The interviewer would like further details on what you consider to be a substantial contribution when you are in a team setting. Your example can come from a previous role or your current one. You can also draw on experience from your high school or post-secondary education if you are newer to your career. Volunteer experience is a great situation to bring an example from as well. Give the interviewer an idea of what you did to contribute, and be sure to mention any accolades you may have received for your excellent contribution.
"Last week, our manager was unexpectedly out of the office for a few days, due to illness. We were scrambling to hit a few deadlines, so I suggested that we all meet, divvy up the work, and then meet again at the end of the day to see where we had gaps. In this instance, I took the role of leader, and it worked out well. When my manager returned, he gave our whole team kudos for how well we banded together."
"I contributed this year to our company's holiday party by joining the social committee. I thought that my administrative expertise might be helpful, and it was! I found appropriate vendors, compared prices, and eventually booking the venue and caterer. My contribution was significant, and I felt a great sense of pride the day of our event."
"I contribute to team efforts on a daily basis, as a floor manager. I hold a team huddle every morning, and outline expectations for the day, including my own. I want my team to know that I am also carrying the bulk of the work versus being the type of manager who barks out orders. I am the mentor, the encourager, and the pacesetter in team efforts."
"One of our pods was struggling when it came to finalizing the web copy for a client. I overheard their struggle and offered to jump in to assist since writing copy is one of my greater strengths. They agreed to let me join their team for that particular project. It was great fun."
"Our corporate head office recently introduced a friendly sales competition between all fifteen stores, across the country. The first team to hit $1M in sales would receive a $250 gift card for each of its members. When the announcement was out, I was very excited and created a spreadsheet breaking down what everyone's target needed to be, per shift, to make an equal contribution. By breaking the numbers down, the team seemed less overwhelmed. The goal seemed achievable. In that instance, I was the encourager in the team. I like to bring a lot of positive energy to a competitive situation."
"In my current position, our team is bonused annually based on overall performance, not individual performance. Being one of the senior members of the sales team, I have a solid idea what it takes to hit a good year-end bonus. I created a sales plan and presented it to my regional manager. He made a few tweaks and presented it to the entire group. In that instance, I was the numbers and ideas guy. We successfully hit our goal because we were all so focused and knew what we needed to do."
"Our school has a reputation for having an outstanding soccer team. Unfortunately, this year, our head coach was on medical leave. I stepped up as the interim coach which were big shoes to fill. I put a lot of effort into coaching the kids, training them on new techniques, and learning new techniques myself. We made it all the way to Nationals, which I made me incredibly proud."