Aside from speaking in public or the thought of your own mortality, interviewing for a job, especially one you're putting a lot of stock into, can be incredibly nerve racking, frustrating and tense as you begin your prep work.
Many would be employees approach a job interview the same way most students look toward a final exam, suggesting that simply showing up and "winging it" isn't the best approach. Even the most ardent and studious of job seekers still find themselves slipping up on the rudimentary and common questions that the interviewer will pose to you.
Perhaps none is quite as ambiguous and intriguing as the one that asks how well you work by yourself or within the confines of a team atmosphere. The obvious thinking as you prepare to answer this inquiry is to simply refer back to the job itself and determine if its description matches that of a loner or consists of day to day activities that would have you paired up for the long haul.
That makes perfect sense but your answer needs to travel far beyond a simple overview of the job you'll be doing. Even the best outside salesperson, who travels alone in search of the next great account, can't downplay the importance of being a team first player, even if he's working on straight commission. This person may find themselves in a situation that requires them to work closely with a client, and the need for interpersonal skills that go beyond singing along to the radio while they're on the road is paramount.
The best bet when faced with the team vs. individual question is to highlight the positives of both, and when applicable give situations from previous experience or schooling that shows you're well versed in both schools of thought. With that, you also don't want to come across as indifferent on the topic, either. That means you should point out various projects or assignments that would be better served to do by yourself, and cite examples why. The same rule applies for those tasks you've deemed more appropriate for a group to tackle, rather than take on the responsibility on your own.
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