Peer to peer interview questions tend to be difficult to understand. They leave candidates stressed and without a solid understanding of how they should prepare for their next job interview.
Regardless of how much you prepare, it seems that the stress associated with these interviews is inescapable. However, you do not have to feel this way.
There are numerous strategies you could use to prevent uneasy feelings, gain confidence, answer questions effectively, and ultimately, acquire the job you dream of. In this article, we will outline what peer to peer interviews are, the types of questions commonly asked, and how you can effectively respond to them.
What are we focusing on during peer interview questions?
There are numerous steps most candidates go through when getting hired. Some companies employ a unique technique to help them decide if a candidate is right for their organization. This strategy is called peer to peer interviewing.
The goal of peer to peer interviews is to see how cohesively different team members can interact with the new hire. It allows them to assess their values, personality traits, commitments, goals, and other personal factors. A few of the personality traits and abilities peer to peer interviewers look for include:
You need to know how to work well with others to acquire the job you are applying for. This is true regardless of the type of job or company you are applying to. Without teamwork, a team is no longer a team.
You are not united under a common mission, and you will not achieve the goals you wish to attain. This will put the organization at a significant disadvantage over their competitors. Thus, if you want to stand out as a great candidate in peer to peer interviews, you must show you are a team player.
Motivated individuals tend to be productive. And, any team wants their employees to be productive. Productivity drives revenue, profit, and great customer experiences. When you are motivated, you are also committed to the team.
Organizations want to keep their turnover rates low, and motivated employees contribute to these low rates. Additionally, motivated individuals achieve goals at a much higher rate than others. They are low maintenance for managers and are generally positive to be around.
A crucial part of teamwork is the ability to communicate. Communication allows you to to avoid misunderstandings and optimize your time. It saves you both time and frustration, thus bettering the entire team.
Communication also contributes to your organization’s customers having a better experience with the company. It ensures that you serve the customer efficiently and accurately. In short, communication is necessary for nearly every aspect of working, and it will help you excel during your interview.
Adaptability to change
The world of business and technology is constantly changing. Candidates that are stagnant in their thinking and unwilling to change will quickly get overwhelmed.
This will hamper the business’s growth and place them behind their competition. On the other hand, candidates that are able to adapt to change improve the company’s efficiency. They are much better at making decisions, too.
Emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills will be extremely important during your peer to peer interview. Emotional intelligence assists you in making strong bonds with your colleagues and customers. It helps you empathize with them and put yourself in their shoes.
When you do this, you can make more accurate decisions that lead to success not just for you, but for the team as a whole.
Emotional intelligence boosts your creativity as well, as it helps you learn about new perspectives. It could even make you a better team player and communicator.
Ability to learn
Having a thirst for knowledge and a strong sense of curiosity is highly attractive for interviewers during peer to peer interviews. Individuals who have a passion for learning are constantly improving their knowledge and skills, which helps everyone on the team.
In addition, quick learners are also highly efficient individuals. They explore numerous techniques and employ the best tactics for approaching problems.
21 Peer Interview Questions and Answers
After learning about the numerous skills peer to peer interviews wish to see in their candidates, you may be thinking to yourself: what are the questions such interviewers ask? Every peer to peer interview is different.
Companies have different goals, values, and perspectives. Thus, they have different requirements for their employees and different questions they ask potential hires.
Still, you should learn about the commonly asked queries to better understand the interview process. Some of the most common questions include:
1. What is your primary communication method?
As previously described, communication is an extremely important part of peer to peer interviews. The interviewer want to make sure that you have the proper communication method to fit in with their team.
You should answer honestly so they can understand who you may work with and who you may struggle to understand.
One way to answer the question:
“My primary communication style is very frank. I will always be honest and tell others what I believe, straight to the point without sugarcoating anything. I believe this helps others learn about their strengths and weaknesses. However, I also use active listening skills to better understand their perspective on my input.”
2. Do you ever encounter difficulties when communicating with others? If so, what are they?
Undoubtedly, there will be times when you misunderstand others or miscommunicate. If you are aware of patterns where you fail to communicate well, it is good to be self-aware.
Answer the question in an honest way and do not try to hide your flaws, as it will only make you seem arrogant.
A sample response could be:
“I sometimes struggle to understand people who have are high got critical. There are times when I get overwhelmed by feedback. For example, if a customer tells me about multiple problems they are experiencing at once, I could get confused and may have to ask them to repeat themselves more slowly.”
3. Which form of communication do you respond negatively to?
Everyone has preferences, whether it be what they study in college or the person they marry. This is also true with the form of communication they excel working with, and which methods they struggle with.
While you may be great at working with more direct communicators, for example, passive communicators could be more challenging for you to navigate.
