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In a few sentences please describe your most rewarding work or volunteer experience

The latest in our ongoing series on answering common behavioral interview questions. Are you a team player? You better be able to prove it. Based on my experience consulting with both hiring organizations and job seekers, I can tell you that teamwork questions are the most common of all of the behavioral interview questions. This is probably because the ability to work with others is considered critical for most positions โ€” from entry- to C-level. By asking a behavioral question, they are giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your team skills by sharing a relevant example.

This is Lesson 10 from the Big Interview interview training system. Take a quick look here if you want to learn more about it. Sometimes, you may be asked specifically about experience leading a team: You can ace these questions with just a little bit of preparation. Before hiring you, a smart manager will want to find out: Some jobs come with specific teamwork challenges: At a managerial level, team leadership may be the focus. At a fast-moving startupthey may be looking for people who can pitch in and play many roles.

For an entry-level position, it may just be about the ability to get along in a professional environment. You will want to choose an example that demonstrates the most relevant aspect s of your team experience.

Sample Interview Questions

It is particularly important for new grads to be able to speak convincingly about their teamwork skills. Therefore, the hiring manager will be hiring based on potential demonstrated by academic, extracurricular, and internship experiences.

In the interview, they will be trying to get a sense of what you would be like to work with. Inside Big Interview, our complete training system for job interviews, we give you video lessons, sample answers, and an interactive practice tool for all of these different versions of teamwork-related interview questions.

Before your next job interview, sit down and make a list of the significant team projects that you remember. Give yourself a little time to brainstorm before you narrow down the list.

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Here are some rules for choosing the best examples to share in your interviews: Your most relevant examples will be from the last year or so. Pick an experience that really allowed you to shine. Maybe you stepped up to solve a problemresolve a conflict, or bring the group together. Maybe you helped to achieve spectacular results brought in revenue, reduced expenses, delivered a high-profile project.

For each interview, review the job description to get a better understanding of the type of collaboration required see above. Then pick the most relevant example you have. It will serve you well to prepare a few examples that represent different types of team projects.

Go for added value.

  • Though some were disappointed with the limited functionality, many more were pleased with the benefits of the feature in beta version and appreciated the timely and clear communications;
  • Every experience, every project, has a result.

If you can, choose an example that shows off your team skills while also demonstrating other strengths. For example, pick a story that also highlights your leadership talents, your numbers acumen, or your sales expertise.

Use the STAR format to structure your story. We recommend also reading our article Behavioral Interview: The goal is to jot down bullets to create a story framework, not to memorize a script. Why We Like Them With these bullets, we get a basic understanding of an obviously complex project.

A Approach โ€” Talk about the key actions that you took. For a team story, the focus should be on working happily and productively with others.

In order to make the release date, they had to scale back and offer only limited functionality. We knew that some clients would be disappointed. I emphasized the positive aspects of the new functionality, explained the delay, and layed out the timeline for the full functionality.

Why We Like Them This piece of the answer really focuses on teamwork and how the candidate collaborated with and managed people across the organization. There is just enough detail to get a sense of what the candidate did and why it was impressive.

He also shows that he was able to work under pressure, communicate diplomatically, and meet a tough deadline. Who did you collaborate with? What steps did you take to make the team dynamic work? At the same time, look for ways to mention other strengths that you demonstrated.

  1. Maybe you stepped up to solve a problem , resolve a conflict, or bring the group together.
  2. Getting paid assignments to photograph people. You can still claim it as a personal accomplishment; simply concentrate on what your role in it was.
  3. Rehearse these experiences as well.
  4. These twelve experiences will undoubtedly be used frequently in your interviews. Though some were disappointed with the limited functionality, many more were pleased with the benefits of the feature in beta version and appreciated the timely and clear communications.

R Results โ€” A strong interview story always has a happy ending. Wrap up your answer by describing the positive results of your actions. Though some were disappointed with the limited functionality, many more were pleased with the benefits of the feature in beta version and appreciated the timely and clear communications. Why We Like Them Any story that ends with a promotion is a winner!

  • We want to hear from you;
  • All of the skills listed are valuable, but it is the first skill describing the ability to develop systems that increase sales and productivity that will have the most impact.

With these bullets, the candidate also describes positive feedback from clients and senior-level team members. Pick a story with a dramatic ending.

However, you want to show significant results.

  1. However, you want to show significant results.
  2. I trust you will take the time to write about your top twelve accomplishmentsand then identify skills within them. This had never been accomplished because there were so many systems of teaching, and there was also a widespread misuse of terminology.
  3. If the accomplishment is job related, avoid acronyms or any technical jargon. At a managerial level, team leadership may be the focus.
  4. Able to bring consensus in areas that had been chaotic Achieve the unachievable Effectively get people to review a concept objectively Get people to value consensus and to be willing to compromise Effectively organize large educational seminars Excellent at resolving disputes among diverse interest groups Excellent at marketing programs and getting strong attendance Excellent writer Effectively organize committees People enjoy and value the events organized For three years, beginning in 1997, I held a volunteer office with the Rocky Mountain Ski Instructors Association. This happens because the person has been skilled at it for a long time, and cannot remember a time when he or she could not do it.

Customizing Your Teamwork Story But what if your interviewer puts a specific spin on her teamwork question? The most common variations ask about dealing with a challenge or a difficult team member.

Career Management Resources: we will help you get where you want to go.

It would be smart to prepare an example that includes a difficult team member as part of the plotline. We would simply incorporate the following bullets into the A and the R sections: I knew that he was busy preparing for the release, but he seemed to be blowing off the customer communication piece as unimportant.

He was significantly senior to me and kept dodging my calls and emails. I was bluffing because I knew I had to get explicit sign-off from Technology, but it worked. And from that point on, he always returned my calls right away. As always, practice makes perfect. You will want to choose your example, jot down the key elements of the story in STAR format, and then practice delivering your answer without your notes in front of you. This will help you remember the key details and present them in a polished, confident, but natural way.

What are your thoughts on teamwork interview questions? What other behavioral questions would you like us to break down for you with an answering guide? We want to hear from you. As one of the country's top interview coaches, she has helped her clients land dream jobs at companies including Google, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan Chase. She also has more than 15 years of experience training and advising managers at organizations from American Express to the City of New York.

  • Your most relevant examples will be from the last year or so;
  • In order to make the release date, they had to scale back and offer only limited functionality;
  • We recommend also reading our article Behavioral Interview;
  • Even thinking about the experience may bring back those feelings of frustration, anger, or hurt;
  • Those papers and projects should be listed as well.