Team Work Questions in Interviews - Tips on Answering

Many interviewers will ask questions related to how well you work as part of a team. Sometimes this can be a trick question. Do study the position you are applying for in advance. Does the position require you to work on a team, be an individual contributor or both?

If it requires working on a team, the following aspects of your answer could be weighed as important:
  • How do you keep others on your immediate team updated?
  • How do you manage working with a diverse set of individuals (temperments, work styles, strengths, challenges, etc.)?
  • Do you tend to volunteer yourself or nominate others when extra tasks are assigned?
  • How do you take initiative and/or speak up in a team environment?
If the position is for individual contributors:
  • How comfortable are you reporting directly to the client onshore?
  • What is your experience being client facing?
  • How often would you keep the onshore team updated?
If the position requires both team work and individual contributions:
  • How do you balance being a team player with getting your own work done in a timely way?
  • Do you step in and help your colleagues when required? (Share an example.)
  • What are the differences between being a part of a team as compared to being an individual contributor?
For any type of position:
  • Employers want to be confident that you can work successfully in either teams or by yourself.
  • Employers, especially Western clients who are interviewing for outsourced and offshored positions, want to know you can work with minimal supervision, take initiative and report updates, problems and other news in a timely way.
  • Factor in how time differences play an role in communicating information in a timely way, especially over time zones.
Consider studying the job description and understanding it's reporting structure to create your ideal answer to this question.

Below are a few video tutorials on handling this common interview question.

Do you prefer to work by yourself or with others?

What is your ability to work alone, with others, in a team environment with or without supervision?

Jennifer Kumar builds the skills of your India based teams to interview confidently and more effectively with offshore clients. Contact her today for your training needs.  

Related Posts:
How to talk about strengths and weaknesses in an interview   
Tips on answering "Tell me about yourself" 

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