“Are you a team player?” You will be asked in almost every interview. This is probably because teamwork is crucial for almost every job, from entry-level to manager.
There are many jobs in which workers spend a great deal of their time focusing on projects in relative isolation. But even the most independent contributor needs to communicate about their work and collaborate to achieve business goals.
Almost any job you can find will require you to have some level of team skills. There is social interaction in the workplace and you may need to work with other people at times, so having the skills is important.
When an interviewer asks you ” Are you a team player?” You should be able to answer the question with confidence as “yes”. Your answer is always well supported if you can provide an explanation of how you can work as a team.
How to answer the question, Are you a team player?
The most important step in answering this question is before the interview. Research the role and the company to make sure you understand what teamwork looks like in that particular organization.
Then, before you respond, think about the best way to contribute to a team.
- Do you get along with people?
- Are you an effective contributor?
- Can you communicate with people from different backgrounds and different personalities?
- Can you motivate people?
- Do you know how to tactfully reject?
- Can you arbitrate conflicts?
- Can you handle difficult personalities?
Here are some examples of positive opening:
Are you a team player?
“Although my manager tended to assign individual responsibilities to each member of the group, as colleagues we have always worked as a team to ensure that each person successfully completed their task”.
“I have worked independently and with others and have been successful in both positions. While some tasks are individual and require only one person, others require teamwork properly. “
“Working in a team is something that I enjoy and have experience with. I have the capacity to be committed and I am respectful towards my colleagues. In addition, I am a good listener as a team member and I am open to comments. In my previous job, I led the team responsible for researching how we could increase the productivity of our employees by improving our offices, supplies and workplaces.
Within the team, we assess suppliers by comparing quality, price and service contracts. Based on our initial information gathering, we have compiled a short list of 5 vendors interested in updating our office. Several team members had their preferences, which made it difficult to quickly make a final decision.
I suggested forming teams of two by two and introducing each vendor to the team and discussing the pros and cons. That way, everyone on the team would know each vendor and take them into consideration based on what launches were happening. During each launch, everyone listened intently and asked questions.
Finally, everyone was able to vote on the supplier that best suits our company. The company has been working with this supplier ever since and the cooperation has been very successful. “
“I tend to do well in a team because I can communicate well with others, have a professional demeanor and I understand what it takes to get the job done. I can help delegate tasks, get involved and fulfill any role in the team that is needed. I am flexible to work independently or in a team, depending on the needs of the task at hand”.
“I understand and appreciate the fact that a team environment is productive and efficient. I have the ability to engage, to show respect to others and to listen to the needs of my teammates. While I can be a leader when needed, I can also play an equal role in the team when the situation calls for it. “
It is also important to note that these types of questions can be asked in several different ways, for example:
- Can you tell me about a team project in which you participated?
- Could you share a rewarding team experience?
- Describe a project that required the participation of people at different levels of the organization?
To keep your answers focused and concise, use the STAR technique, which is a proven and reliable method of answering interview questions.
- S – situation: I was working as a cashier and we had to pay customers no matter how many items they had.
- T-task: Even though I didn’t have any customers, my coworker was very busy with an order from a large customer, so I had to make sure he got the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
- A – attention: I made sure that no other customer was waiting. Then I went to help my colleague by helping him pack the items.
- R – result: The customer was very satisfied with the speed and efficiency of the service and my colleague appreciated my help.
Don’t be surprised if the interviewer asks you a question about a negative teamwork experience, for example, they might ask you the question;
- Tell me about a team project that was a complete failure?
- Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult member of the team.
The last question is one of the favorite interview questions for many hiring managers.
Remember that these questions are not “trick” questions, the interviewer will really want to know how you handle difficult situations.
Again, the STAR method should be your preferred answer:
- Situation: I was responsible for collecting money for the office party and one of the employees did not donate.
- Homework: he needed to know why he wouldn’t help pay for the party without offending her.
- Action: I took him aside and politely asked why he hadn’t donated so far. It turned out that he was having serious financial problems, so I decided to donate for him.
- Result: The party went as planned, the staff member was still able to attend and no one was told about their personal issues.
Also, read – A Complete Guide to Work From Home Jobs
Tips for giving the best answer
When you talk about teamwork and put together anecdotes to share your accomplishments, keep these tips in mind:
Stick to recent examples
Try to take an example from the past unless something older is particularly impressive. Passing on an outdated story about how you worked with a team to give the entire company high-speed internet access isn’t appealing.
