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Give an example of a time where you had to work as part of a team?

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05-10-2009, 12:48   #1
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classic interview question that trips me up every time

whats everbody got to say about this question ?
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06-10-2009, 10:11   #2
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They usually want an example of what the team was (could be work, sport, committee, etc) The task of the team at the particular time of your example (be specific, do not generalise). Your role within the team, how you worked/reported to others within the team during the task. How the task went, with your part shown. If the task was successful/unsuccessful (it doesn't matter, but I like to put down successful tasks). How the team carried out any post-task activity (de-briefings, feedback etc).

Hope this is of use to you
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06-10-2009, 11:12   #3
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What I have found, as well as all of the above, is to give an example of the type of behavours you exhibited whilst working with the team, how, if at all, they were challenged and what you learnt about yourself and the team as a result. These type of questions are what known as competancy based and the interviewer is looking for your understanding of the various competancies. They're not trick questions but they sure feel like it!! Good luck
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07-10-2009, 09:52   #4
Keith Rich
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Originally Posted by wiffy View Post
classic interview question that trips me up every time

whats everbody got to say about this question ?
The question assumes that you have worked as part of a team when you may not have done.

Just make something up, this will at least show that you are creative which I think is what the question is all about anyway.
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20-10-2009, 01:12   #5
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Whenever you come across this type of question, i.e Give me an example of or tell me about a time when...

try and use the STAR technique. Situation, Task, Actions and Result.

Fairly easy to remember and useful. Situation - sets the scene, Task - what you were up against or needed to overcome/complete etc, Actions - what you did, Result - outcome - usually good if this is a positive.

Example Answer:

Let me tell you about the time I worked as part of a team dealing with customer enquiries in a bank. It was lunch time (one of our busiest periods and the manager had been called to an urgent meeting and was unavailable). The computers went down/stopped working and the customers were building up. After calling IT they were unaware of any issues and were unable to give me a timescale.

I wanted to use this as an opportunity to test my skills and needed to get the customers dealt with as quickly as possible.

I took it upon myself to take charge in the managers absence. I liaised quickly with team to see if we were all affected. I arranged for another team member to call the IT helpdesk and report the issue and get a timeframe for resolution.

I relayed the information from IT to the customers in a clear yet professional manner. I apologised for the obvious inconvenience caused and took names and numbers for those customers who didn't want to wait. I also offered alternatives to the customers affected by offering them appointments for later that week. I ensured that all follow up actions were completed and carried out.

The customers were initially disappointed but I could totally understand why - I would have been if I had been in their shoes. They thanked me for letting them know and were pleased that things had been carried out as expected. The computers came back online approximately 50 minutes later and shortly afterwards m manager returned. I explained exactly what had happened, what measures I'd put in place and what else needed to be carried out. I also made some recommendations in case this happened again. As a result we have a revised dedicated procedure in place for dealing with system down time during core customer opening times. I also received a nomination from my colleagues for employee of the month for the way I managed the customers and supported my colleagues.

Top tip - Always 'I' statements not 'we'

Hope this helps!
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