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How to Answer are You a Team Player

You come across a lot of common interview questions. The motive behind these common, non-technical questions is to get to know you more rather than mere assessment.

These common interview questions are asked to see who you are as a person. Your response to these questions decodes your personality traits. And hence an interviewer asks you common questions such as this one: are you a team player.

Are you a team player is one such question that is being asked by the interviewers quite a lot of times.

Common questions however cannot have common answers. Answer to this question and to others like these differ from person to person.

You cannot find an ideal answer to 'are you a team player?'. What you can do instead is craft your own.

And here we are to make this process easier for you.

To answer any question, you first need to understand it. And so, let us quickly take a look into why this question is asked and what does the employer expect in your answer.

The main reason behind posing you with this question is that the interviewer needs to know if you can work well in a team. If you possess enough skills and abilities to work in a team, to resolve conflicts if any, and the overall manner in which you would behave in a team.

A team that can consist of people from various levels of the organization. Say, from a trainee to a manager. And when you begin working in a company all of these faces are going to be new for you. The employer looks for an assurance from your answer that you'd comfortably work with strangers (for a few days at least!) and that you cope up with them.

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress and working together is success. -Henry Ford

And so, every employer looks for an individual who can work together and bring his or her organization, success.

Now that we know what the interviewer expects from us, let us look at a few tips that can help you craft an answer to this question.

Tips for answering "Are you a team player?"

How to Answer are You a Team Player

1. Research properly

The first step. Research the organization. Know about them as much as you can.

Use their website for this purpose. Check core values, work culture, products and services, clients, and testimonials.

Go to the 'about us section'. Find how they work. Look for reviews from the employees regarding working in a team. See what their experience has to say.

You can also read the press releases, newsletter to know more about the company. Check what does the company requires from a candidate for a specific job position and be ready to offer them what they need!

How to Answer are You a Team Player

2. Use relevant examples in your answer

After the research, it's time to come to the convincing part of the answer. Here, you state with examples how good of a team player you are.

Listing skills in your resume in bullet points is one thing, and making the employer visualize how well you can use those skills in a team is another.

The latter gives you an edge. Give examples or state experiences where you used your skills for the benefit of the team.

Choose the recent example that reflects your strengths and leadership qualities. The examples should be specific. Do not bluff. Go for an older example only if it is impressive enough to amaze the interviewer.

3. Use the STAR method of response:

The structure of answers to such questions seems complex. You might get confused about what to mention and what not to mention.

However, there's a technique called STAR responsive technique that can simplify things for you. You can frame your answer with the help of this technique.

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Use these 4 points to write your answer. Elaborate based on the present situation, go on to tasks at hand. Think of what action you will take.

What will you do to face the situation and complete the task? And lastly, focus on the result part. In the given situation, the actions that you take to get the task done yield specific results.

Frame your example or experience in this framework. Start with what situation you faced then go on to the task that you were supposed to complete. Tell what action you took and what results you got from them.

Avoid these things while answering this question:

How to Answer are You a Team Player

1. Avoid rushing to answer:

Listen first. Then understand. And then answer. Don't rush.

Being a good listener is a quality of a good team player.

Show the interviewer that you are a good listener.

Take a pause. Organize your thoughts. Be clear with what you have to say and then go for the answer. Hurrying can prove to be disadvantageous.

How to Answer are You a Team Player

2. Avoid saying that you’re a lone wolf:

It's okay if you prefer to work alone. In such a case, when asked this question, don't stress out.

Look for ways in which you can excel at working with people. Start socializing.

Eventually, you will get comfortable around people and working with them. Completion of a project is a team effort. The entire team does the work on projects and faces the outcomes together.

Even if you are not used to working with a team, avoid certain things like pointing out one's mistakes, and playing the victim card and blame game. Even when you answer this question, keep these things in mind.

The recruiter might ask you a situation-based question. And it will be a disadvantage for you if you blurt out a negative solution.

How to Answer are You a Team Player

3. Avoid lying:

You don't need to show off additional qualities by lying. It will be of no use.

Rather, you might end up in a mess. Be yourself. Be honest. Speak only about the qualities that you genuinely possess.

You might try to fake things with the view that it will impress the employer. But you can lose your job if he catches your dishonesty.

So in this case, the disadvantage is times more than a probable advantage. Focus on how your skills and abilities will help the team grow and take it to new heights.

Now that you know the intention of the employer behind asking this question and the do's and don'ts of answering it, you can easily answer if this question is thrown at you during an interview.

To get through this question in an interview you don't just need to say things but also make sure that you inculcate them in you. Being a good team player requires good communication skills, problem-solving skills, conflict resolution, and creative thinking skills.

Most importantly, to be a good team player you need teamwork. And teamwork implies working with each other, having each other's back, and understanding your teammates. You might get through the interview by crafting a nice answer. But if you don't possess these skills, it will become difficult for you to sustain in an organization.

Work on building your soft skills along with crafting an answer to this question. With the help of the tips mentioned in this article, you can craft an impressive answer to this common interview question. And get a step closer to your dream job.

So? are you a team player? Let us know in the comments.


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