How to Demonstrate You’re a Team Player
By Meaghan Marshall, Apr 23 2014 11:00PM
Most jobs will require that you work with others and often a criteria for selection to a role will be your ability to work successfully within a team. Before hiring you, a potential employer will want to assess your ability to get along with others and communicate and collaborate effectively.
Before we move on to how you should demonstrate your teamwork skills on both your resume and at interview, lets briefly look at what makes an effective team player.
Qualities of a Team Player
Reliable: You can be counted on to deliver a solid performance and complete your fair share of the work.
Constructive Communicator: You share your ideas clearly, honestly and with respect for your team.
Good Listener: You listen to your team members ideas.
Active Participate: You are fully engaged in the work of the team, taking a can do attitude.
Sharer: You willingly share information, your knowledge and experience.
Cooperative: You figure out ways to work together to solve problems and get the work done despite differences or challenges.
Flexible: You adapt to change and don’t hold rigidly to a point of view.
Committed: You put in good work and care about achieving your team goals.
Problem Solver: You deal with problems in a solution orientated manner, no blaming or avoiding.
Supportive: You treat your team with courtesy and consideration and provide assistance.
Are you a team player? The reality is that not everyone is a strong team player. For some people their work preference and strength is in working on their own. If this is you, and you’re considering a position that requires considerable team collaboration then take some time to contemplate if this will suit your working style.
How to Demonstrate You’re a Team Player on Your Resume
One of the most common clichés we see on resumes is a statement claiming to be a “team player” or similar. Using a vague expression like “team player”, “team oriented”, “works well with others”, “people person” will not convince a potential employer that you have skills in teamwork.
You need to demonstrate rather than just tell a potential employer that you have the skills to work well as a member of a team. Provide on your resume specific achievements that prove your team work skills.
Begin by brainstorming the ways that have demonstrated good team work in your previous employment, studies or volunteer work. Select examples and write statements that describe exactly what you did and what the outcome was. Keep in mind the above list of qualities when writing your statements.
How to Demonstrate You’re a Team Player at Interview
At interview your teamwork skills will most likely be assessed by the interviewer asking a behavioural interview question regarding teamwork. You will be provided the opportunity to make evident your team work skills by sharing a relevant example from your past experience.
Example behavioural interview questions for teamwork include:
Provide an example of when you were part of a team. What was your role in the team? How did you contribute?
Describe a situation when others you were working with on a project disagreed with your ideas. What did you do?
Tell me about a time when you had to work on a team that did not get along. What happened? What role did you take? What was the result?
What have you found to be the difficult part of being a member, not a leader, of a team? How did you handle this?
Can you describe a time you had a particularly rewarding team experience?
Tell me about a time when you worked with a difficult team member?
To prepare for a team player behaviour interview question you should before your interview make a list of your team experiences.
Choose your best examples. Your best examples will be recent and relevant to the position you are applying, but most importantly you will be the star of the story. Select an experience where you performed well, helped to achieve outstanding results, resolved conflict or solved a problem.
The best way to structure your story is to provide your answer in the STAR format.
S = Situation: Briefly describe the situation to give the interviewer context.
T = Task: Describe what needed to be done to address the situation and what your role and responsibilities were.
A = Action: Describe what you did and how you did it.
R = Results: Describe the outcome, what happened as a result of your actions.
Again, review the list of qualities of a team player provided at the beginning of this article. These are the qualities an interviewer will be looking for in your examples. You should try to demonstrate that you have these qualities as well as the ability to work in a team to achieve great outcomes.