Questions like 'How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of a team?' and 'tell me about a team you were on and your role' and 'define teamwork' are common interview questions. Considering that most jobs require some level of teamwork, it is easy to understand why.
However, the question reaches deeper than just proving that you can work as a team member. Interviewers also want to know what essential attributes you can contribute to a team. Even if you feel you work better individually or the role is mostly self-tasked, it is critical that you understand how to properly address this question.
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What are the qualities of a good team?
Common qualities that successful work teams share include:
- A dedication to the company's goals and/or mission
- A willingness to assist a team member with their tasks/duties, when necessary
- Superior written and oral communication skills
- Excellent project management skills
- Strong organization skills
- Ability to resolve conflicts successfully and calmly
What qualities make a good team player?
The qualities that make a good team player include:
- Commitment to ensuring the team succeeds with all tasks, duties and projects
- Willingness to help a team member in need
- Commitment to making sure team members are informed on any developments related to projects or the company's overall business
- Reliability, responsibility, and excellent communication skills
An interviewer only takes 30 minutes to an hour to determine if an individual is a qualified candidate for a position. As such, many of the questions asked have different layers, and candidates who do not address a few of the subtextual questions may not leave a strong, lasting impression. Make sure you understand the different elements of questions that are commonly asked, so that you may provide the most beneficial answer. Take a look at the explanations and sample responses to make sure that you ace your answer.
How to answer the question
Put it in perspective
Though there is nothing wrong with answering the question from the context of your current position, it's better to answer this and other relevant interview questions from the perspective of the job you are applying for. If you do decide to utilize examples from your current or previous job, make sure to make clear correlations between your experience and the requirements for the position you seek.
Remember, your whole purpose is to convince the interviewer that you are the best fit for the job. Illustrating the beneficial aspects that you would bring to the position can help to paint you in a positive light.
Describe relevant skills
Answering the question 'How would you describe yourself as a team member?' is an excellent opportunity to share your strong skill set in relation to the position that you are applying for. However, you should avoid providing a long list of your skills and abilities.
Instead, craft your answer in a way that you are able to highlight your strengths within your description. It can also be helpful to review the job description provided and see what skills the company is looking for, as well as any specifics about their definition of a team player. Knowing these facts and implementing them into your answer can read positively with your interviewer.
Do not bypass the question
For those without experience in a certain area it can be tempting to try to breeze through a reply; however, it is never a good idea to bypass or skip any interview questions. It may appear as if you are trying to hide something and could raise suspicion. Even if you have a history of working by yourself or if the job does not require teamwork, you will have some form of communication with others and it is critical that you show that you are personable and able to effectively interact with others.
Also, you should never lie about any experiences, as this could automatically cause you to lose any chances of gaining employment with a company. If you have little experience with teamwork, focus your efforts on talking up your qualities that would be great contributions to a team. This indicates a willingness to be a positive contributor should you be called upon to participate in a team setting, as well as flexibility.
- Throughout both my academic and professional career I have developed my skills as a team player. I have played volleyball since middle school, and it has taught me the value of proper communication and doing my best to make a positive contribution to team efforts. In my professional career, I have had the opportunity to lead and contribute to several different team projects, and I believe that my administrative and management abilities, coupled with my research and analysis skills, help me to be a versatile and well-rounded team member.
- I would describe myself as a cohesive team member; I am willing and able to do whatever task is necessary to complete the project. As a marketing representative I would do my part in collecting necessary data and presenting it to the team. I would also be willing to lend a helping hand to other team members when needed. I would be glad to engage in discussions about issues with the project to help come to an effective resolution. At the end of the day, I believe that the project must be complete and it is my duty to contribute in any way possible.
When answering 'How would you describe yourself as a team member?' and similar interview questions, if you apply the tips provided you will be sure to leave a positive, lasting impression.
Why would you make a good team member?
When answering this question, make it known that you are a team player — someone who enjoys working in a team-based environment, and someone who enjoys assisting other team members when they are in the weeds with a task, duty or project. Emphasize that you're committed to making sure the team you're on succeeds, and that the company's business goals are met.
Why should we hire you for this position?
To answer this question, first identify what the organization needs and then explain how you fit the bill. Use one point to argue how your experience and expertise exceed their expectations.
If you're talking about becoming a member of a team, then explain how your background and working style would benefit the team.
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