Interview Question: Have you ever been on a team and someone was not pulling his or her own weight? How did you handle it?

Team Environment InterviewHave you ever been on a team where the effort wasn’t equal? If so, you should be able to answer this question. If you haven’t run into this issue, here are some simple tips to consider:


When crafting an answer for this question, evaluate your past experiences. Have you been on a team when you had to do most of the work? What did you do to address the problem? If you didn’t take action, what should you have done to address the situation? Evaluating your past experiences helps you draft an answer more easily.

Look Back

If you’ve been in this situation before, consider what you would do if the effort put forth wasn’t equal.

Create a Scenario

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who may be dealing with this issue right now.

When working with a team, communication is vital to lessen mishaps and errors throughout the process or project. As long as all of you were informed of the workload involved, each member should be responsible for putting in appropriate effort to make the project work.

In case someone is not pulling the appropriate amount of weight on the team, it might be best to approach the person in a kind yet professional way. It is indeed a risk, especially if you and the uncooperative team member are in a friendly relationship. However, you have to keep things professional.

When confronting someone, it is important to make sure he or she doesn’t take it to heart. Make it a point to make sure the person understands that it’s purely business.

Have a Plan B

What happens if the person who agreed to do better hasn’t produced results after the discussion? Will you attempt another discussion?

When dealing with an unproductive employee, it is important to consider the timeframe involved in accomplishing a certain project. If you only have a limited amount of time left before the deadline, it is best to pull the team together regardless to make sure everything falls into place. No matter how uncooperative someone may be, he or she shouldn’t be dragging the whole team down — otherwise, the project is a failure.

This doesn’t mean that the person shouldn’t be reprimanded. Certain actions should be taken after accomplishing the project (without his help). You may want to speak with your boss for guidance.

Working in a team can be challenging. But you can pull people together to avoid negatively affecting your performance.

Read 11992 times Last modified on Friday, 12 February 2016 12:59
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.