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

Tell me about a time there was a serious conflict on your team. How did you resolve it?

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Teamwork Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    Tell me about a time there was a serious conflict on your team. How did you resolve it?

      How to Answer

      When cooperating with groups of people from different backgrounds and various work styles, conflict is inevitable. Think of an example of when your team experienced a conflict. Be sure to highlight how you skillfully handled these conflict issues.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "One of the employees on my team was due to present at an industry conference, but he fell behind and couldn't put everything together in time. Everyone on our team was disappointed in his lack of commitment, and many people were upset with him. I was not scheduled to present, but I stepped in to cover for him. This situation meant I had to rearrange my schedule, cancel meetings and postpone a lunch event, but my company needed this presentation to be successful. I will always go above and beyond for my team, even when it isn't the most convenient."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "My previous company went through a merger last year, and the amount of tension amongst the team was quite extreme. People did not know if they were going to lose their jobs, get their year-end bonus' and more. Everyone was sharp with each other, but I chose to take the kindness route. I was a friendly face through it all and kept a positive outlook. I know that I did my part to help the negativity."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "Two of my team members were in a feud over a process that they were both misinterpreting. Normally, I do not get involved in the smaller conflicts as I believe that grown adults can iron things out without mediation, for the most part. This event was different. I called a meeting between the three of us and let them know they were both incorrect. They were a bit embarrassed about the whole event and allowed me to re-train them in the process, the correct way."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "We have two content writers with very different styles. They are both very talented, but their techniques often don't work well within the same campaign. They were recently forced to work together on a significant campaign we had on the go. They ended up in a huge fight, insulting each others' writing style, and more. I jumped in and mediated the situation, complementing them on their methods, and suggesting ways that their techniques could complement each other. I think that seeing the possibilities through the eyes of an outsider was helpful to them and they delivered a fantastic product."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "We recently had two employees fighting over a customer. One associated insisted they greeted them first and the other insisted they did not poach. To solve the issue, I split the commission between the two of them. Neither was happy about the situation, but it made them more aware, moving forward, of the whereabouts of their customer."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "Salespeople can sometimes be a bit ego driven because we are competitive by nature. I had a couple of sales reps who were arguing over which territory a certain client belonged. The client had an office in each of their territories, so they both wanted the client. I suggested that the sales rep who had the company's HQ in their territory should take both offices. Problem solved!"

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "We have a pretty cohesive faculty, so arguments don't happen in our team. If a situation between colleagues were to occur, I would be the mediator by nature. I am a calm person and can think outside the box when it comes to problem-solving."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Bank Compliance Officer Interview

      "When working as a/an (X position title) for (X company), (... X example of a conflicting situation with a coworker or superior). To resolve the situation in a timely fashion, I (... what you did to revolve the situation). I remained respectful and professional at all times and ensured that my coworker/superior had to chance to be heard (...). In the end, the situation resolved and we were able to successfully work as a team to complete the project by the deadline."

      Nisha's Answer for a Forester Interview

      "I have strong conflict management skills and in my current position, have had to exercise those skills from time to time. We are in a high-stress, remote work environment which can cause a lot of unnecessary conflict among the team. When a conflict arises, I like to deal with it swiftly, openly, and with poise. Transparency and openness are how I lead my team, so I will call a group meeting where we express concerns and get it all out on the table."

      Heather's Answer for a Medical Coder Interview

      "One of my co-workers wasn't carrying their weight, which meant everyone else had more work to do. I chatted with her one day at lunch, and she shared some personal issues that had been interfering and we agreed she needed some help with her projects. We all met with our boss and we determined a temporary solution to help her while she resolved her issues outside of work."

      Lisa's Answer for a Petroleum Engineer Interview

      "At the beginning of my hitch while in Wireline, one of my teammate's family members had a severe medical emergency. I was left to finish the job with minus one of my guys, on a very tight deadline and budget. It was my duty to provide quality data to the client while ensuring the job was completed on time and within budget. I communicated with my team of now 2 guys to let them know of the situation, what the final goal was, what my plan was, and what I needed them to help me with. Because of our teamwork and communication skills, we were able to provide the client with the data, ahead of schedule and within budget."

      Krista's Answer for a Rehabilitation Counselors Interview

      "If I have a conflict with a coworker, I ask them if we can speak in private. I then ask them how we can deal with the conflict between us. I do not like conflict and aim to quickly come to a resolution with which we are both happy."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Pipefitter Interview

      "Last month I had a conflict with a co-worker who was not abiding by the company's safety regulations. I brought it up and this particular individual became very defensive. I walked away from the situation and the next day, he apologized for overreacting. He committed to put safety first, which was great."

      Heather's Answer for an Autopsy Assistant Interview

      "There have been times that my coworkers and I have had miscommunication. We've been able to sort out our issues by talking it out and coming to an agreement together."

