No matter what your job is, it will most certainly require some amount of social interaction. When you are applying for a job, one of the questions you will face is if you are a team player or not. Your answer should always be a reassuring YES. You will also be required to give examples or incidents where you worked successfully as a team.
This is not only an important but also a meaningful question as it gives the interviewer an insight into how well you would be able to work as part of their current team. Teamwork is essential in many aspects of a job.
So how should you handle this question being shot at you?
Are You A Team Player? Interview Question and Answers:
1. Always Maintain A Positive Stance:
The reason this is a favourite question of interviewers, is because any sort of work environment will consist of teamwork. Your ability to communicate, adapt, cooperate and work in harmony with the rest of your team players will help shape the rest of your work life in the firm.
While it might be a fact that some people prefer to work alone, and might also be more productive when working alone, you must learn to also work as a team. If you are unable to work as a team, you must reconsider applying for a job where it is essential to be a team player.
Keep An Incident Ready Which Proves Your Abilities As A Good Team player
The next question you will be faced with is to name an incident which proves your skills as a good team player. In this sort of a situation, try and remember incidents where you have been able to handle difficult situations in teamwork, how you have been able to maintain harmony in the team, overcome communication barriers, and successfully completed a team project.
The interviewer will assess these qualities and base his opinions on them regarding how productive you would be for the firm. If he judges that you do not possess the necessary qualities to work as a team, it might cause a hitch in the interview process.
2. Keep Your Examples Recent:
While answering this question during interviews, people often tend to get carried away giving examples of their past teamwork experiences. Avoid doing this, and stick to only recent, relevant information. Teamwork experience which you had in school projects or during volunteer work may not be as significant while answering this question, unless this experience was something worthy of remembering. Remember to keep the incidents short, but relevant.
3. Pick Incidents In Where You Particularly Shine:
A good way to catch the attention of the interviewers would be to pick an incident in which you were particularly able to shine and showcase your talent. This might be an incident where you were able to bring a team together and produce a successful end result, or where you were able to solve a conflict in your team, or any way in which you were able to help the company achieve some extraordinary results.
4. Be A Good Listener:
One of the essential qualities of being a good team player is to be a good listener. Don’t be over enthusiastic while answering the questions being shot at you. While you might be a good leader, or produce excellent work while working alone, this is not the quality the interviewers want to see when they ask you this question. Instead, they wish to see how well you would maintain a good, open communication line with your other team players. So while you might have incidents or answers ready at your fingertips, learn to keep a cool and calm composure so that the interviewers know that you are a good listener as well, and you would give equal importance to the thoughts and ideas of the other team players, as well as recognize their viewpoints.
5. Maintain A Professional Demeanour:
Working in a professional environment will require you to act professionally as well. Being part of a team does not mean that you can get away with behaviour you would normally showcase in an environment outside your workplace. While it is acceptable for you to see your colleagues privately outside work, when you are working together, you must maintain a very professional demeanour. This means to maintain strict workplace names, you shouldn’t address your colleague using a nickname, even if you are close buddies outside of work. A discipline must be maintained while equally distributing work and submitting the work on time. It is also extremely important to take into account everybody’s viewpoints on the shared topic, and not only to showcase your own ideas in the limelight.
6. Display Your Team Player Qualities:
In order to show your hiring manager that you would be a good team player, try and show them some of your team player qualities. While it may be true that you may prefer to work alone, when you are faced with this question, your hiring manager wants to particularly see your qualities when you are part of a team, not your independent qualities.
In this situation, showcase positive team player qualities, such as the ability to adapt to situations, encouraging other team members to work, maintaining a positive vibe, communicating well with other members, not hogging up credit for the entire teams efforts, and also to give due credit to team members where it is required.
7. Equality Is Key:
In any teamwork experience, it is essential to remember that all the team players must be treated equally. No one can be favoured or brought down. The whole idea of a teamwork project is to combine the inputs of several members and fashion one good project out of it. In this sort of a project, you must be able to make your employer believe that you are successfully able to do in a team and take on equal responsibility of work as the other players. Being a team player does not mean delegating work to the other players. It is exactly the opposite of that, where you are able to work in cohesion with the other members.
8. Don’t Lead Them To Believe That You Cannot Work Independently:
While you might be desperately trying to showcase qualities proving your worth as a team player, do not over do this attempt and bring your interviewers to believe that you are unable to work independently. You should also equally assure them that you are able to work alone and can deliver to their requirements. While your hiring managers might be looking for a team player, they do not want to hire someone who is solely able to work when assisted by a team and is unable to produce any results on his own. Assure your hiring managers that you enjoy working alone on projects and have been able to deliver results in the given period successfully. Your hiring mangers want to see your overall qualities as an employee and not only your qualities as a good team player.
9. Remember, There Is No ‘I’ In ‘TEAM’:
The final and most important thing to remember when faced with this question, is to always remember the motto- There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’. This means that every decision you take, or any changes you want to make in your project while working with a team has to be in cohesion with the thoughts and decisions of all the other team members. The question asked here, is not if you are a team leader, but if you are a team player. So, you must be able to make them believe that you are thoroughly capable of working harmoniously with other team members. Being a part of a team isn’t about making all the big decisions yourself, it is about cooperation, harmony, and exchange of ideas and views where you all can come to a similar decision. You must always be careful to avoid creating a vicious atmosphere, as your managers will always be keeping an eye on each member and their contributions, and your attitude and work will eventually shape your future in the firm.
In today’s highly competitive world many organisations are producing similar products and services using almost the same resources, which also includes manpower as the most important resource. The organisation which ultimately succeeds is the one which provides the best team leadership. Team ideas create innovation, as these organisations nurture human creativity. When all the employees of an organisation are given a fair and equal chance to voice out their creativity, it leads to bright new ideas sprouting out which can give the organisation a competitive edge, and help them shine over other organisations.
It is thus important for an organisation to nurture human creativity and innovation, and support more team work activities. It is essential for you to also be able to give and take ideas and be open minded and responsive to team work initiatives taken by the organisation.