Teamwork interview questions are commonly asked in job interviews to assess a candidate’s ability to work collaboratively. The hiring manager wants to know that you are a team player with solid communication and problem-solving skills.
Here are 50 great teamwork interview questions to help you prepare for your next interview by showing you can work well in a team environment. While answering, make sure you smile and have friendly body language.
General Questions about Teamwork
1. What does teamwork mean to you?
Important Points to Address: Show that you know what it means to be a team member and that you do those things.
To me, teamwork means working together towards a common goal, leveraging each other’s strengths, and supporting one another. Collaboration is essential to achieve success. I always do my very best to contribute positively to my team.
2. What is the most destructive trait on a team?
Important Points to Address: Your answer does not have to be the absolute most destructive. There is more than one answer. Make it clear that there is more than one, and discuss at least one. Then address how it affects team performance and how to deal with it.
That’s a tough one, but the most disruptive is probably a lack of accountability.
This can be avoided with a simple shared spreadsheet. The spreadsheet lists the tasks, assigned owners, due dates, and status. Then, the team meets weekly to report progress and get feedback on their progress. This establishes clear expectations, builds in effective communication, and keeps everyone on track.
3. What is the most important thing for a successful team?
Important Points to Address: The interviewer wants to know if you understand what it takes to build a successful team, so convey that you know what it takes.
Communication and collaboration are essential for a successful team. When team members communicate effectively, they can better understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This allows everyone to work together better and achieve their common goal. They can share ideas and develop innovative solutions to problems.
4. What are the benefits of good teamwork?
Important Points to Address: The interviewer wants to hear that you understand teamwork on a conceptual level. Address that effective teamwork can enhance team performance and improve project outcomes.
Good teamwork fosters a positive and productive work environment. Improved communication and collaboration means that the technical skill or strength of one will benefit the whole team, just like members of sports teams each have their areas of strength.
Good teamwork leads to a company culture of high performance and enhances team performance across different groups. Collaboration creates a sense of belonging and shared responsibility with each team member.
5. Are there any negative aspects to teamwork?
Important Points to Address: Mention at least one example of a potential negative when working with others, and how to turn that negative into a positive.
While teamwork has many benefits, there can be some negatives too. These include conflict, communication breakdowns, and poor decision-making. Establishing clear goals, encouraging mutual respect, and communicating openly can reduce these issues. By addressing these challenges, teams can turn the potential negatives into positives.
Questions about How You Work in a Team
6. What do you enjoy most about working in a team?
Important Points to Address: This is a question about what you enjoy, so it’s important that you smile when you answer this. Mention one or more examples of what you find enjoyable in team settings and how collaboration enhances your work.
I enjoy the collaborative nature of teamwork and the opportunity to learn from others. I appreciate how working with a team allows us to leverage our strengths for the good of the team and tackle complex problems beyond our abilities.
7. What is your greatest strength when working in a team?
Important Points to Address: Explain how you contribute to team performance and leverage your strengths to achieve results.
My greatest strength when working in a team is my communication and active listening skills. By listening carefully, I can hear what is being communicated, not just what is being said.
This creates a strong team culture and makes other team members feel valued and understood. They feel like their voice matters, and this leads to them taking greater ownership of their responsiblities and the project outcome.
8. What is your greatest weakness when working in a team?
Important Points to Address: Illustrate at least one example of your weaknesses in a team setting and how you have worked to improve or eradicate it. Keep your answer short.
My greatest teamwork weakness is my tendency to take on too much. I’ve recognized this about myself and am making a conscious effort to improve by setting clear expectations and communicating effectively when I’ve overcommitted. I also recognize my team’s strengths and leverage them to balance my weaknesses.
9. What do you dislike about teamwork?
Important Points to Address: Be honest about a specific aspect of teamwork you struggle with but avoid sounding overly negative. As with any interview answer about something negative, it is important that your answer be well-planned, well-rehearsed, and that you keep it to-the-point.
While I love working in a team environment, managing different personalities and viewpoints can be challenging. However, I approach these situations with an open mind and a willingness to compromise.
10. What types of people do you struggle to work with?
Important Points to Address: Discuss specific traits or behaviors that make it difficult for you to work with someone while avoiding criticism. Be careful not to describe traits or behaviors that bosses commonly have, or this answer will effectively be the end of your interview (though the interviewer might continue the interview to avoid making the situation uncomfortable).
