Every employer wants to hire a great team player but what does that mean and how do you demonstrate your team player credentials?
What is a great team player?
When companies ask for team players they mean they want someone who pulls together and doesn’t alienate other members of staff. It doesn’t mean that you need to be best mates with all your colleagues. A great team player will work with people to find solutions, to complete projects, to improve the company. You ideal colleague is diplomatic, listens, is constructive in their communications and appreciative of the work others do. Good work environments should also be open and transparent and a real team member will share their skills and knowledge rather than act in a competitive way within a team.
Respecting the opinions of others
When people are accused of not being team players there is often a perceived lack of respect for the opinions and abilities of their colleagues. We’ve all worked with people who aren’t interested in what others have to say and you understand why employers value team work highly. Valuing the opinions, skills and experience of your team in order to get a job done at the highest quality possible is crucial. Every company should be aiming to build trust amongst their employees because that’s when teams can really excel.
Evidence of being a team player
It’s always good to go to an interview with some cracking examples of times when you worked as a team to the forefront of your mind. Think about times when you’ve gone above and beyond for your colleagues. Unless this really is your first interview, avoid the references to your days as captain of the school hockey team. Try to think of a challenging project where perhaps deadlines were stretched or resources were low. How did you work together as a team to overcome the difficulties? Avoid sounding like you led the team – this isn’t what they’re asking about. Emphasise the success of the group because great team members don’t take all the credit.