The Toughest Job Interview Questions – Question 8

“What does cooperation mean?”

Before you read on, remember that these questions are not provided for you to merely skim over. The planning and preparation of answers is essential to maximizing your interviewing prowess. The only way to succeed is to match your background to a positive, upbeat, convincing answer for each of these questions. Start with your resume, know every word on it. Another key part of your preparation is company research. You should know as much about the company as you possibly can before you arrive for the interview.

Cooperation means working with subordinates, superiors and peers to establish an environment of excellence as a member of the team in order to meet organizational goals.

That was the answer and here is the thought process to help you understand the why behind the answer. When you listen to our “best answer” you may be tempted to say that sounds like a company policy statement. In some ways you would be close to right. However here is the key, the question was intended to find out from you do you focus on yourself or the company?

Realize that the interviewer is acting on behalf of the company. A leader in the company needs to be concerned about their staff, their customers and the company. For the company to succeed and be there for the employees and customers there needs to be a focus that communicates commitment.

If your response to “cooperation” meant that others didn’t give you a hard time and that you had the freedom to get done what you had come to do, it was all about you. If your response to “cooperation” meant how can we, the whole staff at all levels work together to achieve harmony of purpose, positive momentum and energy for success of the organizational goals you are no longer thinking of self but of the team’s success.

If that was your focus those you are interviewing with are now salivating wondering how quickly they can get you signed up for the team. People can be taught skills but a commitment to mission takes internal focus. It has to be a part of you and employers know this. Antoine de Saint-Exupery, in his writing, Flight to Arras, said, “The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit.”

To achieve a better job for better pay and have a better life, commit to excellence.


P.S. Don’t miss our next segment on Question 9, “What did you think of your boss?”

P.P.S. Don’t miss our Radio Program – Better Job, Better Pay, Better Life!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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