With the World Cup well under way, you can expect plenty of debate, analysis and punditry from Eamon Dunphy and the gang on RTÉ about teamwork for the next couple of weeks.
We have decided to stay away from any of Eamon’s tips on teamwork or anything else based upon some of his past comments. He once said Ronaldo, 5-time World Football of the year was “a disgrace to the game. His petulance, temperament, throwing himself on the ground. It was a disgrace to professional football. This fella Ronaldo is a cod.” You may have been wrong there Eamon.
Nevertheless, it’s not just when you cross the white line where being a team player matters. Most jobs nowadays call for a degree of teamwork. Hiring managers will want to find out how well you work with others. It is important that you prepare yourself to be able to answer questions regarding your ability to work in a team.
The Warm Up
When the question is posed “Are you a team player” in an interview, undoubtedly you are going to answer “yes”. However, it is vitally important you expand on this to create an image in the interviewer’s mind.
Here are some examples of expanding on that “yes” answer.
“Teamwork gave me a greater sense of responsibility in creating unity among the team members and thus helps to further my professional development. I think it’s also a fruitful process in that team members with certain strengths balance out people with certain weaknesses and we can all learn from each other.”
“I believe that I have a lot to contribute to a team environment and am comfortable in both leadership and player roles. I’m outgoing, friendly, and have strong communication skills.”
One must be ready to answer this question in a different format, for example.
- Do you prefer working on your own or as part of a team?
- Have you ever struggled to communicate with colleagues while working together on a project?
Aiming for goal
It is important to give the hiring manager instances which relay back to your team working capabilities. In this situation, the STAR method would be the most suitable way to get your point across.
S– Situation: This is about setting the scene, giving a context and background to the situation.
T– Task: Describe the task involved in the situation.
A– Action: Specify what actions you took in the situation to complete the tasks and achieve your results
R– Result: The result should be a positive one, and ideally one that can be quantified.
Goal, Goal, Goal!
So how do you choose the best examples to show your teamwork talents?
- Keep it recent.
Attempt to use examples from the last year if possible. However, you can go back further if you have a story that is relevant to the job you are going for.
- Highlight your own successes
Be sure to pick a scenario that presents you in a good way. For example, state how you succeeded in increasing the companies sales by X amount.
- Make sure it’s relevant
Study the job description beforehand to ensure that you get an idea of the kind of teamwork that is undertaken at the organisation. Have examples ready of group tasks that mirror that of those that you might have to undertake at the new company.
- Highlight Other Strengths
Make sure to mention other strengths along with your teamwork skills. For example, talk about a time where you showed leadership capabilities.
You could be picking up the gold medal if you can get across that you’re the best fit for the job in particular when it comes to teamwork.