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Answering Teamwork Questions

Ace 1000s of Interview Q&As

When have you been on a team project that failed? What did you learn from that experience?

Example #1
"Our team was recently on a project with a very tight deadline. We knew the client and their needs very well which I believe made us go into the project overconfident. Because we underestimated the work involved, we missed our deadline by three business days. Thankfully we had a great relationship with that particular client, so we were able to recover from the missed deadline. Although it was late, we worked overtime and delivered an exceptional project, in the end. This experience taught me never to underestimate a project and the potential roadblocks. It's always better to under-promise and over-deliver, rather than the other way around."
Example #2
"In University, we had a group project that failed horribly. We could not seem to organize our schedules at all, and so, when we brought all of the components together, it was a complete flop. I learned shortly after about some project management apps that could have helped. Also, we could have utilized other resources like Skype. This experience taught me never to think small, and that there is always a solution - you have to look for it."
Example #3
"In my current position, our team was given a new client who needed us to recruit five employees. They were very specialized roles, and the client was not open to candidates who needed relocation assistance. Our competitor ended up finding the right candidates before we could. It was disappointing, and I believe that we failed because we were looking too much at the roadblocks rather than thinking creatively. We learned from our mistake and our team was more aggressive with our next project."
Example #4
"I once worked for a startup marketing agency that bit off more than it could chew after acquiring a huge client. We had to learn a lot of solutions on the fly, which caused a great deal of stress amongst the team, which was primarily made up of junior marketers, and new hires. Nobody had the seniority or tenure to feel confident taking control of the situation. What I learned from this experience is that every project should have a wide range of people present, with varying levels of experience and expertise."
Example #5
"Our store came up with a unique window display that we all thought was cool. After having the display up for a couple of days, we started receiving complaints that the message was misogynistic and insensitive. Once our team took a step back and considered the feedback, we could see what others were seeing. What I learned at that moment was that, before finalizing a project, it's important to take a step back from it and dissect it for potential problems."
Example #6
"Our company recently launched a software solution for our clients that was too early-stage and should have gone through further testing. We were all so excited about the project, and created so much hype with our clients, that our excitement caused us to get ahead of ourselves. What I learned was that, no matter how exciting, a business always needs to remain level-headed and pragmatic."
Example #7
"We recently had a school play go awry. The faculty wanted to put on a winter performance for the parents, and we tried to make it too comprehensive and eventful. What we should have done was focus on a couple of entertaining aspects and kept the rest simple. The kids were overwhelmed and confused, as were the teachers and attendees! We all vowed to keep it simple for the following year."
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Our interview questions are created by writers, most of whom have a long history of recruiting and interviewing candidates. They do not necessarily have experience interviewing or working with the companies, careers or schools they may write for on We strive to match our experts' background and expertise with the appropriate question sets found on our website.