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If you had a co-worker call in sick and you were asked to take over their project requiring overtime from you, how would you react? Where do you draw the line when it comes to being a team player?

9 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

How to Answer

The interviewer wants to see that you are willing to jump in and save the day when needed. Show your willingness to be part of the team but also explain where your limit is when it comes to putting in overtime hours, and meeting unreasonable needs.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"I will always choose to be a team player. If I had a co-worker call in sick, I would take over where I was capable. The only time I would draw the line would be if I felt I was being taken advantage of for my kindness. For instance, if they were purposefully being inefficient and expecting me to pick up the slack. For the sake of the company, I am always willing to go above and beyond expectations."

Admin
Answer example

"I am happy to help, within reason. The only way I would draw a hard line was if I knew the person was faking it. I will not be taken advantage of but will always put my best foot forward and jump in when I am needed."

Manager
Answer example

"My team is, overall, excellent when it comes to my sick day policy. I have asked that team members not come in if they are contagious. I had one team member who called in sick every Monday for a month. That pattern was a bit suspicious to me, and so I called him out on it. He agreed that he was taking advantage of my understanding leadership style. I wrote up a corrective action report, and he didn't do this again."

Marketing
Answer example

"If I had a co-worker call in sick, I would pick up their project without being asked. In a team environment, it's just what you do. With that said, I would expect that my team does the same for me if I am sick or out of the office unexpectedly."

Retail
Answer example

"I am happy to help the team out and work overtime, should my schedule allow. I had a coworker who consistently showed up late, and I was always the go-to for covering her extra 15 to 45 minutes. This situation, of course, grated on me and I tactfully addressed it with the teammate. I am happy to help as much as I can and hope that the team will help me if I were ever to need it but within reason. Consistently poor planning isn't a reasonable excuse, in my opinion."

Sales
Answer example

"In sales, the job has to get done no matter how many employees are absent. So, it's not uncommon for me to have to pick up the slack that others have left. Whether or not they're holding up their end of the bargain, I still have financial targets to meet, so I have to make up for the work. That said, it's frustrating to be carrying the lion's share of the work on a regular basis when it is to be a team effort. If I were to feel that someone was taking advantage of my hard work, I'd be frustrated. I would find time to speak to the coworker in question and let them know how their actions were impacting me."

Teacher
Answer example

"I am happy to pick up the slack as needed and enjoy what I do, so I know I'm lucky not to feel annoyed about it. That said, everyone has a breaking point. If it felt that someone was taking advantage of me I'd undoubtedly address it with the person in question and, if it continued, a supervisor."

Typist
Answer example

"I carefully reviewed the job posting numerous times before this interview and am aware of the work requirements. I am willing to work over the weekend, in the evenings and overtime, as needed."

3D Animator
Answer example

"I will always choose to be a team player. If I had a co-worker call in sick, I would take over what I was capable of. The only time I would draw the line would be if I felt I was being taken advantage of. For example, if they were purposefully being inefficient and expecting me to pick up the slack. For the sake of the company, I am always willing to go above and beyond what is expected of me."

Written by:

Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is an executive head-hunter and job search expert. Utilized by top executives from Fortune 100 & 500 companies like Fitbit, Microsoft, General Electric, Nestle, and more, she helps professionals position themselves in a competitive marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume, a company that focuses on helping job seekers get their edge back. Renovate My Resume creates stand-out resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles and professional summaries for new grads, all the way to corporate executives. Rachelle spends much of her time training career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers. She also holds interview workshops for students and interns, globally. For great tips and tricks, follow Rachelle on Instagram @_rachelle_e or @renovatemyresume.
First written on: 10/17/2016
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

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