During a job interview, interviewers may ask you questions related to teamwork. Most likely, the questions are going to vary, since collaboration is not the same in every workplace.
An employer is concerned about the answers to these questions since they want to understand if your work style and experiences can benefit their team.
Here you can find out why they ask this in an interview, and how you can prepare to answer this increasingly popular interview question.
Teamwork Interview Question Variations
If you sit more than a handful of job interviews, you quickly find the interviewers ask the same questions in a large number of instances.
Because there is so much information about these interview questions, you can find hiring managers phrase them differently in a job interview to see how candidates deal with questions they are not expecting.
Some of the ways they ask the same question are:
- Do you ever struggle communicating with colleagues when working on the same project?
- What does teamwork mean to you?
- Do you like to work alone, or are you a team player?
- How do you visualise team building?
While they appear very different, they do need a different answer for each. Nevertheless, they still relate to good teamwork, and your preparation can serve you well, no matter how they ask you the question.
Why Employers Ask Questions about Teamwork in Interviews
Many jobs often need employees to work together regularly. Doing so requires excellent communication, undertaking parts of tasks, and the planning of entire projects.
Employers need to learn the levels candidates can communicate with others, and how they work as a
group of people to complete the projects successfully.
Besides, they need to understand if candidates enjoy and value teamwork, or if they prefer working alone. This understanding helps determine who the right candidate for the position is.
Questions regarding this can reveal experiences with past teammates, any challenges you may have faced, and overcome as well as any leadership qualities you may possess.
When employers ask these questions, they obtain a better understanding of which sort of team environment can help you to be a success.
They will be searching for definite answers, which reflect positive experiences while you were working in a team environment.
When you offer work experience in past teams’ successes and failures, it can help potential employers understand the type of team environment; you wish to be a part of and where you can work effectively.
Answering Teamwork Interview Questions
Make your teamwork question responses as targeted as possible. If the question doesn’t ask for it, you can still consider using your personal experience as support for your answers.
One interview tip is to use the STAR interview response. Here is what this means to you when thinking of your replies.
- Situation: Elaborate on the case or the context where you were working as part of a team.
- Task: Describe your previous team mission and the project worked on. Explain your position in the team and if there was friction in the group, issues, or challenges between team members.
- Action: Describe all the activities that the team and you took to solve the problem or complete the task.
- Result: The last stage is to explain the results of the teamwork skills, what the team was able to accomplish.
How Do You Ensure You Work Well in a Team?
One of the hardest parts of any job interview is to answer these kinds of questions successfully if you don’t possess excellent group work skills.
For many, it can be hard to work as a team, yet they can. However, some individuals cannot function in this kind of company culture.
If you want to find out if you are a good team player, you can go through these areas and use them as preparation for an interview you may go for.
Remain open-minded: Being a great team player means you have to be open to the ideas and perspectives of other team members. You need excellent listening skills, as well as the ability to receive constructive feedback from team members. Doing so allows you to get information from their advice rather than being defensive.
Accept others working styles: Not everyone can work in the same way. It can be a challenge when you have a mix in this kind of company culture. When you understand your colleague’s work practices, you can become a better team player.
Communication styles also differ between personalities, so enhancing the way you communicate allows you to offer better customer service to every member of your team.
Focusing on team goals: Every employee wants to stand out, yet in a team gathering, it requires every member to think of the larger picture. Even if individual team members succeed in a project, yet the project fails, it means little to the outcome.
Celebrating team success: You can define teamwork here when you give credit to team members when it is due. Once you begin to do this, it can be humbling, yet it makes others feel grateful you recognize their achievements. Gratitude works both ways, and they will feel an obligation to return the same to you when they see fit.
Nearly every advertised position has an element of teamwork associated with it. While you may not be the most comfortable working in a close-knit team, you still need to show you can work comfortably in this kind of company environment.
Once you take in all the above, you can find your weak areas and show you can work in a team without any office politics getting in the way.