7 Common Teamwork Interview Questions and Sample Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 5 November 2022

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A strong performance during an interview may heighten your chances of receiving a job offer. The hiring manager may pose questions about collaboration, evaluating your commitment to building relationships with your coworkers. Responding effectively to interview inquiries can enable you to show why you would be a suitable fit for the occupation you're seeking. In this article, we explain the purpose of teamwork interview questions and provide example questions and answers.

Read more: What Is Teamwork? (With Definition, Benefits and Examples)

Why do employers ask teamwork interview questions?

Employers ask questions about teamwork during the interview to assess your willingness to work as a member of a group. Your desired position may require you to collaborate with your coworkers to finish an occupational task. For example, if you're a social media manager, you might work on a team with graphic designers and content creators to develop a new campaign. Use your response to the inquiry to show you can communicate clearly with other professionals, listen to their perspectives and deliver constructive criticism. The employer's objective may be to determine if you can immerse yourself in the company's culture.

It can be beneficial for you to discuss your positive experiences working in teams. The interviewer may appreciate how your collaboration skills enhanced an organisation's operations. You can cite specific examples that describe the purpose of the assignment, the contributions you made to the group and the techniques you used to be productive or encourage your teammates. The hiring manager can learn the type of working environment where you feel most comfortable and focused. They can also gain insight into your leadership potential, which may be important if you're pursuing a managerial role.

Related: 11 Team-Building Activities for Companies (With Tips)

7 teamwork interview questions with sample answers

To help you prepare for your meeting with the employer, review the following examples of interview questions about teamwork and answers:

1. Do you prefer working alone or as part of a group?

The job you are seeking may include moments when you work independently and join your teammates on a shared assignment. State your preference and explain to the employer why you enjoy working in that atmosphere. It may also be helpful to state that you're capable of performing effectively in either environment.

Example: "I prefer working as part of a group. My favourite part about being in an office environment is getting to foster connections with fellow employees. I believe there's so much to learn from others. They can suggest techniques I haven't considered, and I can apply my work experience to assist them. It's also an advantage when we're working on a complicated task. We can keep one another motivated and provide support when we're trying to improve. I enjoy working by myself because it challenges me to be self-sufficient, but if there's an opportunity for me to collaborate, I'm available."

Related: 20 Ways to Collaborate with Your Team in the Workplace

2. Share an example of a team project that failed.

Your collaborative efforts may not always be successful, but it can be important for you to take responsibility for your actions and learn from your mistakes. Provide context for a group session that produced different results than you had hoped for. Showcase how you applied the lessons to perform better as a team in the future.

Example: "My colleagues and I formed a team to develop a new software application. The client imposed an urgent deadline, and the pressure to submit the final product on time influenced the quality of our work. The application malfunctioned immediately after its release. In hindsight, I realise we didn't delegate tasks effectively, and our communication wasn't frequent enough to track our progress. I learned to establish a thorough plan before starting the project so everyone can understand how to proceed. I also practice encouraging and assisting my coworkers with tasks to help them meet our goals."

Related: What Is Collaboration? (With Benefits, Types and Tips)

3. How would you inspire your teammates during a complex project?

The intent of this question may be to assess your emotional intelligence. You can show the employer that you understand how to identify and meet the needs of your teammates. Recall moments throughout your employment history when you helped your coworkers overcome hardships. You can also outline specific motivational techniques, indicating that you value a pleasant work environment.

Example: "I worked as a human resource specialist in a startup company that had a hiring surge. It was challenging to screen, interview and hire dozens of employees in a limited time frame. One of my coworkers felt overwhelmed by the process, so I recommended tools to select qualified candidates and ask insightful questions during the interview. I also explained to him that his experience in human resources would enable him to adapt to the changing workforce, and he told me he appreciated the reminder. Together, we hired 50 new employees in two months, and our retention rate was 95%."

Related: Improving Collaborative Skills at the Workplace

4. Tell me about a time you shared a viewpoint that differed from that of your coworkers. How did you convince them to agree with you?

Show that you can amplify your voice, even when your opinion is unpopular. The hiring manager can learn that you are passionate about your work and know how to justify an alternative that can benefit the team and organisation. Discuss how your recommendation differed from the initial objective, and concentrate on the result of the team implementing your plan.

Example: "When I was a university admissions counsellor, my colleagues and I brainstormed methods to attract new students. I suggested we communicate the benefits of university education on social media. My coworkers maintained that in-person presentations had boosted recruitment historically, and we shouldn't deviate from what was already successful. I asserted that developing an online persona for the university would communicate with the students the same way they communicated with each other, encouraging them to learn more about the school.

I showed the online engagement that universities received when they interacted with prospective students in digital spaces. My colleagues learnt that if the students' online impressions were positive, then they would associate those emotions with being enrolled at the universities. I successfully convinced them, and we launched a social media campaign that increased university enrollment by 28%."

Related: How to Enhance Collaboration and Teamwork (Plus Benefits)

5. Have you ever experienced conflict with a group member? How did you resolve it?

As a teammate, you may disagree with your coworker about how to handle a project, or their work style may be incompatible with yours. Demonstrate your problem-solving skills in your answer to this inquiry. Remember to avoid speaking negatively about your coworker, and emphasise how your techniques improved the interpersonal relationship with them.

Example: "My manager paired me with a coworker for a major assignment with an urgent deadline. I preferred to create an extensive plan that anticipated workflow and challenges for the entire assignment. She preferred to begin working immediately to make significant progress and avoid consuming too much time in the planning phase. I suggested we compromise so each of us could feel comfortable collaborating. She agreed to participate in the brainstorming, and I agreed to limit the extent of planning to allow for more spontaneity. We submitted the assignment promptly and received praise from the client."

Related: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

6. What characteristics represent a successful team?

State your personal definition of collaboration in the workplace. You can contemplate what you and your teammates did that led to successes in the past, serving as another indication of your experience. Another option is to elaborate on the traits you chose so the employer can better recognise your personal values.

Example: "Communication, respect and accountability are important characteristics for teamwork. When my teammates and I respect one another, we're open to hearing points of view that are different from our own, and we can debate the best course of action without disrupting the dynamics between us. Effective communication allows us to work together cohesively. For example, if we update our original plan, we can inform our teammates so they can continue working toward the same goal. Finally, with accountability, we can encourage our coworkers to operate at their fullest potential, which makes sure everyone is contributing equally."

Related: What Is Teamwork? (Plus Skills and Examples of Teamwork)

7. Describe an occasion when you exhibited leadership over your peers.

Leadership is an essential teamwork skill, where you can make decisions on behalf of your coworkers and motivate them to deliver quality work. Recall an assignment when your teammates looked to you to accomplish objectives. Consider emphasising leadership abilities, such as communication, task delegation and instruction.

Example: "My coworkers and I were responsible for planning and promoting a major event with over 200 guests. Out of the four of us, I was the only one who'd undergone the process before, and they trusted me to teach them how to lead a successful event. I orchestrated a planning guide that showed my coworkers when to start coordinating the function, who to invite and how to ensure we finished everything on time. I also delegated tasks to each of them. My supervisor said the guide was so helpful that they would use it for future events."

Related: 7 Team Leader Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

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