In this blog, we have put together some of the most logical answers to the frequently asked HR interview question “What is the difference between group and team?”. Do not get nervous when this question crops up. Prepare confidently with these ready-to-use answers and face your interviewer with full confidence.

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Sample Answer #1

“Sir/Ma’am, from my professional and educational experience, I have understood that a group and a team can be differentiated on the basis of just one factor. That is unity. When more than 2 people work towards a common goal, they can be called a team. Whereas, any set of people who stand together without any goal or purpose, can be called a group. A team is result/output oriented. Let me explain further. If a work is given to a group, it is very much likely that the work would be divided between the members and each one of them will work out their part, without any coordination with the other members. On the other hand, if a task or project is given to a team, they will collectively take the responsibility and work together with the goal to achieve a desired result. They will cooperate and coordinate with each other at all times.”

Sample Answer #2

“Let me give you an example. If you are in an elevator with some people, you are in a group. But suddenly, if the lift fails due to some technical issue, you will all help each other to open the jammed door and get out. At that moment, you become a team. That’s the basic difference between a group and a team. Groups don’t have a strong spirit of cooperation among team members, to help each other achieve a common goal. Whereas a team has a beautiful blend of the above elements. The level of professional togetherness is stronger in a team at organizations as well, as compared to a group. In the above example, the basic motive of the team was to anyhow get out of the situation and save themselves from miss happenings through cooperation. I hope and believe I have answered this question to your expectations.”

Sample Answer #3

“Sir/Ma’am, I have a few years of work experience under my belt. At all the organizations I have worked for, I have been a part of a team. When any work was assigned to us, we would all be collectively responsible to deliver it on time as well as adhere to quality standards. As a result, we would always cooperate with each other and support one another whenever needed. On the other hand, after office, we would step out for some snacks and beverages in small groups. At the counter, we always placed orders for our selves. Such groups are comprised of people with certain common characteristics in their personalities. They share an attitude and have a common perception or opinion towards any event or a person. This is natural and has very little professional interference. But these groups do not function in a coordinated manner, like teams do. Hope my answer was clear enough about the difference between group and team.”

Sample Answer #4

“Sir/Ma’am, I perceive the difference between group and team from the animal kingdom. A lion hunts alone, eats its fill and then brings the leftovers to its family. This characteristic is also commonplace among humans. We do not kill, but we arrange for food by shopping alone, sometimes we snack alone and later, we may share the food with our friends and family. Here, the family is a group, as there is an uneven task distribution among its members. Also, actions are individually performed by each and every family member. But on closely analyzing the strategy of an ant, I have seen that getting or gathering food calls for a lot of cooperation on their part. Ants perform all the tasks together, gather more than enough supplies and only then retire to eat their food. This is true team spirit. Every member of a team, even at a workplace, cooperates and coordinates so that the common goal is reached. In the end, they share the credits or appreciations received. Now, I hope that I have successfully given you a clear picture of the difference between a team and a group.”

Sample Answer #5

“Sir/ma’am, a group comprises of two or more people who recognize themselves as distinct units or departments. But they generally work independently of each other to achieve a greater goal. They are formed due to some commonalities in behavior, perception, attitude or similar opinion towards a person or event. On the other hand, a team is a unit of two or more people who interact regularly and coordinate well to accomplish a shared goal or purpose. They are more organized and have a well thought out working strategy in place. Team members also follow a standard set of protocols in organizations. This guideline is created by the management and employees in teams are bound to operate within these set standards. Hope this would comply with the answer you want. This is what I feel is the difference between groups and teams.”

Sample Answer #6

“Sir, there are several differences between a group and a team. Firstly, the goal of a group is to just share information with each other. Group members identify their personal goals only. They don’t focus much on the ultimate greater or common goal. On the other hand, a team focuses on collective performance and a common goal. So they contribute significantly even towards each other’s performance enhancement. Secondly, in a group, the synergy is mostly neutral or sometimes, even negative. But in a team, the synergy is always positive. Thirdly, in a group, the accountability is always individual where each member is answerable only for their own work and nothing else. In the case of team, the accountability is both individualistic as well as mutual. This means each member is responsible for the goal and also for the completion of their task. The common objective of every team member is to perform collectively and focus on each other’s task as well. Sorry if my answer is too long but I have another point to make. Thank You! The difference between skill sets of team members compliment each other. Hence, work gets accordingly distributed for best possible coordination. That’s all I have to say. Thank you once again for listening so patiently.”