For example, if you are interviewing for a junior role, do not discuss people who fail to take your suggestions. As a subordinate, it is your job to take orders and while making suggestions is admirable, there should be no expectation that your suggestion results in a change to the way the company does business or executes a project.
I find it challenging to work with individuals who are unaccountable or fail to communicate effectively. However, I make sure to address any issues constructively and work to find a solution that benefits the team and the company.
11. Do you work better alone or as part of a team?
Important Points to Address: Discuss your preference but emphasize your willingness to work effectively in both settings.
While I enjoy the camaraderie and collaboration of working in a team, I also value the focus and independence of working alone. My skills and strengths can be utilized in both settings, and I’m willing to adapt to the project’s needs.
12. How do you adapt to sudden changes in a team environment?
Important Points to Address: Discuss your ability to be flexible and adaptable in different situations while being specific about your approach.
Adaptability is a crucial skill in a team environment. When changes happen, I remain calm and assess the situation to see how the team can adapt. I also believe in being proactive and taking the initiative to ensure we stay on track and achieve our goals.
13. What is the most important skill for working in a team?
Important Points to Address: State what you believe is the critical skill for teamwork. Try to demonstrate this skill in your answer.
Accountability is the most important skill for working in a team. If everyone is held accountable for their tasks, you can trust everyone to deliver without constantly chasing them. It also reduces communication issues as everyone is responsible for their need to communicate openly and directly.
14. How would you describe your communication skills?
Important Points to Address: Don’t give a overly succinct answer like “good.” Explain what you do that makes you an effective communicator.
My communication style is clear, concise, and effective. I’ve been told that I articulate my thoughts well and listen actively to others. My strength lies in adapting my communication style to suit different team members and situations.
15. How do you balance individual and group responsibilities at work?
Important Points to Address: Demonstrate your time management and ability to prioritize competing demands.
I take ownership of my work and team-related responsibilities. I proactively plan, see what disruptions occur, and prioritize based on urgency and importance. I communicate clearly with my team and set expectations so that my direct manager and team know what to expect from me and when.
16. How do you manage your time?
Important Points to Address: Show that you can manage your time for your team responsibilities.
I manage my time effectively by prioritizing my tasks based on their urgency and importance. I make a to-do list, set deadlines, and break down my tasks into smaller achievable goals. I also ensure that I allocate time for unforeseen circumstances and interruptions.
17. Have you ever experienced failure as part of a team?
Important Points to Address: Everyone has experience failures, but pick one where you responded well to an external factor, not where the failure was your own.
Yes, I have experienced failure as part of a team. During one project I was on, we faced several external unforseen issues that resulted in us failing to meet our deadlines.
However, we came together, analyzed how we could have planned for the unforseen, and learned from what happened. We identified our shortcomings and restructured our future approach. This experience taught me the importance of taking ownership of my mistakes, learning from them, and being open to feedback.
18. How do you respond to criticism?
Important Points to Address: Discuss how criticism is a learning opportunity. Make sure your body language is open and that you smile during your response.
Criticism is an opportunity to grow and improve. I am grateful when someone takes the time to think about how I can improve, and then takes the time again to communicate it to me. They are investing in me, and I appreciate it.
I listen carefully to the feedback and seek to understand the other person’s perspective. Then, I ask questions so I understand how to modify my behavior.
19. How do you handle conflict in a team setting?
Important Points to Address: Conflict management is a critical skill. You must demonstrate your ability to respond effectively when a problematic situation arises.
When conflict arises in a team setting, listening to all perspectives and understanding where everyone is coming from is essential. I remind everyone to remember the team’s goal and the company’s best interest.
Then, I encourage everyone to calmly share their thoughts and concerns about each solution before we decide on the best course of action.
20. Can you work effectively with a remote team?
Important Points to Address: This type of collaboration interview question is designed to find out if you can work effectively with teams without requiring in-person interactions and supervision. Refrain from mentioning any difficulty using Zoom, Microsoft Teams or technology.
Yes, in my previous job, I was part of a cross-functional remote team. We used various communication tools to collaborate and stay connected. I understand the importance of communication, collaboration, and reliability when working remotely.
21. Are you comfortable working in a linguistically and culturally diverse environment?
Important Points to Address: It is important to show that you can work around and through potential communication barriers. Don’t stop at showing your are merely comfortable, but highlight that you see it as a benefit.
