Biz Tips: How to Hire Team Players

Biz Tips: How to Hire Team Players

Biz Tip:

How to Hire Team Players

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What do you look for in the hiring process? You obviously want to find applicants who possess the technical skills and experience levels required for the job in question. You also need employees who will work well with your existing team members—in other words, you need people who know how to cooperate, collaborate, and work toward a common goal, as opposed to just looking out for themselves.

This may seem like a difficult thing to determine—but I’ve got a few tips that might prove valuable.

The Best Approach to Finding Team Players

First, pay attention to how job applicants treat other people. When somebody comes in to interview, they’re probably going to be polite and friendly toward you. They obviously want to make a strong first impression with their interviewer. But also make note of how they interact with other people in the office. Do they greet the receptionist? Do they return any hellos from your team members? What about their body language? Do they come across as open, or stand-offish? These can all be meaningful tells about how this applicant engages with other human beings.

Ask them about their past achievements. It goes without saying that you will ask job applicants about some of their previous accomplishments. As they answer, listen for mentions of teamwork, collaboration, or working with others. Yes, any job applicant is going to want to take as much credit as possible. That’s the nature of interviewing. But if they talk positively about their past experience working in a team, that’s definitely a good sign.

Post some hypotheticals. Another common interviewing tactic: Ask the applicant how he or she would respond in a particular scenario. Give them some hypothetical problems to walk you through. And as they do so, listen for any references to teamwork or asking other people for help. This can be illuminating: Is the applicant’s default position to try to work things out on their own, or to enlist the help of their colleagues?

These are some very basic strategies, yet I’ve found them to be immensely helpful in determining the team-centeredness of potential hires. Certainly, it’s worth the additional effort to ensure you’re putting a strong team together.

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