Sample Answer #7

“I can explain the difference with what I learnt from an old story! Once, a farmer gave each of his sons a thin stick to break. All the sons were able to break their sticks into two halves in no time. On the next day, the farmer brought 10 sticks and tied them up tightly together into a bundle. Then he asked each of his sons to take turns and break the bundle of sticks. One by one, all of them tried to break the bundle but none of them was successful in the task. At that point, the farmer said “Boys, this is the difference between a group and a team. If you all work together in a team, each member can support the other at the time of crisis and no one will ever be able to break your moral.’ The same logic applies to an organization. Groups lack unity and hence, are not psycologically strong enough to accomplish a common goal. On the other hand, teams are stronger and more successful when it comes to performing a common task. The collective efforts of team members towards a common goal is the key differentiator between a group and a team.”

Sample Answer #8

“Sir/ma’am, there are several bookish answers to this question. But I will try to keep it simple. The job role for which I am being interviewed requires a collective effort. I will have to work in a team, if at all I get selected for this position. Also, the company has trusted you and your HR team to put in best possible efforts and hire a resource within a stipulated timeline. So you have formed a panel to coordinate and carry out this task. Your team must have interviewed quite a few candidates, including me, to identify and select the best potential resource. On the other hand, you might as well be sharing common traits or opinions with other people in this organization, who are your friends. You and they form a group and together you like to hang out. Hope I have been able to make myself clear.”

Sample Answer #9

“The difference between group and team is their segregation and connectivity respectively. In a group, members are least bothered about responding to the needs of other members. They are just concerned about what and how they have to complete their own task. Basically, they are selfish! On the other hand, there is a strong connectivity between members within a team. Apart from doing their own work, members in a team cooperate to achieve the ultimate objective assigned to their team. The working style is collective in nature and all are aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. In a group, this is not the case. In most of the cases, group members hardly care about each other. For example, in ICC cricket world cup, both India and Pakistan were in Group A. But India itself was a team. The Indian team had nothing to do with the performance of the Pakistani team, yet they were in the same Group.”

Sample Answer #10

“Sir/ma’am, before this interview round, I attended the GD or group discussion round. In the GD round, 20 of us were divided into 4 groups of five members each. We were asked to face the GD panel, one group at a time. We tried to cooperate with each other during the discussion, but our individual performance was not dependent on anybody or anything else. In the end from my group, I and another guy made it through into this round, and now I am seated here. There was hardly any teamwork in GD round, except for cooperation and basic communication etiquettes within the group. Whereas, in a team, my performance is never my own. Rather it is a collective performance that I need to carry out with all the other members. The level of coordination and cooperation in a team, is way higher than that of a group. For example, in my final year at college, I presented a technical paper on ‘Astrophotography’ with 3 other guys. Our skills complimented each other greatly. Hence, we were able to bag the first prize in that national level Symposium.”

Sample Answer #11

“Well, groups and teams have a difference of internal organization and working methodologies. Groups tend to focus more on the individual performance and each member is least concerned about how the other members are completing a task. Everyone wants to complete their own part and get away with it as fast as possible. To facilitate this, they often divide the work on an individual basis. On the other hand, a team is a group of people having a strong cohesive force of coordination with each other. They work collectively to create an environment of support and cooperation, to keep the synergy positive. The focus of each member is not just to finish a task, but also to help, motivate and improve each other in the process. So, in a team, all the members grow professionally in their career through an assigned task, but this never happens in a group.”

Sample Answer #12

“A group member says, “We will divide the work and each member has to anyhow complete their portion of assigned work within the deadline.’ The words of a team member are like this, “We have to anyhow finish this task. Each member can suggest ideas, describe their own and others’ roles, help others and work on delivering high quality within the deadline. In case of any trouble, feel free to approach anyone else in this team for immediate help. Lets brainstorm together to come up with a faster solution.’ These words show a clear difference between a group and the team. A group consists of individual players whereas a team consists of integrated and coordinated players. A group tends to focus more on the final objective rather than the individually assigned objectives. A team wishes to achieve the goal collectively with the cooperation and support of each other. Hope I am clear.”

So the above-given answers can help you stand out. After you correctly answer the tactical HR interview question ‘What is the difference between a group and a team?’, your interviewer will be able to successfully differentiate you from the rest of the candidates.

All the best!!!!! 🙂

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