How to Define Cooperation in a Job Interview

Define cooperation in terms of overcoming the barriers to it.

Define cooperation in terms of overcoming the barriers to it.

Expect numerous questions during your job interview. Plan ahead of time for even the most common of questions. One of these questions often includes how you define cooperation. Though this simple question might seem like a trick, interviewers usually ask it as a way of testing whether you prepared for the interview, and that you don't have any unexpected ideas about your role in the workplace.

Begin your response by qualifying that your answer pertains only to you. Say something like, "Cooperation, to me..." This makes your answer look genuine, and shows humbleness and open-mindedness by acknowledging that other people have different views, which is one reason the interviewer asked you this question.

Phrase the main substance of your answer in terms of overcoming the likely barriers to cooperation, and use active imagery. For example, coworkers inevitably have disagreements. Seize upon this common problem by saying when you have disagreements you step back for a moment and look at the bigger picture to determine the best interests of the company.

Segue into your conclusion by saying you recognize how important cooperation is to the overall success of the organization. Finishing by admitting that, as an individual, you will often have your own opinions, but you know your role is to support the organization. That you also have both the desire and the discipline to make that decision.

 

About the Author

Josh Fredman is a freelance pen-for-hire and Web developer living in Seattle. He attended the University of Washington, studying engineering, and worked in logistics, health care and newspapers before deciding to go to work for himself.

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