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Teamwork Interview Questions

25 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Teamwork was updated on April 8th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

How do you handle working in challenging team environments?

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Teamwork Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    How do you handle working in challenging team environments?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to see that you can adapt to working in a team environment, where difficulties may be present. Pick a recent team project that generated successful results but was an overall challenge. Give the interviewer a short overview of the project, including what the final goal of the project was. Next, share the challenges your group faced. Avoid criticizing any individuals in the group. Discuss how you rose to the occasion by coming up with alternate solutions whenever you met a roadblock.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "During the fourth week a construction project, we learned about the discontinued status of the materials we were planning to use. We faced ordering challenges, team members blaming one another, and a tight budget. As a team, we identified the problem, assigned roles, and got the job done. The stress of the situation forced us all to sit down and work it out together. We had a lot of great feedback for one another and built stronger relationships from this experience. Ever since that project, our team has worked much better as a group."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "As an administrative assistant, I work independently for the majority of my day. I find that my most challenging team collaborations come when I am arranging a variety of vendors for special events. My secret comes in the form of organization, and speaking with patients and kindness to everyone involved."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "I recently worked with a cross-functional management team to accomplish a business growth initiative. The group contained members of different functions who all saw things differently. We came together to share a common vision and let that guide our work. To prevent miscommunication, we created a KPI tracker and scoreboard for the work to be done and the members responsible."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "I was assigned to a project team where I was the sole content marketing expert for a project to improve our Google analytics. The challenges I faced were explaining the current plan's shortcomings while getting the team to see my vision and get on board with it."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "My job is one big exercise in collaboration and teamwork! I know that I have to rely on my coworkers to be the sales professional that I can be, and they need me to be on the top of my game for them to be their best. We cannot achieve anything alone: we have to work collaboratively and split tasks to have the department hit targets and exceed goals."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "At Company ABC, I worked with the product team to develop new user features. My role was not only to inform what functionality my sales prospects and clients were asking for but also to get clients on board as beta product testers. The challenge arose when the clients' expectations and desires did not match our functionality. Through clear communication and laying out the different phases for future states of the desired product, we were able to meet the client's needs and develop a functional feature."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I feel the best example of a collaborative team environment is our curriculum development. About half of the department collaborates to revamp all lesson plans, asking questions such as, 'Do we need to update vocabulary?' One funny example was when a coworker did not want to update the unit to delete words like "cassette tape," "VHS," and "tape recorder." In 2018, students don't even know what these things are- it's useless to spend time teaching these words. We spent four weeks negotiating what units to keep, what to revamp, and what units to add. It truly takes a lot of patience, collaboration, and compromise to reach a new set of curriculum standards and goals across the department."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Apartment Leasing Agent Interview

      "As an Apartment Leasing Agent, I work independently for the majority of my day. I find that my most challenging team collaborations come when we are arranging special open houses for some of our multi-unit clients. My secret comes in the form of organization, and having expectations set from the start."

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous Answer

      "Sometimes you have to pick your battles, step back and ask honestly, candidly ask why this is challenging. Is it me, is it how I am treating someone or not listening to them or understanding their style? I was talking to a junior colleague while away in Japan about this. It came to me to explain to this colleague that every time this happens, we have an opportunity to practice and grow my leadership."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This answer is good, but I became a bit lost when you mentioned the junior colleague in Japan and working to grow your leadership. If you are going to bring a story into the equation, see it through and give more detail. I have tweaked the answer a bit, below.

      "When working in challenging team environments, I will look inward and ask why the situation is challenging me. Perhaps it is how I am communicating with someone or the fact that I do not understand the work style of another team member. When challenging situations arise, I see them as an opportunity to practice and grow my leadership skills."

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