Job Interview Question & Answer: Is it Better to Work Alone or in a Group?
Reason for the Question
While many jobs involve working as part of a team, some also require employees to work alone at times. When hiring managers ask a job interview question like, “Do you work better in a team or alone?” they want to know if you can adapt to meet the demands of the position.
How to Respond
Interviewers are looking for applicants who can easily transition from working with others to working by themselves. The best answer emphasizes your ability to perform your job effectively based on what the company needs. Your goal is to show the hiring manager that you’re a team player who can also fulfill your duties without handholding or backup.
Responses to Avoid
Most businesses usually offer a blend of cooperative and independent work, so avoid showing a preference for one over the other. Also, refrain from saying you have trouble working with others or rely on constant feedback to perform a job. Answers like these can keep managers from considering you for the position.
Sample Responses to “Do You Work Better Alone or in a Team?”
A clear, thoughtful answer is crucial for leaving a positive impression on an interviewer. Consider the following examples as you develop a reply. Remember that these responses are a useful tool to help you create your own answer:
Sample Answer 1 – Automotive Technician
“Like most mechanics, I’ve spent a lot of time working by myself and with a team. This taught me to rely on myself when I need to and how to function in a group environment. I think being able to do both is a huge part of repairing vehicles. I’m confident that I can perform the same high-quality work whether I’m alone or at the garage with my coworkers.”
Sample Answer 2 – Bartender
“For me, being a bartender is the best of both worlds. I’m usually the only person at the bar serving drinks, but behind the scenes, I get to interact with a great group of people. My coworkers and I work together to prepare food, stock shelves, and keep the business running smoothly. One minute I’m doing my own thing, the next I’m working side-by-side with the kitchen crew.”
Sample Answer 3 – Cable Installer
“I take great pride in my ability to work with my team on one job and then by myself on the next. I might spend half the day doing residential installs on my own and then join my coworkers for a big project somewhere at a corporate office. I enjoy the variety in my workday, and I’m more than happy to adapt to what the job needs of me.”
Things to Keep in Mind
Being a flexible employee is crucial to the success of a company. If an employer asks, “Do you work better with others or by yourself?” it’s important to show a willingness to adjust to either situation. As you develop your answer to this job interview question, include solid examples of how you’ve successfully performed your duties in social and independent situations.