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How do you get on with others at work?

 

Disciplines > Job-finding > Interview questions > How do you get on with others at work?

The question | What they are looking for | How to answer | See also

 

The question

How do you get on with others at work?

Do you argue with others at work?

Do you have many friends at work?

What do you think about the people at work?

Do you socialize with work colleagues?

What they are looking for

This question seeks your view of others and whether you are sociable at work, as opposed to being relatively solitary. It can be looking for whether you have friends and are informally sociable or it may be whether you fall into conflict at work -- in other words, it is generally concerned with your social style.

Some jobs need a lot of interaction with other people and some companies have a sociable culture, in which case they will consider interpersonal skills and relationships as critical. Of course, some companies are the opposite, but these are much less likely to ask you this question.

How to answer

Show that you are a sociable person and easily get on with other people (you should have been doing this from the moment you entered the interview room). Indicate that you like people and consider other people as important.

I do like working with others and consider it very important that we get on -- after all, we sink or swim together. I always make sure that I am approachable and encourage colleagues to call me when they need support.

Also talk about your approach to working with other people. In this, you can show that, although you are collaborative, you are not a push-over.

It is important in my job to work proactively with others, going to see them rather than waiting for them to come to me. Whilst I try to fit in with their schedule, I know when I am being fobbed off and make sure that I get serious consideration.

Do not be destructively critical of other people. Where you need to show that working with others is not all sweetness and light, use words like 'challenge', 'problem' and 'difficult' (and then show how you meet those challenges).

Whilst I get on well with most people, there is one difficult person who tends to take over meetings. She is not all bad and I can handle her awkwardness with a gentle but firm hand.

See also

Assertiveness

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