You could answer this question like this:
“I always try my best to listen to those I communicate with. However, it is challenging to work with individuals who are overly assertive. This form of communication intimidates me. It forces me to feel restricted in what I can and cannot do and limits my creativity. When people are overly direct, it I may take their criticisms a little to personally at times due to my perfectionism.”
4. What skills and experience do you bring to our team? Tell us about a time you helped you prior team succeed.
Interviewers want to hire candidates that have a track record of contributing to prior teams. By highlighting how you helped your last team accomplish their goals, you can outline your motivation, productivity, and other top strengths.
This will also allow the interviewer to better understand how you can contribute to their company.
A potential answer you could give is:
“While working at my prior organization, I often assisted new hires in using the updated technology our company used. Many new employees were unsure of how these programs worked. But, once I taught them, they used them highly efficiently and benefitted out team tremendously. I also assisted my team with planning and organizing team tasks. This helped us achieve goals much quicker.”
5. Have you ever worked with an individual who was not contributing much to your team? How did you address this problem?
While it is great to strive for building the best team of all time, every individual still has flaws. And some employees have more flaws than others.
The point of this question is to see if you are someone who takes action or someone who avoids conflict. You could be a combination of the two personality types, too.
To address this question, you could say something along the lines of:
“Yes, I have encountered individuals who simply do not pull their weight. I first tried to inspire this individual to become more passionate about their work. I tried to remind them they are part of a team and calmly explain how them avoiding their responsibilities was hurting the entire team. Then, when they still ignored my suggestions and help, I contacted a manager. They analyzed their productivity and found it was best to fire them.”
6. Tell us about a time when you acted as the leader in your workplace.
Knowing how to lead others, inspire them, and work alongside them are all qualities interviewers look for in their peer to peer interviews. They want to ensure you have experience being a top leader. This gives them more confidence in your ability to work with others.
Those who are great leaders must be skilled in inspiring others and communicating, too, this helping the interviewer learn about your top skills.
A potential way to answer this question could be:
“I led my team during a project focused on collecting customer experiences. My organization did not have an effective email marketing sequence before I was hired. So, I helped the team develop a funnel and begin a new email marketing campaign. I assisted in finding the technology to use and writing the script, as well as delegating other more technical tasks to more different departments. We were able to significantly reduce abandoned carts as a result of this new campaign.”
7. Tell me about a time when your input positively influenced a company project.
If you have specific examples of your ideas contributing to a project’s success, this is great evidence of your strengths. It truly helps you stand out in the eyes of the interviewer.
You should specifically outline what your role was in the project. Tell the interviewer the particular skills you utilized and how your presence in this project resulted in (or at least contributed to) success for the entire team.
For instance, you could say:
“My team was very set on creating a formal marketing script for one of our major ad campaigns. However, I spoke with numerous clients during networking events. They told me they remember more lighthearted ads far more than technical ads. I suggested we combine technicality with humor and contributed to creating the ad outline. In the end, that ad was one of our most successful campaigns, generating more than double the number of customers our least technical ad did.”
8. What is your strategy for re-engaging disengaged coworkers?
As previously mentioned, every team seeks to be the best. But realistically, there will always be some employees that are disengaged. The key is to quickly address these employees so that they can be re-engaged instead of fired.
The interviewer needs assurance that you are capable of this. That way, you can contribute to the cohesion of the team and help drive down turnover rates.
To answer this question, one could state:
“Whenever I notice that an employee is disengaged, I first try to make sure they feel heard. Sometimes, there is a misalignment with the tasks they are performing and their goals. I will also try to understand their personal situation and struggles. Then, I also try to remind them of their goals and why their work matters. This will usually add some energy to them and help them realize they are supported.”
9. How would you address an employee who seemed upset?
Employers want their employees to have one another’s back. They want individuals to have empathy and to support each other. Thus, the interviewer wants to see how you would treat an employee that is clearly upset.
They want to see your caring side, and that you do not just care about your own success and wellbeing, but rather, the entire team’s.
You could answer this question like this:
“I always try to form bonds with team members; we are like family. When I see someone visibly upset, I come to their side. If they need someone to talk to, I will be there. I will ensure I do not push them to reveal information they are not comfortable sharing. But, o will offer advice and help if they would like it. I truly believe in the power of active listening; sometimes, all it takes to feel a bit better is just having someone listen to you.”
10. Suppose you saw an employee stealing something from the workplace. What would you do, if anything?
Stealing in the workplace occurs more often than you would think. This is quite a blatant violation of the rules for most workplaces. The goal of the question is to see if you would be someone who strictly follows the rules and reports role breakers, or if you primarily avoid conflict first.
Clearly, your reaction would likely differ depending on what is being stolen. But if it is something major, you should highlight your willingness to be proactive.
