Tell me about a time you had to work as part of a team by alendar

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									                                                    Tell me about a time
                                                    you had to work as
                                                    part of a team?
                                                     Daily interview question practice

Tell me about a time when you had to work as a part of a team and you
had a team member who wasn’t being very cooperative or productive.
What did you do to help rectify the situation? What was the result?

Behavioural Interview Question – General Background
Most employers today now include at least one “Behavioural Interview Question” when interviewing and the trend
is growing stronger amongst HR professionals. Behavioural interview questions are based on the assumption that
your past behaviour is the best predictor of your future behaviour. In other words, if an employer wants to
know how you'll respond to a future situation in their company, he or she can get a good indication by finding out
how you've responded to similar past situations.
In preparation for these questions the interviewer will have decided on the exact competencies they are looking
for. Competencies are measurable and objective behaviours. Examples include: communication skills,
commitment to a task, dealing with ambiguity, decision making, leadership skills, group skills, problem solving etc.
In preparation for these questions, you the interviewee, will need to develop brief factual examples from your past,
highlighting the competencies the interviewer will be looking for. Discussing these examples or stories will be
much easier if you've thought about them ahead of time and you don't have to "wing it" during the interview. You
can usually find the competencies which will be covered in the interview listed in the position description, job
advertisement or in the general literature/web site provided by the company.
For each story or example you intend to introduce, make sure you can cover the following three specific areas:
     1.   The Situation or the Task you had to perform. Be able to:
              a. Describe a situation or problem you have encountered and the context
              b. Describe the task you undertook and your ideas for solving the problem
     2.   The Action you took in response to the situation or task. Be able to:
              a. Describe the steps you took
              b. Obstacles that you had to overcome
     3.   The Results or Outcome of your actions. Be able to:
              a. Highlight outcomes achieved

You can use the acronym STAR (situation, task, action, result) or SAO (situation, action, outcome) to remember
these story elements, each of which the interviewer will be looking for specifically.
Some interviewers will prompt you through each stage of the series of questions. However, some employers will
introduce you to all aspects of the question and then leave you to answer it yourself. In the second scenario, the
employer is usually looking to see if you naturally complete the story and discuss the results and outcomes. Most
employers make the assumption that people with a business orientation will always include outcomes and results
(the bottom line) as a part of a complete retelling of an event. They will assume that people with an academic
orientation will be more concerned with the process (situation, tasks and actions) than the outcome/results.
Employers want a business approach, so do include all aspects of the event including the outcomes.
When discussing the situation or task the interviewer will want a real and specific example including activities,
dates and names. Ensure that your facts are correct as some employers will go on to do reference checks to
validate the specific situations, events and examples that you provide.
Remember to use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) approach when answering behavioural

Daily Interview Question Practice 2009
Careers and Employment, Swinburne University of Technology
                                                     Tell me about a time
                                                     you had to work as
                                                     part of a team?
                                                      Daily interview question practice

Situation /Task
This question is asking about your interpersonal skills and what you are like as a team player. Think of a time
when you had a team member who wasn’t being very cooperative or productive. Some examples of the “situation”
could be a team member who: -
•    Avoided responsibility for deadlines
•    Didn’t work to an acceptable standard because they did not have the skill level required
•    Wouldn’t help
•    Did not share the high work ethic and commitment held by the rest of the group,

When explaining your situation don’t spend too long on what happened or allocate a lot of blame elsewhere.

The example must be one where you had the opportunity to contribute to the positive outcome of the situation.
You (and your group) need to have had an approach or method which worked. It is appropriate to put in examples
of your ability to motivate others and your leadership potential, basically this question is asking you about your
team skills. Therefore, you should be using the term “I” as well as “we” in your answer.
Examples of being a good team member you may want to mention:
•    Willingness to listen
•    Willing to contribute
•    Respectful and encouraging of others ideas
•    Team spirit

You need to select an example which has a happy ending, outcome or result. Ideally you will have learned from
this situation, and will have even better interpersonal skills and techniques next time you are in this situation. Talk
about the interpersonal techniques you have picked up in your group work. Perhaps you now know the
importance of spending time at the start developing the team’s ability to achieve: -
•    Commitment to the project objectives and approach before you more through each stage
•    Consensus from all members to each stage of the project
•    An audit of each team member’s strengths and weaknesses in order to appropriately delegate the work.

Think of a time when you have worked as part of a team with a difficult team member
and describe the situation, task, action and result (STAR) focusing on what you did to
rectify the situation.

Daily Interview Question Practice 2009
Careers and Employment, Swinburne University of Technology

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