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How do you handle working in challenging team environments?

7 Answer Examples

By: Rachelle Enns

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.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"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."

Admin
Answer example

"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."

Manager
Answer example

"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."

Marketing
Answer example

"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."

Retail
Answer example

"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."

Sales
Answer example

"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."

Teacher
Answer example

"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."

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: 04/08/2018
Last modified on: 06/29/2018
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