One way to answer this question is:
“Although my reaction would likely depend on what is being stolen, I would likely report the individual if they stole something meaningful. I care about the success of the company and believe stealing hurts the team bond as well as our trust of one another. Stealing needs to be addressed, as it violates our company values.”
11. When you succeed, how do you celebrate?
Success calls for rewards! The interviewer wants to understand what a ‘reward’ looks like to you. Is it spending more time with your family? Relaxing while performing a particular hobby?
Or, maybe it’s something else entirely. Regardless, this question helps the interviewer better understand your personality. It contributes to their understanding of what makes you happy and what engages you, too.
A potential answer could be:
“I always celebrate my success by first acknowledging my team. I could have never achieved my work success without them. Then, I will invite the team to a relaxing outing. I personally enjoy more physically-oriented activities, such as bowling or mountain hiking. This helps me further bond with the team and enjoy a fun activity after my success.”
12. What do you do when you encounter failure?
Everyone will encounter failure at some point in their lives, no matter how successful and intelligent you are. You need to effectively overcome those struggles and failures. The greatest employees learn from these mistakes and use it as motivation to perform even better than they previously could. State some specific strategies you use to prevent the failure from pulling you down.
A sample answer would look like:
“Nobody enjoys failure, but for me, I always try to first analyze why I failed. Did I use a strategy that was inefficient? Did I just not give the work 100% of my effort? Then, I will create a plan for addressing that issue in the future. This will help me overcome this failure and use it for the better. I do not view failure as a personal issue, and try not to dwell on it for too long.”
13. Think about your prior team. What strengths would they say you had?
By analyzing your prior team’s thoughts of your abilities, the interviewer can get a great picture of your personality and skills. Many of the skills you list are likely qualities you still have.
Thus, they can evaluate whether you fill the skill gaps they need filled or not. They can evaluate whether your skills and strengths fit in with what the team needs the most in this particular role.
A potential answer could be something such as:
“My prior team members would state that I was a highly creative individual and a problem solver. Our team used to always use a certain marketing sequence before I became the team manager. When I led the team, I wanted to survey clients to see what they want most. From that data, I helped create a unique marketing campaign that customers truly enjoyed.”
14. What does excellent company culture look like to you? Tell us about a company that meets this description.
Company culture is an extremely important aspect of every team. You need to highlight what makes such a culture excellent. If your idea of a great company culture aligns with the company, then they will be more likely to hire you.
Company culture also revolves around numerous values, goals, and other factors, so this questions helps reveal other aspects of your personality as well.
To answer this question, you could say:
“The idea company culture should embrace the authenticity of all of its employees. This allows employees to feel comfortable at work and helps create a more cohesive environment. I feel quite uncomfortable when I see employees being left out. Also, this culture should be encouraging individuals to achieve their best. One example of a company with such a culture is Google. There, there is friendly competition. But, they welcome employees of all background and have no tolerance for racism, sexism, homophobia, or other forms of discrimination.”
We don’t always see eye-to-eye with our managers. How do you handle disagreements with them?
15. What is your preferred management style?
As an employee, you have likely worked with numerous managers throughout your life. They likely had different personality types management styles.
You likely worked better with some when compared to others. Everyone has preferences for their management style, and the interviewer needs to know you can work with the managers they currently have to succeed.
You could answer the question like this:
“I try my best to work effectively under any manager. However, I prefer managers to have the democratic style of leading. I highly value independence and creativity. When a leader is too restrictive and authoritarian, I typically become less passionate and less productive. On the other hand, democratic leaders give me the space and trust I need to make decisions effectively and create unique products.”
16. There will inevitability come issues that come along with any project. How do you react to these setbacks?
Projects, and working in general, come with unpredictable setbacks. Businesses want to hire employees that know how to quickly adapt to these surprises and overcome challenges.
They do not wish to hire employees that dwell on these problems. You need to highlight your adaptability and creative thinking when answering this question. Show that you can think on the spot.
To answer this question, one could state:
“I view the inevitable surprises that come along with projects as opportunities for growth. I try to remember what the overall goal of the project is, and then create a quick list of potential ways to address the issue at hand. From then, I will think about the customer feedback we previously received and review the strategies that previously worked best. I will adapt those strategies to match the situation keeping the customer feedback in mind as well.”
17. To achieve your potential, what would you like your team to do?
The team you work with is a major portion of whether you succeed or not in a certain field. The interviewer is trying to understand what specific team characteristics most contribute to your success.
If you describe a team that does not align with their company, they will know your potential is unlikely to be met in such an environment. However, if your ideal team aligns with their existing team, you will be viewed as a great candidate.
To answer this question, you can say something along the lines of:
“I work best in teams that respect individual privacy and individuality in general. I love working in teams, but some of my best work is done when I am alone. I need some space at times to think creatively and take calculated risks. I always appreciate feedback as well, and would like teams that give me honest feedback.”
