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Tell me about a time that you were asked to collaborate on a project with a colleague whom you did not necessarily see eye-to-eye with. How did you ensure that you got along well and met your deadline?

1 of 15 Scenario Based Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on December 11th, 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

Getting along with different personalities is especially vital in the workplace. Explain that you can be flexible and hear someone out even if you don’t agree with them. Showcase your ability to learn from others when you may not wholeheartedly agree with their perspective or approach.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"In my current office, the Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable departments have an inexplicable rivalry. It's a bit humorous to think about, but the rivalry exists. Every year-end we have to collaborate and, even though we don't necessarily get along, we put thoughts aside to get the job done. We aren't buddy-buddy, but we do deliver the other departments' needs on time and in a friendly manner."

Admin
Answer example

"I was once assigned a regional sales manager, as their sales assistant and administrator for a major client project. Frankly, the woman was a nightmare. She would email me "orders" in the middle of the night, and then expect them to be done for her when she arrived in the morning. I maintained less of a work/life balance than I prefer to admit, but there was an end-date in sight, so I sucked it up and just went for it. When the project was over, I did request to my boss that we not be paired up again on future projects."

Manager
Answer example

"Year-end inventory audits require all department managers to work together for the greater goal. Some managers are just a personality clash. I am very hands-on, and they prefer to bark orders to their team. The differences in work-styles are obvious in these group projects, but I work as I always do, and leave it to the supervisors to address any issues they feel they need. Just because someone's work style is different than mine, it does not necessarily mean it's wrong - it not my style."

Marketing
Answer example

"Recently we received a project from a client that required my department to collaborate with a rival department within marketing. It was up to me to ensure that everyone worked smoothly together. The other departments' manager and I decided to start with a team building night out, and that helped a lot. Once everyone was able to find common ground, we could focus on the task at hand."

Retail
Answer example

"I am responsible for the merchandising of mannequins throughout our department. However, we are to collaborate with the department next to ours to make sure there is cohesive branding. This particular employee and I didn't seem to see eye-to-eye about the direction of our branding. So, I proposed that we each sketch out our respective plans. Then, we could see the vision we each had, and understand what each of us was trying to accomplish. This plan got us on the same page and allowed us to see that our visions weren't so different, but rather our approach. We collaborated and came up with an incredible set of mannequins. We ended up working together in the future and did quite well together as a team, balancing one another out and allowing for cohesion between the two departments."

Sales
Answer example

"One of my coworkers and I were doing a joint presentation to a group of prospects. It was a high stakes presentation, and he and I have very different styles of performance and preparation. Luckily, we both identified this as a potential obstacle from the get-go and came to the table, literally, with our ideas on how the outline would go and who would say what. Because we were both able to identify that we could clash, and took a proactive approach to delegating tasks and distributing the presentation, we worked very well together and hit our performance out of the park."

Teacher
Answer example

"While writing curriculum, teachers' creative differences come to light. Both in regards to our teaching styles as well as what we prioritize in teaching our students. There's one particular teacher with whom I consistently clash, but we are the two most tenured in the department, so we are the leaders. This difference can challenge my patience, but I am always sure to go to the meetings with enough coffee, patience, and kindness to get me through even my most challenging moments with her. Because of patience, understanding, and respect, and a little healthy debate, we can get through our curriculum development and come out better on the other side."

Radiology
Answer example

"I have been accustomed to working in ideal work situations where morale is high and resources are plenty. I have, however, worked as a volunteer in third world situations. It's important to work in situations like this so that we can appreciate what we have here in America. During this volunteer time I was able to really think outside of the box when it came to care of patients. You have to utilized what you are given and keep a positive attitude."

Medical Manager
Answer example

"In my opinion, the two biggest problems are cost and quality. Unfortunately, we tend to pay more to get less. I really feel like too much of that spending goes to pad corporate bottom lines rather than optimize the health of populations."

Written by:

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.
First written on: 10/17/2016
Last modified on: 12/11/2018

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