Could you tell me about a time when you improved your ideas based on your teammate's suggestion?

Your interviewer has no mercy. They’ve brought out the big guns already.

Why is that, though?

Among many things, your job is to retain talent. But without listening to your employees, their needs, and opinions, you’re doomed to fail. Miserably.

Prove with your answer that your team has a say.

Situation: We conduct regulatory spot checks for our finance department in England every summer.

Task: This year, the team had to complete the process for the Scottish employees, too. So I established a universal process for all employees, and the management approved it.

Action: My team member rightfully noted that we didn’t have to ask for a signature from the Scottish employees to start the whole process. Whereas in England, we had to. She ran her finding with legal and was right.

Result: Thanks to her initiative, we reduced this particular process to one e-mail and completed Scottish checks way ahead of schedule.

It wasn’t so difficult, was it?

Notice there’s a trick to coming up with the best answers.

It’s the STAR method technique to disarm interview questions for managers:

  1. Start by describing a Situation
  2. Move on to an assigned Task
  3. Point out the Action you took.
  4. Show off the final Result.

That way, you’ll avoid follow-up questions from recruiters probing for more detailed answers and clutching their teeth while waiting for you to slip up.