This is partly an interview question and partly a real life scenario. I was part of a six people project. One particular student would constantly not come to meetings citing one excuse or another. I was particularly annoyed with this attitude but since most students weren't saying much, i decided to stay calm till someone brought it up or progress started to lag; this didn't take long time.

So we collectively decided to do the following things: 1. Ask for regular updates 2. Give a task which was independent of other modules Since the project also had peer reviews no one wanted to be things end up in bad terms. Even after doing this, she wasn't able to complete her task and our project got delayed.

When asked in an interview to handle such a situation i gave the same response as above. 1. Ask for regular updates 2. Give a task which was independent of other modules What else could have I done? What else could have I said?

  • It sounds like a school project. Actually, it sounds like just about every "team-based" school project I ever worked on. One issue with team-based school projects is that professors generally don't let you get rid of team members. So you are stuck with her. If you want a good grade then what happens is that the unproductive person's tasks are taken over by people who don't want a bad grade. At some point that person eventually decides they want to contribute and you can give them the grunt work. That was what I experienced in my college days. It let me get good grades and not delay projects.
    – Dunk
    Commented Feb 23, 2015 at 23:01

2 Answers 2


every project should have a project manager/team leader.
And as delay/shortage in her work affects the grade for all of the team (assuming that you are students, and doing a graduation project or so).
The team leader should send her a notification email and CC the upper management (your supervisor in this case).
if this didn't push her to straighten her situation, the team leader should ask the supervisor to terminate her (or move her) from the team.


Assuming you aren't this persons manager, you need to report the situation to your manager. This person is an impediment. Asking for regular updates should come from management. Regularly asking for updates should be approached cautiously, but if the answers are unsatisfactory you should take that to your manager.

Handing out tasks is again a job for management. But I wouldn't recommend trying to find an isolated project -- if you are the manager that may help you confirm whether the person is performing adequately or not, but it can also lead to a project not being completed on time.

Also, if you are the manager, how you respond will depend upon your location, in most of the US, the answer will frequently be to simply let them go.

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