When an interviewer asks you to “describe an important project you worked on,” or “talk about a time that you worked on a big team project,” the question is not necessarily focused on the project. This is your interview so it is more focused on your approach to the project.
In asking this question the interviewer is trying to get a feel for your work ethic. Usually, an important project contains several different aspects and involves being able to work with others effectively, amongst other skills. In answering this question, it is important to address these things.
Points to Emphasize
To effectively answer this question, focus on what contributions you made to the project and how you helped to spear it forward.
Clearly state the objective of the project and your contribution in reaching the objective.
Showcase your commitment to completing the task.
Highlight skills that you utilized to complete the project that relate to the position you are apply for.
Emphasize the success of the project.
Remember to keep your answer focused on you and the role you played in achieving the set goals.
Mistakes You Should Avoid
It can be easy to begin rambling about a previous work experience. Stay clear and concise by avoiding these mistakes and pitfalls.
Do not focus on the contribution of others, but do not belittle them either.
Even if the task was difficult, do not focus on negatives or share how you did not like the project.
Do not talk about a project you did not complete successfully.
Even if your teammates did not pull their weight, do not make it sound like you were the only contributor because it might come off as if you are “embellishing” the truth.
It is important that you be able to explain how you were a helpful contributor to the project and not lazy or a one-man-show.
An example of an answer to this question might sound like this:
In my last position the other managers and I had to promote a seminar series that the company was providing. I aided in producing and distributing the flyers, developed incentives for the customers to attend and promoted the event to all customers who visited the store. We exceeded the company’s goals by reaching over 50% capacity for each seminar.
In answering this question you want to briefly share the aim of the project, focus on your skills and contributions to its completion and share the positive final outcome.