How to Answer
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.
"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 for an Admin Interview
"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."
Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview
"My team is made up of many personalities, which means that communication often suffers. We have over-communicators, brief communicators, and everyone in-between! The last project, our differences were very prevalent, so I held a team meeting, outlining a communication schedule which offered a happy medium. This schedule worked very well, and I will be implementing it for future projects."
Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview
"Our current team has a variety of skilled creatives. We work very well together, but sometimes we butt heads when it comes to our idea of what is most important in a project. I had recently completed coursework in video and how it ranks on all social platforms. I firmly believe the future is video but my project counterpart did not agree. This co-worker had the idea of old YouTube videos stuck in her mind and just couldn't envision what I saw. I had to show her a lot of examples of new video before she finally agreed. Everything worked out in the end, but it did waste a lot of precious time to have to bring her around to the idea."
Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview
"We were recently sent a new planogram for our store, and it was quite a big overhaul. We had two team leads who were arguing about how to approach merchandising the store without disturbing customer flow. Neither option was ideal, so I suggested that we stay late that day, after hours, to get the job done without disturbance. They agreed, and we were able to get a few other overtime hours volunteers to make it happen. Sometimes bringing an outsider into a project can cast a fresh light."
Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview
"Team projects are rare in my current position, so when we do have one, they can be awkward at best. We have a lot of alpha personalities on our team as well. Last month we were asked to collaborate with everyone in our territory on a new product launch. The company wanted us to come up with a new sales script that made everyone comfortable. Being as everyone has their communication style, the request was a disaster. I called my director and asked that we take the base script and each make it our own, in a way that worked for us. He agreed, and we all took a more independent approach."
Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview
"I put my class into groups of 4 students, for a specific social studies project. What I did not account for when creating the groups were the primary strengths of each student. I just chose at random. It was a challenge to get the kids to work cohesively together as one group didn't have a leader-type personality, another had three leader-types, and so on. Lesson learned! Next time, I will more carefully select the groups."
Rachelle's Answer for a Chef Interview
"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 come to an agreement. 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 is filled with many aggressive personalities."
"In my current job, there have been numerous times when leadership has given numerous different people mixed signals on certain projects. I have been really good about slowing down the chaos and touching base with the different members of leadership and making sure expectations and goals are clear, so our team can move forward on the same page."
This is a great start. Your response highlights how you are able to use your leadership skills to clarify the expectations and goals of the project. However, with this “Tell me about a time when...” style question, you will want to give a detailed story-based example. Can you narrow your response to a specific project where management provided mixed signals? To ensure that you are specific and organized in your story response, try using the STAR framework. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, Result. You can find information about the STAR format here. https://www.mockquestions.com/articles/Master Behavioral-Based Interviews Using The Star Method/
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