      Ryan's Answer for a Ticket Agent Interview

      "A couple of years ago, I received a promotion that I had interviewed for that several other colleagues of mine had interviewed for as well. Following my acceptance of the position, a very close coworker of mine, that I had built a great personal relationship with, was acting much different around me and I knew right away that he was likely upset about not getting the promotion. While we were friends outside of work as well, I knew that this situation shouldn't impact life inside the workplace. I put it on myself to be proactive and break the ice with him by having a very frank conversation about my promotion and our relationship moving forward. My approach was to be forthright and ask why his attitude was different toward me, while not apologizing for being promoted. He immediately apologized to me for acting strange after not getting the promotion, and he congratulated me on my new role. From that point forward, things were much better between us, and we remain close friends to this day."

      Ryan's Answer for an Assistant Manager Interview

      "Last month, two of my team members were in a feud over a POS process that they were both misinterpreting. Normally, I do not get involved in the smaller conflicts as I believe that grown adults can iron things out without mediation, for the most part. This event was different. I called a meeting between the three of us and let them know they were both incorrect. They were a bit embarrassed about the whole event and allowed me to re-train them in the process, the correct way."

      Heather's Answer for a Clinical Laboratory Technician Interview

      "I've learned not to take words or actions of stressed patients personally. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a deadline and being pulled in too many directions, I can ground myself knowing that I'm providing the best customer service and caring for my patients the best way that I can."

      Ryan's Answer for a Property Manager Interview

      "The latest conflict I've had to deal with at work was between two tenants in a commercial building. Their spaces were right next to each other in the building and one complained to me that the other always had his radio on too loud. Apparently, the one tenant had already gone directly to the other and asked him to turn down his radio, as it was noisy and distracting to her and her employees. The other tenant agreed to her request, but the tenant was still unhappy with the noise level. I headed over to the building soon after to see if I could hear the music from the hallway. I could barely hear the music, but I still politely asked the tenant to keep the volume of his radio at an appropriate level. Days later, I got another call from the tenant complaining about the radio. I drove over to the building and stood in her space to listen. Come to find out, it was not his radio that she was hearing, but a loud piece of equipment he had in his space and used regularly. To ease the tension and work out the conflict, I recommended that the tenant move this large piece of equipment into a vacant space down the hall to keep the noise level to a minimum. The tenant agreed to it and both tenants left that meeting feeling heard."

      Elisabeth's Answer for a Landscaping Interview

      "One of my coworkers wasn't pulling their weight. We worked together at a retail shop and I noticed they weren't following our manager's instructions, and when they did, they were lazy about it, putting very little effort into their work. Instead of getting frustrated, I asked him what was going. I told him I noticed he wasn't really taking his work seriously. He explained that he had a lot going on with his family and it was difficult to focus. I asked what I could do to help and told him I was there for him. He really appreciated the support. Over the next couple weeks, I noticed he was making more effort. We also started taking our lunch breaks together more often to give him a chance to vent about life."

      Audra's Answer for a Principal Interview

      "If I was made aware of a conflict between two teachers, I would first meet with both teachers individually to hear their perspectives. So often, conflict arises out of a lack of communication. I would try to get to the bottom of the issue, knowing full well that there are two sides to every story. After I heard from each of them, I would have a combined meeting to speak openly and share my perspective. I would then reiterate our school values of teamwork, respect, and collaboration, encourage the teachers to put the conflict behind them, and state my expectations for working professionally moving forward."

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous Answer

      "For my current job, we have a project to build datorama dashboards to conduct marketing analysis and visualize campaign performance for each of our clients. The project involves working with a software engineer and a client success manager. They are very talented, but their techniques often didn’t work well together. They had worked on this project for more than six months. They pushed the deadline several times, and both thought it was not their problem. So I jumped in, mediated the situation, sorted out issues, and suggested ways to work together. First of all, I talked to the engineer and client success manager separately to understand their work. From our meeting, I learned that first, we had a template created by the datorama team for us, and we could make changes as needed and use it for replication. Second, for the client success manager, his work was put forward all the requirements for the dashboard, such as metrics he wants to present and the way they should look. For the engineer, his work was to implement these ideas and use javascript to build custom visualizations (like heatmap and pacing bars) that are not provided by the software. However, I noticed there was a gap between their work, and no one was actually responsible for the dashboard design, original data ingestion to the platform, and final data quality check of the dashboards. Besides, we only had one dashboard created. We needed to find a way to create a template of our own and replicate it for all other clients. After that, I suggested we complete the template and conduct a data quality check within two weeks and then start the replication process. I found I can help with the dashboard design, the engineer can perform data ingestion, and the cs manager can perform the final data quality check. With my suggestions, I created the first draft of the dashboard. There were some problems coming up, but we successfully finished the template and first-round data quality checks in two weeks. Then, I documented the replication process, and we shared the workload to replicate for all clients. We did several rounds of data quality checks to make sure all dashboards looked good and all data was correct. One month after I joined the project, we finally rolled over these reports to our clients. I got a lot of compliments from the team for my initiative to solve the problem. And I even got rewarded at our all-hands meetings. I could go around knowing that everyone recognized my work in the cross-function team, and they trusted my ability to deliver and be reliable. This was a rewarding experience for me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Excellent answer! You do a very nice job bringing this story to life. It's evident how you took action to solve this issue, and you smoothed out many factors for your projects, your team, yourself, and your company. Well done!

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