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Teamwork Interview

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated June 29th, 2018 | 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 25
Tell me about the most rewarding experience you have had, working in a team environment. What made it so rewarding?
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How to Answer
The interviewer wants to hear that you feel accomplished through teamwork. Talk about a time when you felt fulfilled through a team setting or project collaboration. An example may be a time when you worked on a team project in University, a recent work collaboration, or possibly an extracurricular experience such as coaching a little league team. Discuss the positive results of the teamwork and how you attained a positive outcome as a group.
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Tell me about the most rewarding experience you have had, working in a team environment. What made it so rewarding?
The interviewer wants to hear that you feel accomplished through teamwork. Talk about a time when you felt fulfilled through a team setting or project collaboration. An example may be a time when you worked on a team project in University, a recent work collaboration, or possibly an extracurricular experience such as coaching a little league team. Discuss the positive results of the teamwork and how you attained a positive outcome as a group.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The most rewarding teamwork experience that I have had was in my last year of university. We had a project due, in teams of 4, which accounted for quite a large part of our grade. I believe everyone pulled more than their weight because so much was at stake. Teamwork is very rewarding when everyone has something significant to win, or lose."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"One of my most rewarding teamwork experiences was while I was attending University. I learned so much by working with my classmates. I gained new problem-solving skills and learned a lot from their research preferences."
Anonymous Answer
"Work with homeless shelter staff and volunteers to organize holiday meal and pass out gifts to adults staying at the shelter. We all worked towards a goal of putting together the meal and collect gifts to wrap and pass out. It felt good to be able to make a difference in someone's life, be part of creating a happy memory."
Alexandra's Answer
This is a great example! If I were the interviewer I would follow up with a question asking what role you took on the team, so I could try to understand how specifically you work in a team environment.
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Give an example of when your team motivated you. How did this gesture enhance your performance?
Everyone needs to be motivated now and then! The interviewer would like to know some of the ways that you can be driven, even on the toughest of days. Many people find motivation through incentives, additional training, and positive affirmations. Think of a time when you needed extra motivating. Share what members of your team did to drive you, and how it positively affected your performance.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I had a major year-end audit that was not going smoothly. I had a few computer crashes and other small setbacks that turned into a huge frustration. My Controller noticed that I was struggling and she brought me a coffee, sat down and said 'What can I do?'. Just knowing that she was willing to help was enough to give me some oomph back!"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"It can be easy to lose steam on a project when things do not go your way. If anyone on our team loses motivation due to setbacks, we are sure to encourage each other by focusing on what went right. It's a great tactic that works well for all of us!"
Anonymous Answer
"The other day while in Japan recruiting, traveling almost every day, and being "on" for the Pre-Departure Orientations while fielding emails from UD, I was feeling incredibly tired. A colleague sent an email outlining how thankful she was that we were going above and beyond in the recruiting because she knew it was beneficial for students but also for faculty and staff in their jobs. That email-enabled me to get through the rest of the trip with a positive attitude and goal that was bigger and more important than me."
Rachelle's Answer
This gesture sounds very thoughtful, and it's a great example of how teams can lift each other up. Good answer!
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Anonymous Answer
"There was a day at work where we were completely booked and had a couple of emergencies. We had only 4 assistants helping the doctor. We were so busy we did not have time for any breaks. As a result, I saw how hard my coworkers were working, which kept me motivated even toward the end of the 12 hour day."
Rachelle's Answer
Seeing others giving their all can be very motivating, indeed. Great example!
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Tell me about a time when communication became an issue during a team project.
The interviewer wants to know how you overcome challenges in a team environment. They want to see that you persevere, despite being faced with teamwork challenges. Give an example of a time when communication became an issue; perhaps due to personality differences or a misunderstanding when it came to the scope of the project. Be sure to express to the interviewer how the communication issues affected the team, and how you overcame those communication challenges.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I recently worked on a team project focused on our business growth analysis. Each person on the team was asked to analyze a different set of data. In the end, we came together to discuss the results but couldn't seem to agree. We were struggling to listen to each person's opinion on their findings. I suggested we give each person a chance to talk through their findings, uninterrupted. It seemed to help us, but I did learn that there can be major challenges when a team has many aggressive personalities."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"The last team project I was a part of had a rocky start because some people were not receiving all of the required updates. I implemented the use of a project management app that allowed us to communicate all project changes and updates in one place. The solution was constructive, and we now use this app for all group-based projects."
What qualities do you believe are most valuable for a team lead to possess?
The interviewer wants to know the attributes that you value most in a team leader. List a few characteristics that you feel are most valuable for a team leader to possess and be sure to comment on how those relate to your strengths.

Good examples might include:

- Trustworthy
- Accountable
- Committed
- Results-oriented
- Detailed
- Driven
- Strong Negotiator
- Reliable

All of these attributes are valuable in a team setting, and any of them will make sound examples for you.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I feel that a strong team lead should be motivating, competitive, and a natural mentor. I have had leaders with these qualities, and it makes any team project run much smoother when they possess these. When I lead a team, I do my best to emulate these qualities as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my opinion, I feel that a team leader should be flexible and ready to adapt to any changes that come their way. We have all worked for rigid bosses, at one time or another, and nobody seems to enjoy that!"
Anonymous Answer
"Honesty and integrity. A leader should be inspiring and confident. A great communicator with a forward-looking vision. Willingness to delegate and empower the team. Accountable."
Rachelle's Answer
These are all very important qualities of a leader, and your answer is well thought out. Nicely done!
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Anonymous Answer
"Building a culture of trust with freedom for teammates to try and fail, to ask for and receive help and encouragement to try out of the box ideas without micromanaging and the openness to discuss and address what worked and what didn't and why improving together."
Rachelle's Answer
These are good qualities, indeed! I have organized your answer a touch, so it sounds more personal and less like a list you're rattling off.
"I believe a team should work hard at building a culture of trust where teammates feel the freedom to try and fail, or ask for and receive help and encouragement. It's also valuable for a team to feel comfortable trying new ideas and having the openness to discuss what worked, what didn't work, and what could be improved on by working together."
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Have you ever had to adapt your work style to fit team objectives?
The interviewer wants to see that you are open to change and are adaptable. Think about the times when you have had to learn a new policy, change your organization approach, or times when you have had to change your plan for meeting a goal. Talk to the interviewer about how you altered this work style to achieve the team's objectives. Be sure to mention that you were happy to accommodate this change to help the team reach the overall goal.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Typically, I like to begin my day with listening to voicemail, checking emails, and making a to-do list for the day. The goal of this team was to increase staff communication, so we decided to start each morning with a team huddle instead. This change meant that I was unable to kick-off my day with my usual morning routine. I was happy to meet with the team huddles because I understood that they were helping us meet our goal of improving communication."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my current role, my boss prefers that I communicate almost everything via email, versus in-person or telephone conversation. This habit was a challenging one for me to get into, at first, because I am such a vocal individual and felt that my written communication skills were not as strong. I am very good with written communication, now, let me tell you!"
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