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Knowing how to interview is the most effective way to assess a candidate’s teamwork skills, which are critical to your hiring success. The key is to ask the right questions and listen for any indicators to determine if a person has a true team player mindset.

Definition of a Team Player

The old school definition of a team player – someone who always goes along with the majority and supports company programs – is no longer applicable. In today’s world, you need to recruit forward-thinking individuals who can:

  • Provide meaningful feedback to their colleagues.
  • Raise questions and question the status quo, without hampering relationships.
  • Work well with both horizontal and vertical coworkers.
  • Put the success of their team first – even above their own.

Interview Questions to Ask

As you interview prospective hires, your goal is to identify how well they work as a part of either a cross-functional or departmental team. Listen actively and gauge how well candidate values teamwork.

With the right questions, you can discover what your prospect believes about why teams succeed – or fail. At the same time, you are learning what must be present in your culture and work environment in order for a candidate to succeed there.

Your questions may include:

  • When you’re on your way to the first meeting of a new project team, what questions are on your mind?
  • Let’s say you are on a virtual team and you’ve never personally met most of your teammates. How do you develop mutual trust?
  • Is it possible to be a good team player if you disagree with your manager?
  • Is it more important for a team player to have solid technical skills or effective interpersonal skills?
  • In today’s world, what team attributes are most valued?
  • In this company, you would most likely be working with several different teams, each with separate goals. How will you adapt your style as you move from team to team?
  • Describe a successful project that you were part of. What was your role? How and why did the project succeed?
  • Describe a situation from your past experience in which you determined that a team was the best solution to a problem, a needed process improvement or a planned change. How did it work out?
  • Have you ever been part of a team that fell short of accomplishing its goal? What assessment did you make of the failure? What did you learn from it?

As you listen to responses, consider how frequently a person uses “we” versus “I” answers. True team players will tell you that “we effectively enhanced productivity and quality” rather than the first person, “I succeeded in raising quality and productivity levels.”

The experienced recruitment experts at PrideStaff Fresno can provide insight and guidance as you optimize your candidate hiring process. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more about how we can partner with you for your success.

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