Are You a Team Player – What if You’re Not?

by on 1:43 pm

job question - are you a team player?Everyone knows that job interviews aren’t easy.

There are a lot of things that could go wrong and there are certainly plenty of questions that can be answered incorrectly, in the eyes of the employer or hiring manager. One of the most intimidating questions for people in the job interview is:

“Are you a team player?”
While the obvious answer is yes, most employers want you to expand on this question by offering examples and explaining how you can be a valuable member of their team.

Remember that like all interview questions, this should be a forward-thinking answer.

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That is, provide them with an answer that suggests what you can do for THEM, not what you have done in the past. There are plenty of different ways to answer this question, and they all start with saying yes.

Once you get past the easy part, there are many qualities that you will need to talk about and demonstrate to show that you have evidence to back up your statement.

Your ability to work in a team environment depends on factors like:

  • Being able to work well with others
  • Being non-judgmental and professional
  • Listening
  • Being a likeable person
  • Being empathetic
  • Accepting others’ opinions and views
  • Respect
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Providing feedback in a professional manner
  • Positive attitude
  • Communication skills

When you can speak about these abilities, your employer will be much more willing to believe your ability to work in a team environment. You need to discuss how you can be a team player, which skills you possess that make you a valuable asset to any team, and what you could do as a part of their team to help make things run smoother and get the job done efficiently.

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(More:) on the Team Player Interview Question

If you feel the need, you can give examples of how you have been a team player in the past. Your answers should always pertain to the position at hand and how you can help the employer, but this doesn’t work every time.

If you can’t come up with an answer that fits or you want to provide a more concrete example of your ability to work in a team environment, using examples from previous experiences is going to be okay. Interview questions like this one can be tricky, but you need to get them right so that you can get the job.

What if You’re Not a Team Player?

The fact of the matter is that some people just work better on their own. If this is your case, you need to let the employer know. A simple statement that says that you are capable of being respectful and getting the job done when it is necessary to work with others is a good choice.

Explain that you can get things done and be a productive member of the team, but that you tend to have better results when you are working alone. If the job calls for social interaction and a team environment, however, you need to be willing to adapt and prove that you can fit in if you want the position.

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  • Anonymous

    I’m really struggling with this question because I have always been a Senior Admin.Assistant/ Executive Assistant, and just recently on an Online Job application they asked me to answer the following question: “Describe your experience working as a team player where you had to utilize your partnering skills in an effective way.” I’ve never really worked in a group with other admins – so technically I never actually worked in a group rather I have always supported a group – so I’m struggling as to how to properly answer this question. And BTW I recently took a Personality test and I’m actually cut right down the middle between being an Introvert and Extrovert and enjoy being part of team and working alone when I need to concentrate on details. Can you help me out on this question. Thanks so much.

  • Anonymous

    eventhough you never worked in a group, you may want to come up with something that is close. Maybe you worked with a group at your church, or the PTO, or in some other volunteer capacity. telling them you never worked with a group of people is kind of like telling them you have not worked much.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks – but I kind of already knew all that – that’s not my question- I guess I didn’t word my question correctly – I’m just saying that I’m having trouble coming up with an appropriate “work” – “on the job” example the employer’s question on the app is asking for (cause I really feel the way I answer this question could make or break me even though I have over 20 years Executive Asst experience and a polished professional ready resume – all that may not matter if I don’t answer this question correctly)- and was just hoping for some help with examples – some direction in how to formulate an answer that specifically answers thier question – thanks anyway but your reply really didn’t address my concerns and didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know.

  • Anonymous

    Have yout tried reading the Complete Interview Answer Guide from it will teaach you how to formulate answers to tough interview questions.

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