehow to fit her availability better. She explained that after her class ends on the days she is scheduled to work, she usually sticks around with her classmates to discuss some class material and that was causing the delay. Luckily for the team and me, she took it seriously this time and she said she would try to have those meetings with her classmates before the class instead of after. The following weeks, there was a real improvement. She started showing up on time and furthermore, if she knew she was going to get delayed by a few minutes due to traffic or another reason, she made sure to call the pharmacy and warn us of the delay. Besides her improved behavior, the friction among the technicians was gone, and all issues were solved."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your answer is fantastic! You have followed the STAR framework for forming your response (Situation, Task, Action, Result), resulting in an engaging story-based reply. I like that you so clearly outline the actions you took and the discussion you had with this employee. Your discretion and professionalism shine through.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "When we reopened our facility, some people wouldn’t pull their share, so individuals such as myself would have to pick up the slack and do more but we managed to get the job accomplished"

      Mary's Answer

      Consider providing more details to elaborate on the Situation, Actions, and Results. Interviewers look to behavioral-based responses to predict how an individual will operate in a similar, future circumstance.

      "When our current facility reopened, there were individuals not pulling their share of the work in the areas of [Situation: provide specifics here]. When I noticed this, I [Actions example: volunteered to stay late, asked for partnership from team members I could rely upon, worked overtime, addressed the issue with the individuals in a non-confrontational way...etc.]. In the end, [Result: the team was able to pull together to reopen the facility successfully]."

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "In my previous role, I and other reps were working on a sales pitch for a large buying group. Out of the four of us, three were doing the work. We all noticed the lack of contribution of team member #4, so I took the initiative to absorb his workload and finish the project. In the end, we were able to secure the sale, and all benefited to the success of the team."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It was a success! Fantastic job! Sometimes we have to pick up the extra workload for the good of the project. Nice example.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
      Anonymous Answer

      "In some cases, the team member was not inspired or had limited knowledge of the project. The solution would be to offer more information and communicate in a way that this team member can understand, ask for their input and inspire their ideas to a distribute role in a project, targeting team members' strengths."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Try to give more back in the story so that the interviewer can follow along.

      "While working at Company ABC, there was a team member who had limited project knowledge and seemed uninspired. To assist, I helped this team member better understand our products by communicating the information in a new, easier to understand manner. I then began to ask them more often for their input and ideas on projects. The result was a better distribution of workload, and I was able to see the team members' emerging strengths."

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