Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Interviews: Can You Demonstrate Team Play?

Your résumé claims that you are a team player and a prospective employer believes that and other statements in the document to a degree sufficient to invite you for an interview. How many ways can  you think of to show your ability and willingness to function as a member of a team? (Incidentally I want you to think about behaving as an effective member of a team, not its leader.)

Here are some ways I can think of:

  • Bring extra copies of your résumé and cover letter, in case someone on the interview committee has forgotten to bring theirs.
  • Bring an extra pen and note paper for a similar reason.
  • Smile, establish suitable eye contact with each person on the interview committee, and try to give each of them a fair amount of your attention.
  • Speak audibly and clearly, and watch to make sure that you are properly understood. If you are unsure that you have been understood then ask. Play back what you hear and understand from interviewers until  you show them you understand them. Support their efforts to communicate without being condescending.
  • Be open about failings and shortcomings early in the interview, about successes and strengths late in the interview.
  • If opportunity permits explain how you have cooperated with team members in the past to achieve results.
  • Ask what they need for success and how they prepare to go about getting it.

Team work and courtesy save effort.

Now, your turn. Help us all by putting your ideas in the comments, will you?