Being a new graduate means finding a job. But first you have to land an interview. So in order to help myself and you guys, I’ll do a 1 question a day. I’ll give a question that I’ve been asked or are commonly asked questions then I’ll respond to it. That way we can compare the answers with each other and maybe get a chance to improve our answers.
Describe an occasion when you worked on a team and something did not go well. How did you respond?
So this is definitely a behavioral question. It’s also a very common question asked by the panel. There is really no one right answer but many possible wrong answers. They are basically asking, have you ever worked with a team and how did you deal with conflicts.
I would answer with an experience. I would talk about a conflict I ran into at my previous job when I was given a task to work with a team of 5 people with many different schedules. We had people in Washington, Ohio and California. We were doing really well with scheduling, everyone would come onto Skype at the right time. However, a conflict with one member in Ohio (our supplier) came up, after 2 months he finally told us he had a different time zone and did not appreciate staying an extra hour for our 3PM video call. He was very angry when he found out no one else realized he had a different time zone. In order to solve this problem, the first step I did to calm him down was that I accepted my mistake. I apologize sincerely. I am a person who is willing to go the mile to argue my point but I will apologize if I am wrong. Then we collaborated and scheduled a different time for the video call so it fits with everyone’s schedule.
The rescheduling was really simple and solved the problem but the point here is being able to get it to your interviewer that you are an understanding person and you are a patient person and you know when to argue and when to apologize if necessary.
Examples of other team conflicts would be:
- A tight deadline that you have to meet
- An impatient boss
- Scheduling issues
- Disagreement with other team members
Let me know of the conflicts that you’ve ran into while working with a team and how you opt to solve them.