Are you a team player? News Flash – so is everyone else! Being a “team player” is a relatively meaningless phrase if it is not backed up with evidence. Have a look at our post on the 5 Key Ways to Show You Are a Team Player to make sure you communicate this effectively to every interviewer. Sometimes interviewers will ask questions that go a step further and probe how you work with people you don’t get along with. You may be asked:
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a time when you had to work on a team with someone you did not get along with. What happened?
As always with behavioral interview questions, stay positive and do not pass blame. The employer is also looking for strong beliefs and judicial actions. They’re hoping that you’re willing to fight for your position, but that you’re also accepting of someone else’s views.
Keep in mind that “you did not get along with” should always refer to professional disagreements. Personal disagreements do not belong in the workplace, or in the interview.
“NAME was a strong supporter of CRM Software 1. She had been working with that type of software for years, and was so familiar with the program that we bumped heads a bit when I suggested using a new platform. For that I blame myself – I pushed the platform without taking into account her comfort level with the previous software system. Still, it was hard to justify using the old program given the new program’s features. I made her a deal – I would have her, and the other team members try out the new program for two weeks. If they came back and didn’t love the new features, we would use the old software. Fortunately, all of them, including NAME, found the new software easier, and we made the switch. Just to make sure that we were okay, I took her aside afterwards and thanked her for the support. Afterward, future discussions were much more open between us.”
- Professional disagreement? Check.
- Judicial Solution? Check.
- Positive outcome? Check.
These types of answers are not in everyone’s work history, but when they are they can be very advantageous. Even if you have to give a toned down version of the above story, as long as it’s professional and places you in the same light you will come out ahead with the interviewer.