One of the worst hires a company can make is a person who does their job well but has an attitude so bad that it destroys the teamwork and morale in a department. Often an individual like this can hurt the performance of a department so much that they end up being a net drain on the company. The greatest challenge with a person like this is that their individual performance meets expectations. It is how they interact with the team that is a problem.
As a manager, dealing with a person like this requires significant time and energy. It’s easy to handle quantifiable performance problems like attendance. Subjective performance problems are tougher. The easiest and best way to manage teamwork, morale and employee attitudes is to hire people who won’t be a problem. Once hired, it can take a long time to correct the behavior or get rid of the person.
As a job seeker, you want to show how you will work well on a team and add to the overall performance. To do this, you should prepare to discuss times when your teamwork led to success. Also, prepare to discuss specific situations when you encountered conflicts with co-workers and supervisors. You want to show how the conflict arose and what you did to help resolve it.
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t get along with your boss.
- Tell me about the worst boss you ever had?
- Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a co-worker.
- Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your supervisor.
- Tell me about a time when you didn’t support a project in your department.
- Tell me about a co-worker you didn’t get along with.
- Tell me about a time when your supervisor criticized your work.
- Tell me about at time when you disagreed with your co-workers.
If you prepare answers to questions like these, you will be able to better show how you will contribute to the team and be an effective team member. Develop a few stories with examples of conflicts you had at work and show how you resolved those conflicts. You goal isn’t to avoid discussing conflicts. Everyone has disagreements and conflicts at some point. What is important is how you deal with the conflict. Do you elevate the conflict, cause a disruption in the organization, or do you diffuse the situation?