Describe a Time When You Had to Work as Part of a Team

Job Interview Question & Answer: Give an Example of Your Experience With Teamwork

Why Managers Ask This Question

When a hiring manager asks you to describe a time when you worked as part of a team, they want to know how well you work with other people. Often, this means teamwork is an essential part of that job and the company culture. Managers ask what role you’ve played in team situations because they are interested in how your work style, skills and experience can benefit their team.

How to Answer Correctly

Answering questions about teamwork during a job interview means talking about previous experiences. Think of situations where you used skills like communication, listening or conflict management. Then, discuss how you and your team members help solved a specific problem using those skills.

What Not to Talk About

If a manager asks you to describe a workplace problem you had to deal with as a team, emphasize the efforts of the entire group. Don’t take credit for the team’s success, rather talk about how you contributed as a team member. Although it is important to be a leader, managers also want to know that you can play any role.

Ways to Answer “Describe A Time When You Had To Work As Part Of A Team”

While interviewing for a job, a manager might ask you to give an example of how you’ve worked as part of a team. They might also ask you a question like, “Why do you think teamwork is important?” Base your answer on skills related to working with others. Example situations include:

  • Delegating certain tasks to other crew members
  • Mediating conflict between co-workers
  • Coming to a consensus within the entire group
  • Recognizing the achievements of others
  • Using active listening to understand and act on a team member’s idea or opinion
  • Team-building exercises

Sample Answers

In addition to workplace examples, think about experiences such as volunteering, school or extracurriculars that may apply to the job. Read through the examples below for tips on how to answer a question like “Do you enjoy teamwork?” or “Tell me about a time you worked on a team.”

Sample Answer 1 – Barista at a Coffee Shop

“Working in foodservice is all about teamwork. Someone must take orders, and someone must fill them. By communicating effectively, it’s easier to get the customer exactly what they want and make sure they have it in a timely manner.”

“I’ve had to fill a complicated order in the past. Instead of trying to do it on my own, I reached out for help by asking a more experienced co-worker. In the end, the customer was pleased, and I learned something new.”

Sample Answer 2 – Floor Associate at a Department Store

“Working during busy seasons means a lot of compromises. To avoid being short-staffed, I planned with co-workers to work around everyone’s schedules as much as possible. By working as a team to delegate shifts, the store had enough people on staff, and everybody was able to enjoy the holidays.”

Give an Honest Answer

Sometimes, hiring managers will ask, “Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team?” Show the interviewer that you are comfortable working either way. Cater your response to the question by showing that you understand the value teamwork has in the workplace, while also acknowledging independent projects that contribute to larger team goals.

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