Yes, I have worked in diverse environments before, and I value the opportunity to learn from people with different backgrounds and perspectives. I have developed strong cross-cultural communication skills, allowing me to work effectively with people from other parts of the world.
Diversity of backgrounds, experiences, and therefore ideas and perspectives, strengthens a team.
Interestingly, I have found that working with non-Native English speakers also contributes to a diversity of ideas, because non-native English speakers often speak in a way that is translated from their native tongue, resulting in deeper insights into their explanations.
22. How would your previous team describe you?
Important Points to Address: Maintain a positive attitude but also be truthful. It is likely that a prospective employer will ask your professional references this question.
They describe me as a reliable and dedicated team member who is always willing to lend a helping hand. I am known for my strong communication skills and ability to work collaboratively. I also openly seek feedback and take steps to improve my performance, leading to strong professional relationships.
23. How do you communicate with team members with different personalities or work styles?
Important Points to Address: Prove that you can work well with different personalities and adapt to their communication styles for effective collaboration.
I acknowledge everyone has a unique working style and personality. I try to understand others’ preferred communication and work methods to ensure effective communication and teamwork. My adaptability enables me to achieve results no matter whom I am working with.
24. How do you help a team member struggling with a personal issue?
Important Points to Address: The interviewer wants to know if you can support and help team members struggling with personal issues.
I approach the situation with empathy and understanding, allowing individuals to share their concerns without judgment. I offer my support and suggest resources to help them manage the issue. I maintain confidentiality and provide a safe space for the team member to discuss their problems.
Questions about Your Values, Ethics and Teamwork
25. What would you do if you had to work with a team member you didn’t get along with?
Important Points to Address: The interviewer wants to know if you can handle conflicts and build professional relationships with challenging team members.
I would try to understand the issue’s root and establish open communication to discuss and address conflicts. I would maintain a professional attitude and respect their opinions while expressing myself. I believe in finding common ground and working towards the project’s success by utilizing the strengths of each team member.
26. What would you do if your manager told you to do something you disagreed with?
Important Points to Address: Show that you can handle disagreements professionally. It must be abundantly clear that you communicate your thoughts for the benefit of your team; however, you completely respect your manager’s authority and fully defer to your manager’s directives. If the interviewer thinks you are going to be argumentative, you are not going to get the job.
I would respectfully express my concerns and suggest an alternative, more effective solution. I would provide valid reasons to support my argument and listen carefully to my manager’s feedback.
Ultimately, I would carry out the task assigned to me by my manager while ensuring that I was fulfilling my responsibilities to the best of my abilities.
27. What would you do if you found out another team member stole credit for your work?
Important Points to Address: The interviewer wants to know if you can professionally handle conflicts with team members and how you approach situations where you think you have been unfairly treated.
I’d calmly discuss the issue with the team member, express how it made me feel, and understand why they did it. I’d involve the team lead / manager to resolve the conflict if necessary. I believe in giving credit where it’s due and expect the same from my colleagues.
28. If you joined a team that wasn’t functioning, what would you do to improve it?
Important Points to Address: This question examines your ability to analyze and solve problems. Illustrate how you would dissect the issue to understand the route cause, how you would generate an action plan, and how you would work collaboratively to improve the dysfunctional team.
I’d start with an open discussion to understand the issues and suggest setting team goals, clear roles, and communication channels. I’d encourage a positive team culture, recognizing individual contributions and promoting collaboration.
Questions for Team Leaders
29. How do you make a new team member feel welcomed?
Important Points to Address: Explain how you create a welcoming environment for new team members and what steps you would take to do so.
I would introduce myself and others on the team. Then I would show them the workplace and explain company policies. I invite them to the daily team meetings and social events to help them feel included. Additionally, I provide proactive support and answer any questions they have.
30. Can you describe your ideal team?
Important Points to Address: This question is the same as “What are the important attributes of successful teamwork?” Discuss communication, collaboration, and working towards a goal.
My ideal team is diverse, collaborative, and supportive. Each member brings unique skills and perspectives, and we work together to achieve our goals. We communicate openly and respectfully, share feedback, and hold ourselves accountable for our work. We celebrate each other’s successes and offer support when challenges arise.
31. How do you manage the professional development of your team?
Important Points to Address: You must show that you understand that team development is a deliberate and measurable activity, not something that occurs organically.
