Job Interview Question and Answer: “What Role Do You Usually Take on When Working with Others?”
The Reason Interviewers Ask
Employers want to hire candidates who understand the value of teamwork. When they ask, “What position do you prefer when working on a project?” interviewers want to know the types of tasks that suit you best and how well you play your role when working with others. Your answer will tell employers whether you would be a useful addition to their current team.
How to Give a Good Answer to “What Role Do You Prefer to Play?”
Determine what team position you prefer by thinking about the skills and traits you have that would benefit the company. Depending on your abilities, you may fit one or more of the following roles:
- Visionary: People with creative minds and critical thinking skills tend to go for the visionary roles. These workers brainstorm ideas and come up with innovative ways to get things done.
- Implementer: This person takes the hands-on approach to put the visionary’s ideas into action. They are dedicated doers who focus on the details to complete their tasks.
- Leader: Self-starting individuals who can take control of a situation may prefer a leadership role. They can organize the members of their team and keep everyone on track towards a common goal.
Explain to interviewers which of these roles suits you best, and discuss the traits you have that make you a good choice for that position. You can also mention a brief example of when you exhibited those attributes in work, school, or personal scenarios.
Responses to Avoid
Steer clear of generic non-answers like, “I can fill any role.” Vague responses may make employers believe you are brushing off the question. Also, avoid boastful answers that set unrealistic expectations about your abilities. If you get the job and are unable to fulfill the roles you mentioned in the interview, managers may think that you lied about your skills.
Sample Answers for “When Working in Groups, What Position Do You Prefer?”
A good answer to this question should show that you know where you fit in and how your skills would make you a successful employee. The following examples can give you an idea of how to discuss your own traits and abilities during an interview.Sample Job 1- Hotel Manager
“At my previous jobs, I often took on leadership roles. I liked learning as much about the work as I could and would help struggling employees. When complicated or stressful situations happened on the job, I was usually the one to step forward and rally the team to address the issue and solve it as quickly as possible.”Sample Job 2- Department Store Sales Associate
“I’m most comfortable working in creative positions. Even when I was in school, I always saw the big picture when it came to assignments and could come up with project ideas fairly quickly. Since I also like ensuring that plans work out well, I sometimes took the lead on projects and helped my teammates turn our vision into a reality.”Sample Job 3- Factory Assembly Line Worker
“Since I like working with my hands, I usually take on more active roles. When I worked on group projects in class, I always built models or made visual aids for my teammates’ topics. I liked the balance of being creative and working from a precise plan so that everything came together perfectly.”
Position Preferences: Key Points
When answering questions about roles you prefer when working with others, be prepared with an honest assessment of your skills and the reasons why you like some positions over others. Avoid overpromising or boasting about your achievements or abilities.