18. What is the most meaningful message you learned during your time as an office employee?
Work is about growth and constant learning. You should articulate a specific message that truly impacts your day to day life you learned from prior work experience.
Your answer will reveal what you find important, thus giving the interviewer an insight into your values and work style. Do not just answer what the lesson was, but also state why it was meaningful to you.
A sample answer could be:
“When I was a junior employee, I learned that developing strong relationships with customers was one of the most important things I could ever do in work. I started to learn each customer’s preference and better understand their needs. I employed more active reasoning as a result, too. As a result of me becoming more customer oriented, my manager named me one of the top employees at the organization. And, I developed bonds with customers that last even outside of work!”
19. Is there any question you wish I would have asked you?
This sort of question often throws employees off a bit. However, the point of such a query is to understand what the candidate is genuinely passionate about and curious for.
You should answer by stating a question that relates back to your values and the company you are applying to. This will help the employer better understand what drives you and how well you can fit in with their team.
One way to answer this question is:
“I wish you would have asked me about my mentors. When I first started working in this industry, I was confused. I did not have a goal in mind or passion for the industry. However, I met an industry leader at one industry conference as a youth. He took me under his wings and taught me key principles that helped me become the worker I am today. He inspired me by showing me the impact this work has on the lives of others. Now, I am committed to this work and I am truly passionate.”
20. Do you prefer solo work or working with a group?
As someone in an organization, you will certainly need to work with others. However, many organizations also look for employees that succeed independently and enjoy working alone. As a result, your answer should vary depending on the type of work you are entering.
If you match the interviewer’s needs, they will be more likely to hire you. Try to look at the job description to better understand if your personality aligns with what the company is looking for.
To answer this question, you could say:
“I prefer working alone. Although working with a team is great, I also enjoy having time to think to myself. I think I work best when I am not overwhelmed by other’s inputs. When I am alone, I feel more comfortable taking risks and tend to think more outside of the box. I still enjoy working on a team, but it is during my solo time that I achieve my best results.”
21. What qualities do you think every great coworker needs?
Keep in mind that the organization likely already has a team when you are answering this question. The interviewer wants to ensure that your ideal qualities are reflected in their team. Additionally, this question also helps the interviewer get a better understanding for the qualities you strive to uphold.
One way to answer this question is:
“The most important qualities for employees for have are problem solving, adaptability, and an ability to inspire. Problem solving helps the entire team stay efficient. Adaptability helps us also overcome problems and stay ahead of our commotion. And finally, inspiration motivates each and every employee to achieve the best of their potential.”
Questions for You to Ask in a Peer Interview
When you think of interviews, you typically imagine individuals asking you a plethora of questions and then judging how well you answer them.
This is a key part of the interview. However, interviews are not one-sided. Realize that you can, and should, ask the interviewer questions as well. Asking meaningful questions can help you stand out from the crowd.
It shows that you are engaged in the conversation and that you are willing to go above and beyond to better understand the organization. These positive qualities will likely translate into you being a great candidate.
Some answers you can ask during (or at the end) the interview are:
- How quickly are you looking to hire someone?
- Who will I be reporting to?
- What is your training process for new hires?
- How frequently do you perform performance reviews?
- What does an ideal candidate look like for this role?
How to Prepare for a Peer to Peer Interview Questions
If you ask employees what they feel when preparing for interviews, you will rarely get positive answers. Many feel stressed, confused, and overwhelmed. These emotions prevent individuals from properly getting ready and decrease their confidence.
As a result, they are less likely to acquire the job of their dreams. However, there are relatively simple strategies you could use to effectively get prepared.
One of the best ways to prepare is by reviewing the questions you could be asked during the interview. People tend to be worried about the interview because they do not know what they will be asked, and thus do not have any answered prepared.
However, if you study the potential questions you may be asked and formulate general answers before the interview, you will feel much more confident. These questions will not surprise you or make you anxious.
Another excellent method for preparing is looking over the company website and job description. You should be well aware of the company’s ideal candidate, goals, values, and other key qualities.
This will help the interviewer understand that you look deeply and research thoroughly when it comes to important questions. It shows you are passionate and prepared. And, if your values align with the company’s values, you will seem like a great candidate.
In addition to these strategies, you should also review some of the company’s reviews on employee rating sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and so on. They will give you free insights into some of the questions that are very likely to be asked.
The employees also describe their personal experiences and the management style of the company’s leaders. Thus, you will have greater insight into the organization so your interview answers can be more specific to this organization. If you have friends who used to work at this company, ask them about their experiences.
Note if they remember anything about their interviews and the key parts of working there (such as company culture or top company goals). By following all of these tips, you will feel significantly more confident and be much more prepared for the peer to peer interview.