Teamwork Interview Questions and Answers

Introduction  #

During an interview, you are asked a range of questions. This is so the interviewer can understand your personality, experience level, and interest in the job and the company. An area your potential employer may be keen to question you on is teamwork, especially if your role involves a lot of collaboration. 

In this article, we discuss how to answer teamwork interview questions and provide sample answers to common questions.

Why Do Employers Ask Teamwork Interview Questions? #

Most jobs involve some element of teamwork. Thus, employers ask these questions to assess whether you have the right attitude, approach, and skills to work well in a group setting. They also want to understand if you enjoy teamwork or prefer to work alone to determine if the role is the right fit for you. 

Types of Common Teamwork Questions and How to Answer Them   #

There are 3 main categories of teamwork interview questions:

  • Personality questions
  • Competency questions
  • Situational questions

Personality questions #

While employers want to hear about your skills and qualifications, they are also keen to understand who you are as a candidate. Personality questions allow them to learn about your strengths, work habits, and ethics. These questions can help them determine your suitability for their company’s culture. 

The best way to answer these questions is to address them directly, specifically, and in detail. You can achieve this by providing a short and clear answer followed by your rationale and approach to the subject matter. Last but not least, remember to answer truthfully, as finding a job that suits your personality well is key to career success.

Competency questions #

Competency questions focus on a candidate’s ‘key competencies’, or specific qualities that are required to be successful in a particular job role. Typically, employers ask for relevant past examples to assess how you act at work or demonstrate various skills. These questions can be challenging if you don’t approach them the right way.

However, if you apply the STAR method and prepare relevant answers in advance, they become easy and straightforward. 

Situational questions #

Hiring managers use situational questions to understand how a monitoring and evaluation expert would behave in a specific business scenario. These questions ask interviewees to explain how they would react to hypothetical situations in the future. 

When you are presented with this type of question, we suggest taking the time to analyse the situation. Then, provide an answer where you explain the actions you would take in chronological order. Don’t forget to explain the rationale behind your decisions.

Common Teamwork Interview Questions and Answers  #

Teamwork varies from one job (and company) to the next, and interview questions can take different forms. So, to be ready to answer anything that comes your way, here are common teamwork interview questions you may encounter and example answers to help you impress the interviewer:

#1. Do you prefer working in a team or on your own? #

When recruiters ask this question, they are looking to understand your preferred working style. Some roles, such as being a monitoring and evaluation expert, may be based on individual work. In others, such as project evaluation, teamwork is crucial. Your answer should convey your desire to work in a way related to the vacancy, assuming that the role is a good match for you. Then, take the time to explain what teamwork means to you and why you enjoy it.

Sample response

“I’ve always felt comfortable working in a team of people with diverse backgrounds. Successful data analysis requires collaboration and I love working with others to develop innovative solutions. Having said that, I am equally happy working independently according to business needs.”

#2. What role do you play in a team? #

A successful team includes leaders, enablers, and supporters. Hiring managers will want to know what role suits you best. While the job’s seniority, duties, and responsibilities may reveal whether leading or helping is more important, keep in mind that the reality may be more complicated. For example, junior employees may be asked to lead a project, while senior leaders may sometimes need to take a support role.

We suggest using your answer to demonstrate your fit with the job. However, flexibility is always appreciated, so if you can perform in different roles, make sure you mention this, too. Don’t forget to elaborate on how you approach your role in a team to be successful.

Sample response

“I love leading a team to achieve its goals. As a servant leader, I see my role as helping others to come together, develop an effective solution, and work efficiently to implement it. Having said that, I am a hands-on leader, and I am always happy to roll up my sleeves and get things done, too.”

#3. Have you ever had issues working with other team members? #

Disagreements in personal and professional life are inevitable. However, what’s important is being able to manage problems, resolve conflict, and work with others towards your common goal. If you are asked this question, we recommend using an example where you managed to work with a difficult team member successfully. Start by outlining the context and then providing details about your actions and how you resolved the issue.

Sample response

“I believe in building trust-based and mutually beneficial relationships with my colleagues. However, in company Y, I had issues with a colleague whose work wasn’t aligned with our health & safety requirements. I decided to have a conversation with them, explain the importance of health & safety, and provide informal training to help them succeed. This resolved the issue and we developed a positive working relationship.”

Key Takeaways  #

That would be a wrap. Let’s go over what we have learned so far and how to prepare for your next interview as an M&E expert:

  • Show, don’t tell.
  • Demonstrate that you are an active listener by listening to your interviewer attentively. Sit straight, maintain eye contact with your interviewer, and ask relevant follow-up questions to show you have excellent people skills. 
  • Don’t make it all about you: Yes, you are the hero of your stories. But, when talking about teamwork experiences, avoid speaking only about yourself. Remember to talk about the team as a whole and give credit to others when it’s due. 
  • Practice makes perfect: Study common teamwork interview questions and then practice your answers to them. Don’t just draft your response, say it aloud in front of the mirror. Or get a friend or a family member to do a mock interview with you. This will be beneficial in gaining constructive feedback so you can identify and work on areas of improvement.