often mention that some of the interview questions which
don't typically get the best responses from job applicants are questions about
working with others. Companies want to know how well you work with other
people, and you'll need to say more than that you enjoy working with others,
which is the standard response.
How to Answer Questions About Working
It's important to
think about how you work with your co-workers because even if your role in
the company doesn't require a lot of communication, you will still need to
engage with the other employees in a professional and personable manner.
Companies are as
interested in your soft (people) skills as
they are in your hard (quantifiable) skills. Here's information on hard skills vs. soft skills and what employers are seeking in
of the job, employers don't want to hire people who are difficult to get along
with because that will cause workplace issues and conflicts. It can make sense
to screen out applicants who don't have strong people skills, even if they
have solid qualifications for
Explain Your Response
say that they "enjoy working with people" but don't explain or expand
upon their response. Anyone can say that they work well with people, but it's
important to show hiring managers how you accomplish it.
How can you avoid
the pitfall of giving a lame interview answer, but still make a viable point
about your suitability for jobs requiring lots of interaction with people – and
even for jobs that don't?
What do you do
that makes you a good people person at work? That's what the interviewer wants
to know. What's important is to show your prospective employer the skills you
have and how you have used them in the workplace, using real-life examples.
Keys to Responding to Questions
The first key is
to specify the types of interactions with people that are attractive to you or
at which you are particularly adept.
In addition to
specifying how you work well with managers, co-workers, customers, vendors, and
others, you should also speak to what you accomplish during those interactions.
Here are some
examples of what your people skills might allow you to do:
skills, personality traits, and work ethic of candidates by applying behavioral interviewing techniques.
subordinates to improve performance.
discussions in a way that incorporates diverse views and draws consensus.
comfortable rapport with clients and determine their preferences for products
<!--[endif]-->Listen actively and
emphatically to encourage clients to share their feelings and problems.
deliver training sessions which engage the audience in active learning.
news to employees targeted for layoffs.
between employees or with clients.
complaints with patience and creativity.
Examples With the Hiring Manager
The next key to interview success is to give examples of situations at work where you have used these people skills. Prepare concrete examples to convince employers that you possess those strengths. Your examples should convey how, when, and where you applied your skills or interests and the outcomes. Personalize your examples, so they reflect your skills and experience as they relate to the job for which you are applying.