I prioritize my team’s professional development by setting goals, offering support and feedback, and providing opportunities for training and mentoring. Investing in the growth of my team members benefits them individually and contributes to the organization’s success as a whole.
32. How do you ensure that everyone on the team is heard?
Important Points to Address: Show how you value inclusivity and your strategies for ensuring all team members feel heard.
I value inclusivity and actively encourage participation from all team members. I schedule regular team meetings to discuss progress and solicit feedback.
I also create a safe and respectful environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns. Additionally, I try to engage quieter team members and ask for their input directly.
33. What are your favorite team-building strategies?
Important Points to Address: You need to show that you understand how to build a team and grow a strong team spirit.
Some of my favorite team-building strategies include regular team outings or events, team-building exercises, and cross-functional training sessions. These activities help build trust and camaraderie among team members, leading to better workplace communication and collaboration.
34. How do you ensure you meet the project goals within a team?
Important Points to Address: To succeed, you must effectively manage a project within a team and ensure that project goals are met.
I regularly communicate with team members to review progress and discuss any challenges or roadblocks to ensure project goals are met. I set clear expectations and deadlines for individual tasks and periodically check in with team members to ensure they have the necessary resources and support to meet their goals.
Additionally, I regularly assess project progress and adjust timelines or strategies as needed to achieve project goals.
35. What is the biggest threat to effective teamwork?
Important Points to Address: This question is about understanding how to manage threats, not trying to list every possible threat to a team. Remember to stick to your script, keep it short, and smile while you answer.
The biggest threat to effective teamwork is poor communication. Team members must communicate effectively to avoid misunderstandings, delays, and mistakes. To mitigate this threat, I encourage open and honest communication among team members, and I make sure that everyone has the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas.
36. How do you provide feedback to your team members?
Important Points to Address: Discuss how you give feedback and make it an opportunity for a positive outcome.
I aim to give timely and constructive feedback to my team members. Before providing feedback, I observe the situation to understand the context.
I then use the SBI (Situation, Behavior, Impact) model to provide specific examples of the behavior and its impact on the team or project. Then I work with the team member to establish an action plan to address issues and provide support if needed.
37. How would you motivate your team?
Important Points to Address: Motivation and direction are the primary roles of a leader. Show that you can help your team create results.
Motivation comes from giving team members purpose, autonomy, and recognition. I ensure that each team member understands the importance of their role in the project and the overall mission.
I encourage them to take ownership of their work and offer support and guidance when needed. I also regularly recognize and celebrate their accomplishments, which helps to boost morale and motivation.
38. How do you change or improve team culture?
Important Points to Address: Explain how you can identify and change aspects of team culture that may be harmful or ineffective.
To change or improve team culture, it is important to start by identifying the current culture and any areas that need improvement. Then, involve the team members in discussions and initiatives to improve the culture, including establishing clear values, promoting open communication, and fostering a supportive environment.
Recognizing and rewarding positive behavior also helps to reinforce the desired culture.
39. What would you do if your team faced a challenge it was unprepared for?
Important Points to Address: Unexpected challenges are a given. Explain how you approach an unknown situation.
I would assess the situation and gather information from my team to determine the best course of action. I would then work with my team to develop a plan to address the challenge and provide them with the necessary support or resources. Open communication and collaboration are essential to successfully overcoming unexpected challenges.
40. How do you handle a team member not contributing to the project?
Important Points to Address: It’s important to address underperforming team members to ensure project success. If handled incorrectly, however, it could result in the demoralization of the members who were not the problem.
In a group project in college, I had a team member who needed to contribute more. I approached them privately and asked if they needed help with anything academically or personally. After hearing their concerns, I worked with them to develop a course of action to ensure they could contribute. We also agreed on deadlines and goals to keep everyone accountable.
41. How would you resolve a conflict between your team members?
Important Points to Address: As a team leader, it’s crucial to know how to resolve conflicts between team members and ensure the entire team is working towards the same goal.
I would first listen to both sides of the conflict to fully understand the issue. Then, I would schedule a meeting with both team members to discuss the dispute and work together to find a resolution that satisfies everyone. I believe in promoting open communication, active listening, and a collaborative approach to conflict resolution.
42. What is your preferred leadership style?
Important Points to Address: The interviewer needs to know the leadership style of the job candidates so they can select the best candidate for the role and be sure that the new person will be a good fit for the company.
