Teamwork is among the most valuable skills to look for in a candidate. Even for positions with a lot of autonomy, there is an evitable need to communicate and work successfully with other people at some point. Technical expertise is likely to be overshadowed by a lack of teamwork skills because the knowledge won’t be effectively shared or able to be implemented. Spot the team players during the interview with these questions to help you learn about teamwork skills:
- “Can you provide an example of a successful team project you worked on and why it worked?”
Whenever possible, it’s best to skip the hypothetical “what would you do if…” interview questions and instead focus on behavioral questions based on past experience. This prevents candidates from telling you want you want to hear without providing any real insight. To learn about teamwork skills, ask for a real-life example and the candidate’s opinion on why it worked. How they describe it can give you major clues into their attitudes about teamwork.
- “In your opinion, what is the most important part of successful collaboration?”
To be a true team player, a candidate needs to have a mindset that aligns well with how collaboration works in your workplace. A candidate that has teamwork skills will be able to provide a thoughtful answer that shows how seriously they approach projects and the valuable roles that everyone plays.
- “How do you approach a colleague or manager you disagree with?”
Teamwork isn’t all high fives and compliments – at times, it doesn’t go smoothly and conflict arises. The important aspect of teamwork isn’t to avoid conflict at all costs. When different personality types work together, conflict is inevitable. Instead, it’s essential to have tactics in place to effectively handle disagreements. Candidates with true teamwork skills will be able to answer this question confidently.
- “What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from asking for help or being given constructive criticism?”
In a collaborative situation, people are likely to make mistakes or have ideas they were excited about turned down. A major difference between candidates with teamwork skills and those who are lacking is the ability to overcome mistakes or rejection and learn from it. You want a candidate who is open to what team members have to say and respects their expertise and viewpoints, not one with an ego who can’t handle any form of pushback.
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