Blow your own horn
Choose an experience that sets you apart and shows how you’ve contributed to a team that has achieved spectacular results.
Consider the relevance
Give an example that is most relevant to the company you are interviewing with. Draw the parallel so they can see how you would be successful as a team with them.
Pick an example that demonstrates additional strengths in addition to teamwork.
Focus your response
Highlight your story as bullet points instead of memorizing a script.
How to write a CV that will turn employers on!
These answers will show that you can be a team player, but you won’t need someone to hold your hand around the clock. Employers want independent employees who can take care of themselves. , but who are not so independent that they cannot work with others.
If you display your skills and abilities in this way, you will usually get a much better response.
It’s really about finding the right words to give them everything they ask for. If you take the time to prepare in advance, you can usually give a great response to “Are you a team player?”
You can also use the experience gained in previous positions to prove your ability to work independently or in a team. This will help make sure that you are really capable and that you don’t just tell them what they want to hear. Ultimately, it’s about being prepared.
7 ways to be a good team player
Teamwork brings together different points of view and allows creativity and new ideas to flourish. Plus, you have trusted people you can turn to for support, meaning your shoulders are less stressed, which means you’re freer to take smart risks.
So how can you work well with others? Check out these seven ways to be a great team player.
Respect your deadlines
To earn the goodwill of your colleagues, you need to be trustworthy, says Denise Dudley, career advisor and author of Work it! Come in, get noticed, get promoted. Bottom line: you want to establish yourself as someone you trust, someone who produces high quality work on a timely basis and on time.
“If you say you’re going to do something, do it and do it right,” Dudley said.
Reliability is particularly important in group projects; After all, if you miss a deadline, your mistake can negatively affect the whole team.
Being a team player is being open to the ideas and perspectives of others, says Russell. It means honing your listening skills and being receptive to feedback from your colleagues. So instead of getting defensive when you receive constructive criticism, see what you can take away from their advice.
In fact, stronger team players seek feedback from their colleagues, Russell says. For example, after completing group work, Russell recommends asking his colleagues for suggestions on how to improve your next project.
Appreciate the work styles of others.
Understanding how to work well with a variety of personalities can be difficult, especially in today’s multigenerational workforce, as millennials and millennials often have different work styles than baby boomers. However, understanding how each of your coworkers performs best can make you a better team player.
Adapting your communication style to different personalities can help you avoid problems with your colleagues and collaborate more effectively. Take our quick quiz to find out which of these four common types of employees best describes you and how you can work well with others.
Anything you do as a team will not be successful; There will be many failures along the way. But the obsession with mistakes only ruins the gears of progress. That’s why flexibility is one of the main characteristics of a team player, says Russell. So the next time you run into a problem, make sure you respond to it in a reasonable way.
“Instead of being upset that something didn’t work,” says Russell, “take a step back and say, ‘Okay, I know we have to go in a different direction. Let’s find out what we’re going to do. ”
Avoid office politics
Strong teamwork is important for healthy work culture. Office politics can create a toxic work environment, even when you’re working remotely, but you don’t have to be part of it. “You want to keep your nose clean,” Dudley says.
To achieve this, always treat your coworkers with respect and don’t become office gossip. If you have a problem with a coworker, try to bring it up directly with the person before reporting it to your boss or the human resources department.
Focus on the team’s goals
While you want to distinguish yourself as a high-performance actor ready for greatness, it’s important to focus on the big picture when working on a group project.
“The fundamental basis for being a good team player is that a person is willing and able to put the interests of the team above their own,” says Patrick Lencioni, author of The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the three essential virtues.
You might have done an amazing job on behalf of a presentation you were responsible for, but that doesn’t matter if the overall project doesn’t accomplish what you needed.
Celebrate the success of your peers
One of the easiest ways to build authentic relationships with coworkers is to give maturity credit, says Lencioni.
“The ideal team players are humble,” he said. “Humble people are quick to recognize the contributions of others and are slow to attract attention. They share the credit, put the team emphasis on themselves and define success collectively rather than individually.
Also, Read – Discover the many benefits of work from home jobs
So, Are you a team player?
COMPANY SURVEY: Find out what constitutes a team player in this profession and in this corporate culture.
Tell a Story: Prepare an anecdote that shows how you have worked together and achieved results in the past.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE: Be sincere, but look for an opportunity to show your strengths.