An example of when you successfully coached a member of your team?

  | James Innes

Can you give me an example of when you have successfully coached a member of your team?

Alternative and related questions:

Have you ever been asked to help train a new member of staff?

The meaning behind the question:

You’d be wrong in thinking that this is a question just for managers. This question could be asked of anyone who works in a team – which is pretty much everyone! In all lines of work the ability to help others to further develop their skills and experience is a valuable attribute. How you describe your example will tell the interviewer a lot about you.

Your answer:

You need to structure your answer logically so as to identify what the circumstances were, why the individual needed coaching, how you went about coaching them and, most important of all, what the outcome was. Coaching a team member is a project like any other. In order to deliver a successful answer to this question you’re going to need to demonstrate a successful outcome to your efforts.

The example you select will depend on your own personal experiences but, whatever example you choose, make sure you come out of it as the hero of the day.

If you’re struggling to find an example then the easiest is normally to pick a time when you had to help deal with a new member of staff. Coaching is a very broad term and helping to train a new colleague certainly falls under its umbrella.


In my current job for a mail-order company, I work as part of a team, processing orders received and liaising directly with our customers by telephone to handle and resolve any problems or queries. While administration forms the majority of the workload, there’s also a lot of customer contact. Recently, my manager took the decision to hire a new team member who had a lot of very valuable customer-facing experience but not so much administrative experience. While the new member of staff clearly needed no help dealing with customers on the telephone, it was obvious from the start that she was clearly struggling with the administrative side of things. As one of the most experienced members of the team, my manager asked if I could take this lady under my wing and help her to resolve the administrative difficulties she was having. Over a period of several days I took the time for her to initially shadow me in the work I was doing before moving on for me to let her do the work herself under my careful observation. She learned very quickly and within the week she was fully up to scratch and has since become an invaluable member of the team.

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