Your individual skills, talent and experience are all important, but they may not be enough to have employers rushing over themselves to hire you. To make yourself invaluable to your employer, being an exceptional team player is a must. If you can fit into a team setting and collaborate with your coworkers to get tasks completed in a timely and efficient manner, rest assured your employer will be glad they hired you.
In fact, teamwork and collaboration are such a vital piece in the puzzle of today’s workplaces that employers frequently use group tests to gauge how potential employees interact with one another. If you’re hoping to be a standout, show off these skills in your interview, and you’ll be one step closer to landing the job:
- your ability to influence others
- your ability to persuade others
- your ability to express yourself
- your ability to handle yourself under pressure
- your ability to apply yourself
- your ability to solve problems
Successful team players tend to have a history of working well on a team, especially with others who have diverse backgrounds and interests that differ from their own. Team players tend to gravitate towards hobbies like sports or volunteering, where they build up interpersonal skills and learn tolerance and teamwork skills that translate well to the workplace. Soft skills like teamwork can actually make you more valuable than someone with concrete technical skills, as they can be harder to teach.
want to hone your ability as a team player?
- be an active listener
- listen constructively and calmly discuss issues
- disagree without being disagreeable
- know how to give honest feedback
- be immune to ‘group thinking’ and form your own opinions
- accept negative or constructive criticism without being defensive
- be confident without being arrogant
If you don’t already have all of these characteristics or feel you are weak in a particular area, it might be worth doing some self-reflection and thinking about how you can change your behaviour. Understand your personality type and ‘social style’ so you learn how to work more effectively with people. Being a valued team player will serve you well your entire career, so the earlier you can cultivate these characteristics, the better.