Why great teams need team players
Pretty much every role requires teamwork—even if that just means being able to chat at the water cooler. Even employees who work alone need to recognize the results of their work impact everyone.
Your ideal team player candidate can:
- Mediate touchy situations before they get outta control
- Create healthy work environments
- Bring out their colleagues’ strengths
- Accept feedback and aim for improvement
Whether it’s handling conflicts or organizing company activities to build team spirit, team players are central to a happy, healthy work culture.
Top tip: Ask entry-level candidates to provide examples of great teamwork from their college work, internships or extracurricular activities.
Team player interview questions
- What’s your favorite example of a great team project you worked on? What was your role and what did you achieve?
- Have you ever had to work with people outside your team? How did you connect and hit your deadlines?
- Everyone has had a colleague they didn’t get along with. Describe a time you’ve had to work with someone you didn’t want to.
- Has your team ever missed a goal? What happened and what did you learn?
- What would you do if you proposed an idea and got backlash from your team?
- Working on an assigned project task independently vs. working on a whole project as a team: What do you prefer and why?
- How would you onboard a new colleague?
- How do you give kudos to a great team member?
- How do you promote team spirit?
- How would you motivate a disengaged employee?
- How would ace remote team communication?
- What group collaboration tools have you used?
Candidates to look for
- Pro candidates: You’re looking for someone who can share plenty of past experiences so you know what you’re dealing with.
- They know how to celebrate: Candidates who own their accomplishments and praise their coworkers’ contributions are people you want to work with.
- Solid communication skills: Candidates who know how to connect are going to be 100% more efficient.
- They want to know more: Look for candidates who ask questions about team structure.
Candidates to avoid
- They say ‘I’ too much: There’s no ‘I’ in ‘Team’. If they talk too much about themselves, it could be a sign they prefer lone-working.
- Quick, generic answers: If a candidate can’t describe specific situations, they’re probably trying to avoid answering the question.
- Arrogance: Arrogant candidates are a big no-no. These guys or gals won’t do well in a team if they don’t value other people’s opinions.
- They play the blame-game: Candidates who make excuses for bad results just show they’re not team players.
- Micromanagers: Controlling candidates who don’t trust their teammates will slow down processes and risk damaging team spirit.