This interview question "Have you ever been on a team where someone was not pulling their weight? How did you handle it?" is asking you to do two things:

  1. Identify a situation where you had to deal with a non-contributing team member.

  2. Explain how you resolved that situation.

Let's dive into it!

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Part 1: Identifying The Situation

A member on a team who doesn't do their part? We've all been there!

For an effective interview answer, identify a situation that is relevant to the job you're applying to. This will help you showcase transferable skills when you answer the second part of the question.

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Part 2: Explaining How You Handled It

There are several ways to effectively explain how you handled a delicate situation like this:

OPTION 1

You started a dialogue with the person, to understand why they were finding it difficult to contribute.

Flaticon IconThis answer showcases your communication and interpersonal skills.

OPTION 2

You revisited the team's goals/mission, to understand if the team member was finding it difficult to align with the goals.

Flaticon IconThis answer showcases your leadership skills.

OPTION 3

You clarified team members' roles, to help provide more structure for the team members.

Flaticon IconThis answer showcases your organization and planning skills.

OPTION 4

You found new ways to motivate the team member. Lack of motivation can equal lack of contribution.

Flaticon IconThis answer showcases your management skills.

Feel free to use a combination of these options to give a more layered answer!

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Examples For Each Option

OPTION 1

Flaticon Icon"At university, one of the group members in my senior year project was not contributing effectively. I chose to have a conversation with them and found out they were having some problems at home. We were able to provide support and they were able to contribute more effectively as a result."

OPTION 2

Flaticon Icon"A member of my client success team was not feeling in touch with the greater mission of the organization, and therefore feeling lost as to how to contribute. I called a meeting where we participated in team-building exercises to help reiterate the purpose and mission. The exercises helped the team member find direction."

OPTION 3

Flaticon Icon"A team member was finding it difficult to contribute because they were unclear as to what their role was. I helped resolve the situation by creating a more detailed work plan that specified each member's role and responsibilities on the project."

OPTION 4

Flaticon Icon"A project at my last workplace was facing constant delays and setbacks. As a result, a couple of team members were feeling demotivated. As the team lead, I organized a retreat which helped improve motivation for those members and the overall team."

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Take Action

Take these steps to help you prepare for this interview question:

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This Byte has been authored by

SH

Sarah Hussain

Education Professional