Are You Hiring Team Players?

Jan 24, 2017

Are You Hiring Team Players

You've heard it since grade school – "There's no 'I' in team!"

For many of us, the value of teamwork was instilled in us at an early age. From sports and the military to classrooms and boardrooms, the ability and willingness to work with others for the purpose of achieving common objectives is crucial for success. Chances are your company even has the word "teamwork" somewhere in its mission statement or company values. But, it's difficult to work as a team if not everyone on the team is a team player. How do you know if you're hiring people with teamwork acumen?

The best predictor of future behavior is past performance. During an interview, one of your goals should be to determine if the candidate has exhibited teamwork behaviors in the past. Look for these specific behavioral indicators:

  • Helped create a collaborative team environment focused on achieving common objectives.
  • Solicited ideas and opinions to help the team make decisions.
  • Shared knowledge and resources that contribute to achieving team objectives.
  • Remained open to consensus in the face of divergent views.
  • Supported team decisions even when they did not reflect the candidate's views.

Behavioral-based interview questions are the best way of assessing someone's teamwork acumen. Behavioral indicators typically aren't listed on a resume, and having a candidate verbally review generic teamwork examples won't suffice. It's about eliciting the candidate to show and demonstrate, not just talk and tell. Remember, you want to identify actual past choices and uncover behavioral indicators in specific situations, so it is important to ask the right types of questions in order to do so.

A few questions include:

  • Describe a situation in which you had to arrive at a compromise or help others to compromise. What was your role? What steps did you take? What was the end result?
  • Describe a team experience you found disappointing. What would you have done to prevent this?
  • Describe a team experience you found rewarding.
  • Give an example of how you have been successful at empowering a group of people to accomplish a task.
  • Give your best example of working cooperatively as a team member to achieve an important goal. What was the goal or objective? To what extent did you interact with others on this project?
  • Some people work best as part of a group – others prefer the role of individual contributor. How would you describe yourself? Give an example of a situation where you felt you were most effective.
  • Gaining the cooperation of others can be difficult. Give an example of when you had to do that and what challenges you faced. What was the outcome? What was the long-term impact on your ability to work with the other team members?

Behavioral interviews come down to uncovering actions with context to see the candidate's thought process and nature. Does this candidate have the competency to work as a team member? Will this candidate respect other members of the team and facilitate their participation? If not, this candidate probably isn't the team player you're looking to recruit.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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