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What Is Teamwork – HR Interview Question

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What Is Teamwork - HR Interview Questions and Answer

‘What is teamwork?’ – is a very common HR interview question faced by freshers. Simply put, there are uncountable ways to barrel roll this HR interview question! You can start your answer with a literal dictionary definition or choose to explain the concept by citing a real world example, preferably from your personal experiences. In a nutshell, your answer to the question ‘What is teamwork?’ should articulate the meaning of our ‘hero’ word ‘teamwork’ correctly, which is:

A group effort by many people to achieve a common goal or complete a task as effectively and as efficiently as possible.

Obviously this is a very basic or simplistic answer. So below are some suggestions to help you frame a meaningful retort to the HR interview questions ‘What is teamwork?’.

Dictionary definition of ‘What is teamwork?’

The process of working collaboratively with a group of people in order to achieve a goal.
Teamwork is often a crucial part of a business, as it is often necessary for colleagues to work well together, trying their best in any circumstance. Teamwork means that people will try to cooperate, using their individual skills and provide constructive feedback, despite any personal conflict between individuals.

Teamwork skills expected from a fresher

While some people can be natural team players, for others working in a team is a brand new learning experience. Hence, developing qualities or skills like good communication, ownership, and accountability can help freshers (like you) work well in a team. On a similar note, we have curated a list of some more skills that employers look for in their future employees:

  1. Cooperation
  2. Contribution
  3. Persuasion
  4. Reliability
  5. Respectfulness
  6. Subordination
  7. Communication
  8. Conflict-resolution
  9. Decision making
  10. Problem solving
  11. Planning
  12. Meticulous
  13. Attention to detail
  14. Tolerance

It is advisable to understand the meaning and importance of all the above skills to become an efficient team player. Also, while framing your answer to the HR interview question on teamwork, add some of these skills in your retort.

Famous teamwork quotes

Here are 5 quotes by famous personalities which can inspire a team to work in sync. You may choose to cite one of them at the beginning or at the end of your answer to the HR interview question ‘What is teamwork?’.

1.According to Scottish-American industrialist, business magnate, and philanthropist – Andrew Carnegie,  teamwork means this.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results… Teamwork appears most effective if each individual helps others to succeed, increasing the synergy of that team; ideally, every person will contribute different skills to increase the efficiency of the team and develop its unity.”

2. Pele or Edson Arantes do Nascimento, KBE, is a Brazilian retired professional footballer. Pele played as a forward and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. According to him,

“No individual can win a game by himself.”

3. Steven Paul Jobs, popularly known as Steve Jobs, was an American business magnate, industrial designer, investor, and media proprietor. He was the chairman, CEO and co-founder of Apple Inc. He was also the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar and the founder, chairman, and CEO of NeXT. He said,

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.”

4.Henry Ford was an American industrialist and a business magnate, and most important of all, the founder of the Ford Motor Company. He said,

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”

5. Biz Stone or Christopher Isaac Stone is an American entrepreneur who co-founded Twitter. According to him,

“When you hand good people possibility, they do great things.”

Words of all the above leaders resonate and reinstate that well managed team yields effective teamwork that can maximize the strength of every team member and bring out the best in each of them. Since these are quotes by powerful personalities, adding their lines to your answer will surely create a good impression on the hiring manager interviewing you.

Importance of teamwork

There are many reasons why teamwork matters, and you need to highlight the importance of teamwork in your answer to the question ‘What is teamwork?’. It is of utmost importance to relay to your hiring manager that even a leader who cannot work with a team, is a failure! So its obligatory for every team member to possess high emotional intelligence in order to interact with each other with least amount of friction in a team. Hence, the importance of teamwork lies in one’s ability to simultaneously perform as an individual is the road to attain growth and success. Additionally, teamwork is important because:

  1. #It offers differing perspectives
  2. #It renders feedback
  3. #It pulls in a diversity of thought
  4. #It pulls in creativity
  5. #It opens doors to brand new opportunities
  6. #It gives rise to new problem-solving approaches

Lacking the ability to work in a team environment disrupts the development and execution of innovative ideas. So, teamwork is not just the shortcut to meet goals and objectives, it also lays the foundation to boost efficiency and effectiveness that eventually helps a company grow successfully.

Successful tips for teamwork

what is teamwork

In order to make teamwork effective, it is important to make it a priority and reward people within the team. Also, having clarity on the roles and responsibilities helps every member give their 100%.

When you are asked the interview question “Share some successful tips for teamwork”, you can cite the following:

  1. It is crucial to set clear goals (preferably in writing) so that the objective is right in front of the eyes of every team member.
  2. Team members should be able to communicate their opinions, ideas and feelings clearly.
  3. Every decision in the team should be made after an open dialogue and also with the team’s total support and commitment.
  4. All the team members should be able to build trust and demonstrate their accountability for work.

Best closing lines for your answer to the HR Interview Question ‘What is teamwork’

Across new-age workplaces now, open-office layouts have become a norm. Also, companies are rapidly adopting better team productivity measurement and optimization tools. The importance of teamwork (as proven by science). There are enormous benefits to working in teams, and science proves it. Some of them are as follows:

1. Diverse perspectives bring in winning innovations. According to Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect, most innovative ideas happen at “the intersection” – where ideas from different industries and cultures collide.

2. Teamwork makes us happier! According to a study by the University of Warwick in England, happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees.

3. In a team everyone grows as an individual. In a recent Gallup study, it was revealed that of 7500 employees, 23% feel burned out at work very often or always. Sharing the load helps and collaboration at work further grows everyone’s skills.

Now that you have read the entire article, you will be able to answer the ‘what is teamwork’ interview question confidently. You are now well versed with all forms of this question like ‘What is teamwork?’, ‘Name some teamwork skills’ etc. You can also cite a few teamwork quotes to demonstrate why teamwork is important to your HR round interviewer. Whatever may be the case, teamwork is very important as it is something worth building and preserving in any organization that you plan to join!


All the best!


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