What Can You Bring to the Team?

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Have you been pursuing a career for a while? If so- you have probably been to one or two interviews along the way. You may realize that “what can you bring to the team” is one of the most common interview questions. Of course- some hiring managers may give this classic inquiry a spin of their own. Other phrasings for it could include “what do you have that other candidates do not” and “why would you be an asset for the company.” As you try to come up with a quality answer- you need to first understand why the hiring manager asked the question and then look at what you can do to prepare.

The interviewer likely asked this to get a better understanding of who you are as a professional. The attributes you discuss may show where your priorities lie. This can help the interviewer better understand if you will fit in well at the company. Hiring managers also ask this question as a way to delve into your skills- education and accomplishments. If you prepare well- you will be able to give a quality answer to this potentially challenging query.

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How to Answer the ‘What Can You Bring to the Team’ Interview Question

In order to best answer this and other interview questions- you have to practice your answers. What should you focus on as you prepare for this line of thought?

  • What Makes You Unique: Throughout the interview- you will likely be working on setting yourself apart from your peers. When you answer this question- you have to do the same thing. This means focusing on skills- accomplishments or experiences only you have. Saying something like- “I am hardworking and positive” is far too cliché. It will not help you stand out. The majority of the other applicants may say the exact same thing. Take the time before you go into the interview to really think about what makes you different from the other candidates. If you simply cannot think of a unique attribute- there may still be hope for your answer.
  • Application: As you think about what makes you unique- you have to also consider how you can apply those unique achievements- skills and experiences to the job at hand. You cannot just give the interviewer a list of what makes you great. You need to also highlight how those attributes will apply to the position you are trying to get at the moment. How you would apply your skills could be part of what makes you different. For example- say you are hardworking and positive. You can make this answer stand out by discussing how these attributes will help you make a positive impact on the team. Understanding how your abilities and accomplishments apply to this new position may stem from understanding how they helped you in your past positions.
  • Your Value: To help you show your value clearly- you should try to give examples of your significance. Pull from past professional or academic experiences. Talk about your unique skills that directly apply to the job at hand in a story that highlights how valuable you were in other positions. If possible- you could also show your value to the team by talking about what past team members thought about working with you. You could ask a past coworker or supervisor to write a reference letter and use it as a part of your answer.

How can you best answer the “what can you bring to the team” question? Showcase your value through a story. Try to highlight your unique attributes and how they could help the team. It is important you practice answering this and other common interview questions to help you prepare for the challenging interview process.

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Sample ‘What Can You Bring to the Team’ Interview Answers

1. I have always been an energetic worker. Throughout my work history- this energy has shown itself in my upbeat attitude and ability to keep busy. Work has always been about more than a to-do list for me. I strive to take initiative to help on special projects and day-to-day tasks to ensure tasks get done. Of course- my energy is led by my time management skills- so I work on top-priority jobs before searching for busywork. If I were to get this position- this energy- and everything that comes with it- would lead to brainstorming- innovation and efficiency.

2. If I were to get this position- I would bring a fierce- ambitious attitude. In the past my ambition has led me to take on roles of leadership when necessary. My last job saw a lot of turnover. I had only been with the company for a month- but I was still one of the workers with the most experience. My supervisor was sick on the day of a big presentation. My coworkers and I were worried about who would take the lead. I willingly stepped in and presented what we had worked on. This- and similar experiences- have showed me I thrive on these types of challenges. In this position I would confidently work with the team and willingly take leadership roles when necessary.

Other Interview Question You May Be Asked

What Skills Can You Bring to the Job?

Examples of skills that you could bring to the job include:

  • Technical skills, like proficiency/expertise with software or online tools
  • Soft skills, like customer service, and communication and organizational skills
  • Leadership skills, like people or team management
  • Transferable skills, which would be skills that could easily transfer from one industry to another

What Qualities Would You Bring to the Job?

Qualities are similar to skills, but they’re more about the inherent (or learned) characteristics or attributes you possess. Examples of qualities that you could bring to the job include:

  • Determination
  • Friendliness
  • Flexibility
  • Dependability
  • Honesty
  • Sincerity
  • Trustworthy
  • Reasonable
  • Loyal
  • Cheerful
  • Courteous

Do You Like Working in a Team or Alone?

When answering this question, it’s best to note that you like a mixture of working in a team and alone. Say that you like working in a team when a project/task/assignment involves teamwork, and that you like working alone when a project/task/assignment doesn’t involve teamwork.

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