One of the most common interview questions you’ll be asked is how you work with a team. It can be a knee-jerk reaction to simply answer you’re team oriented, but what does that actually mean? Consider the other ways you can answer questions such as “Tell me about a time you solved a problem as a team?” Pat answers won’t work, so you need to create a narrative that expresses your point and interests the employer. How do you do that? Here’s a few tips to get you started.
- Stay positive. We all have horror stories about times when teamwork went wrong. But whatever you do, don’t focus on the negative stories when you’re talking with a potential employer. That is unless the story ends with a positive message about how you and your team overcame adversity to do something wonderful.
- Give examples. The worst thing you can say when asked about team work is you’re “team oriented.” There needs to be more to it than that. You need to put in the homework to determine how you can best answer this question. Think about situations in your past jobs that exemplify how you want to be viewed in terms of teamwork, and share those stories.
- Tailor to the job. It’s also important you don’t give generic answers that don’t reflect the company you’re talking with in the interview. They want to see someone who will be a fit for their specific position, so research the company and make sure you can relate your experience to their needs. For example, even if you had a shining example of teamwork from a previous job, if that is so far removed from this one it might not be a good story to tell.
- Be honest. While you want to stay positive, it’s also important you don’t lie. Don’t make up a story about a stellar example of teamwork if it didn’t happen to you. It’s better to be genuine, since these tall tales could easily catch up with you while you’re on the job. If you’ve had struggles with teamwork, talk about it, but make sure you focus on what you’ve done to ensure you’ve been working on them and are succeeding.
Are you looking for your next interview opportunity to showcase your teamwork skills?
At Professional Staffing Group, we work closely with our candidates to help them understand how to answer the most common interview questions to make a good first impression. Register with us today and let us help you connect with the best job opportunities in our region.