I believe in a democratic leadership style where everyone’s input is valued and considered before making decisions. This creates a sense of ownership, empowerment, and accountability within the team, leading to higher motivation, engagement, and productivity.
43. How do you ensure effective communication within your team?
Important Points to Address: Effective communication is the cornerstone of an effective team. Give the interviewer confidence in your ability to communicate within your team.
I prioritize communication by setting clear expectations for communication and encouraging open dialogue. I ensure all team members have the necessary information to do their jobs and hold regular check-ins to discuss progress and address issues.
I also encourage feedback and active listening to ensure effective communication within the team.
44. How do you prioritize tasks within a team?
Important Points to Address: The best answer for these competency questions is to use software tools or a set process for reliable, repeatable results.
I sort tasks based on urgency and importance or impact. Then, I prioritize them based on these two factors.
Last year, I took a course in MS Project, so now I track all my tasks using software for greater control and visibility of workloads. We use a collaborative approach to assess the available resources and assign tasks to team members based on their skills and capacity to deliver.
Regular check-ins and communication ensure that projects are on track, and we adjust priorities if necessary.
Behavioral Teamwork Interview Questions
How to Answer: The best way to answer behavioral interview questions is to use the STAR method. This is a structured way to deliver a great answer whenever a question needs you to talk about your past experiences. When answering behavioral questions, try to make the response positive and not speak negatively about your past work experiences.
45. Can you describe a time when you successfully worked as part of a team?
Important Points to Address: Explain what you did that made it a success.
In my last job, I was part of a team responsible for launching a new product. My role was to handle the marketing and promotional activities. I collaborated with the sales team to develop a marketing plan and executed it successfully, resulting in a 20% increase in sales.
46. Can you describe a time when you had to work with someone with a different personality than yours?
Important Points to Address: Demonstrate emotional intelligence and an ability to adapt to others.
I once worked with a very detail-oriented and analytical colleague, while I was more big-picture and creative. We needed to work out how to communicate clearly despite our different ways of thinking.
Despite the challenge, I learned to provide more concrete examples and data to support my ideas, which helped them understand my perspective. We collaborated effectively, and our diverse skill sets complemented each other, resulting in a successful project outcome.
47. Can you describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision that affected your team?
Important Points to Address: Provide a specific example of a difficult decision that you made that affected your team. Explain the thought process behind your decision.
I once had to decide whether to terminate a team member who was not meeting expectations. This person was well-liked, but I needed to determine what was best for the project.
I decided that their lack of productivity could have been higher despite their positive values. I explained to the team that this was for the team’s good and not a personal decision. After they left, the team’s productivity went up almost 20% overall due to fewer distractions and errors.
48. Describe a time you had a conflict with another team member.
Important Points to Address: Mention the nature of the conflict, how you approached resolving it, and the situation’s outcome.
I had a conflict with a team member over a project’s direction. We needed to settle our differences before the conflict began affecting the team. I arranged a meeting with a mediator, and we found a compromise and made a plan that incorporated both of our ideas. We came up with a plan that was satisfactory to both of us and delivered a successful project.
49. Can you describe a time when you had to take on a leadership role within a team?
Important Points to Address: Explain what you needed to achieve in this leadership role and how you achieved the desired outcome.
My project manager was away for an emergency in my previous role. I was asked to fill in in their absence. The project deadline was approaching, and a big issue arose. I called a meeting of the senior team members to discuss their departments’ technical abilities and current work capacities.
With the careful delegation of duties and a little overtime from each department, we corrected the issue and delivered the project on time.
50. Describe a time when you had to motivate your team.
Important Points to Address: Explain why your team was demotivated and what actions you took to improve productivity.
In my previous job, we had a tight deadline to launch a new product. The team was feeling burned out and demotivated. I organized a team lunch, encouraged and thanked everyone for their work, and reminded them the end was just a few days away.
We set smaller, achievable goals and celebrated each accomplishment. This improved morale, and we met our deadline with excellent results.
Teamwork interview questions are common in job interviews, especially for positions that require working as part of a team. These questions help the hiring manager to determine if the job candidate has the necessary skills and experience to be a good team player and contribute to a positive work environment. They are trying to avoid new hires that end up being new fires because they can’t work with the team.
When preparing for a job interview, it’s important to review common teamwork interview questions and practice your answers to ensure that you can demonstrate your soft skills, past experiences, and competency in working in a team setting.
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.