For a business to be successful, it usually requires a team of individuals who work in unison and who have the same objective in mind. When there’s selfishness or a lack of cohesion, it tends to inhibit productivity; so spotting a team player is important when sifting through job candidates.
In terms of a formal definition, a team player is “someone who puts aside his personal goals and works well with others, doing what he needs to do to strive for a common goal.” Let’s review some interview questions that will demonstrate teamwork skills in an employee.
Do you prefer to work alone or in a team?
Perhaps the best way to cut straight to the chase is to see what type of working style a candidate prefers. Some people thrive in an independent setting, and others flourish in a team. While an independent-minded person who prefers to work alone might be a solid employee, it could be problematic if their working style gets in the way of overarching company goals. That’s why it’s ideal to find those who enjoy working in a team setting and give them heavy consideration.
What traits do you think make a good team player?
Asking this question will usually give you a sense of a candidate’s teamwork skills. A person may list a wide range of traits, but here are some that you’ll want to look for:
- Reliability and dependability
- Communication skills
- Active participation
- Good listening skills
What was a successful team project you’ve been part of?
Next, it’s nice to get a concrete example of a project a candidate has been part of in the past. Ideally, they’ll be able to give you specific information on how they participated in a project, how they overcame obstacles and ultimately completed the project. You should also ask how they combined their unique skills and talents with other team members to make the project a success.
How have you collaborated with others to achieve a common goal?
Another aspect of teamwork skills to analyze is how a candidate interacts with other team members and if they pull their weight. Asking about the different ways that a person has collaborated should give you an idea of the strengths they could bring to your team and how much of an impact they would have.
You can also get a sense of how versatile they are and whether or not they would fit in with your existing employees. A team player will be an active participant and be effective at communicating with others to ensure that a project is completely on time.
Keeping your company running efficiently and maximizing productivity is largely contingent upon assembling a tight knit team. By knowing which questions to ask, you stand a good chance of finding employees who are legitimate team players and who will do their part in making your business thrive.