Summary: Identifying a team player during an interview can be challenging. Here are some top interview tips to make sure you're hiring the right person for your teams.
Most products and business processes require employees to work in teams. Employees need to communicate well with others, collaborate on different tasks, and interact with different kinds of personalities. That's easier said than done and often requires some innate skill.
Not all professionals are team players; many can't handle working with others on high-pressure assignments or environments. If teamwork is a vital aspect of your business processes, it is crucial to hire the right individuals for it. How do you know what a team player is and how do you identify one during the interview process?
What is a Team Player?
A team player isn’t just someone who can do their work efficiently while being a part of a team. They go above and beyond to ensure their team is successful. These professionals provide helpful feedback to their fellow team members, ask relevant questions about different aspects of a project, work well with colleagues at different levels, and focus on team success over personal achievements.
Identifying a team player during an interview process can be challenging. Most prospective candidates know companies value collaboration and will frame their answers accordingly. Here are some tips on how to identify a team player during an interview process:
Look at Past Experiences and Collaborations
The best way to identify team players is to look at their past collaborations. Ask them about different projects, teams, challenges, and other such influential factors. Ask how the candidate contributed to such projects and their team. The answer will tell a lot about their working style and ability to be a good team member.
If a person dismisses other's efforts and uplifts their contributions, they may not be the right candidate. If they highlight how every member of a team contributed and how much they put in, you may have a winner.
Ask the Right Interview Questions
Focus on questions that rely on behavior and experience instead of personality and habits. Some of the most important questions to ask are:
- Have you worked in teams?
- Have you assumed any leadership positions?
- How do you work with a team on a challenging project?
- How do you handle failure or mistakes as a part of a team?
- Are you happier working in a team or alone?
- What does it mean to be a team player?
Answers to such questions will give you a better insight into the candidate and their ability to work in collaborative environments. Focus on their past experiences, so you have more concrete answers.
Discuss How A Person Will Handle Team Conflicts
No team is without conflict, even if you find the most level-headed employees. Handling team conflicts is an essential skill that every member must master to work successfully.
Discuss how your candidate handles disputes between other members of the team. Ask them how they get into or get out of personal disagreements. A person’s ability to diffuse conflicts or step back from an argument gracefully can help them thrive in a team environment.
Can They Work With Multiple Small Teams at Once?
It's common for skilled professionals to contribute their expertise to different teams at the same time. A true player will know how to juggle all teams, different deadlines, and different priorities efficiently. You should determine how they can handle virtual groups or team members they have never met personally. Some professionals are comfortable communicating online while others struggle with it.
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