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How to spot a team player in an interview

July 1, 2022

The interviewing process can be stressful for both recruiting managers and candidates, after all, recruiting managers are trying to dissect every aspect of a candidate’s experience and personality during a short conversation. 

When interviewing for a role, hiring managers will have in mind the particular skills and qualities that they are looking for in an ideal candidate. Some of these can be more specific but there are a number of more broad and regularly desirable skills that crop up on a hiring managers ‘must-have’ list. Time and time again, being a ‘team player’ will be a significantly important trait that is sought after.

What is a team player? 

A team player is an individual who can merge their personal abilities with key team working skills to complete a task and succeed at a goal. They encourage collaboration with their colleagues and frequently exchange and share knowledge and experience with their team members to reach solutions to a problem.

Why is it important to hire team players? 

Although having employees who can work independently is crucial for the productivity of a business, ensuring that these same individuals can also work collaboratively in a team is just as important. 

  • Team players help to manifest a supportive work environment that is pleasant for everyone involved and encourages people to ask for help from one another and share ideas. 
  • Team players will often share knowledge and experience with their coworkers which means that your team can learn from each other and work more efficiently.
  • When team players are in your workforce there is a sense of mutual responsibility. If someone is off work sick when a big project is due, you can count on a team player to step up and help get the job done. 

What questions to ask in an interview 

If hiring a team player is important for the success of your business and the candidate’s success within the role then you are going to need to incorporate interview questions that centre around their behaviour and experience. Example questions to ask include: 

  1. Have you got experience of working within a team?
  2. Have you got leadership experience?
  3. How do you overcome a problem when working within a team?
  4. Do you prefer to work within a team or alone? 
  5. What does it mean to you to be a team player?

Using questions such as the above will allow you to gain a better insight and understanding of their ability to work within team environments. 

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