in Careers Advice, Interviews

Interview Question & Answers – Describe a situation where you worked as part of a team.

Advice

This is a completely open question and one that everyone attending an interview should have a stock answer ready to use. Team questions are almost always best answered using a work environment and anyone who has worked in any capacity is able to give a situation or example. If you have not yet worked you can use academic and sporting examples but these are never as good as work. It is a competency based interview question so don’t forger to use the STAR technique to answer it. Situation, Task, Action, and Result, concentrating on your own actions as opposed to others. It is best to try and think of a situation that is relevant to one of the specifications of the job you are applying for, so for example of this is a management role try to think of an example that is directly relevant to the work of a manager even though you are describing working as part of a team.

Examples of Answers

“Whilst working as an auditor at Bexley Heath District Council I was appointed a member of the budgetary committee planning for the forthcoming 12 months. The team comprised of seven members of staff, three elected councillors and two external lay members. I was appointed chair of the committee and we met on a weekly basis over a period of three months. The task we were assigned with was to ensure that the council spent within its budget and effective use was made of the limited resources we had. As Chair it was my responsibility to make sure that meetings were conducted in an orderly fashion and that we arrived at decisions swiftly and with as much reasoned debate as possible. We managed to complete the review within the allotted time and to the satisfaction of the majority of the members of the committee”.

Or:

“Whilst on a work placement at Glaxo Smith Kline I was part of a team of eight students who were given a task of designing a new efficient exhaust for a piece of machinery within the plant. We were given a budget and a time limit and asked to come up with a solution. We appointed a Chair, and set to work with my role being as the designer to come up with drawings of the proposed machinery. We worked effectively and within the constraints of time and budget, completing the project and presenting our findings to the relevant managers at the plant.”

Or:

“When I was a member of Bletchley Rugby Team I played in the First Fifteen, our team won three cups and the League within a few years and this was the most success the club had enjoyed in over thirty years”.

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 17 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk. You can contact Jonathan at cv@ten-percent.co.uk