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How Can You Tell If Someone Is a Team Player?

Eastridge Blog posted by Molly Delattre on

How Can You Tell if Someone is a Team Player

Teamwork is one of the most important characteristics an employer looks for in a job candidate, and for good reason. In almost all professions, employees will have to collaborate and should be a supporter of shared success.

When a team has good synergy and works well together, they can accomplish great things. At the same time, one bad apple on the team could spoil the whole bunch, leaving the entire team wasting precious energy and time dealing with conflict.

You should be hiring people who are solid team players and will be valuable assets to your organization, rather than undermining teamwork efforts. Often times, pre-employment interviews fail to tell the whole story of a candidate and their personality. Here are some of the key ways you can tell if someone is a team player:

  • Simply ask.

    When interviewing a candidate be sure to ask them specific questions regarding teamwork practices. Ask them to give examples of times in the past when they have worked on a team. You could also ask questions designed to uncover their views and philosophies about team collaboration. For example, ask what role they think they should play on a team or what characteristics they think are crucial to effective teamwork.

  • Pay attention to word choice.

    When a candidate answers interview questions, they are trying to present their best selves. This usually means a candidate is unlikely to come right out and say he is bad at working on a team or does not like other people. You need to pay attention to the nuances of the conversation and uncover their true feelings about teamwork. Do they get passionate, for example, when they talk about past team projects they have completed?  Do they talk a lot about working alone? These clues can give you more insight into genuine feelings about team collaboration.

  • Follow up with references.

    In addition to asking the candidate directly, you should also speak with past employers, former co-workers and others who have had a chance to work closely with the candidate. Ask pointed questions about how the employee did as a team member to find out if the potential hire works well with others.

Eastridge Workforce Solutions can help your company find qualified, skilled job seekers who are ready to join your team and will work well with your current staff members. Contact us to find out more about how our staffing professionals can assist you.


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