Working successfully within a team is an important trait in an employee. If you hire someone who’s reluctant to be part of a team, it’s going to be an uphill battle from the start. The best way to assess if someone has a “team-first attitude” is to ask a few key behavioral interview questions. Here are some specific examples you can incorporate into your next interview.
Give examples of projects you were on. How did you contribute for them to be successful?
There’s an old saying, “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” This tends to ring true when assessing most candidates, so it is a great starting question. This question gives a candidate the chance to highlight specific examples of contributions they’ve made in the past.
Pay close attention to their response to see how major or minor their contributions were. Do they sound like a person who would actively contribute on their own accord? Or would they need a bit of prodding? Ideally, a candidate will always be looking for ways to help the team and be willing to push their own personal agenda aside.
How did you deal with a project where someone wasn’t doing their work?
Inevitably some team members will contribute more than others, and often there will be a “weak link” who doesn’t carry their weight. Asking this question should give you a sense of how a candidate handles adversity and how they motivate others.
How did you relay your part of the project to other co-workers who weren’t knowledgeable about your department? How did you make it easy to understand?
Knowledge levels can vary considerably. For a project to be successfully completed, it often requires more knowledgeable team members to impart their knowledge on those with less experience.
A good candidate will have the ability to effectively share their knowledge with others and explain it in an intuitive manner. Look for someone who’s capable of breaking complex instruction down in a way that’s digestible and easy to understand.
What do you think makes a successful team?
This is an extremely broad question that can have many answers. But this should provide a good idea of how a candidate approaches teamwork. Does their response align with your company culture and the values you hold true? If so, they may be a good match.
Solid teamwork is a necessity in many of today’s workplaces. Before making a hire, you want to know they’ll thrive in a team setting and be an active contributor. Asking these behavioral interview questions should provide insight and help you make the right choice.
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