4 Ways to Interview for Teamwork Skills

Strong team players benefit any organization. But, how do you effectively evaluate teamwork skills throughout the interview process? Use these four inquiries to hire better employees.

  1. What does teamwork mean to you?
    Although most companies agree teamwork is important, they fail to consider the nature of teamwork can vary significantly from one organization to the next. Some businesses place more value on individual accomplishments, vigorous debate, and competition while others embrace group work, empathy and cooperation. Before interviewing a candidate, first define what teamwork looks like in your company. Then, use the candidate’s response to determine how their vision of teamwork lines up with your organization’s culture.
  2. Tell me about a time you worked on a team.
    Often, the wording of teamwork questions can lead interviewees to the right answer. For example, let’s say you ask, “How does working on a team help you to be more productive and energized?” Your candidate is unlikely to tell you they like working alone, and they will probably fake their way through what you (and they) consider to be an adequate response about the benefits of teamwork. The more generic nature of, “Tell me about a time you worked on a team,” works to eliminate bias and create a truer picture of their abilities. Look for answers with specific facts, details, data, and accomplishments. If a reply is overly vague, such as “I like working on teams because I can get more done,” your candidate probably doesn’t have much team experience.
  3. How do you handle difficult co-workers?
    Even in the best of situations, things go wrong. You will want to evaluate how your potential employees handle adversity and tricky situations. Another variation of this question could be, “What would you do if you were a member of a team that failed to accomplish their goals?” Once again, look for specific examples rather than general statements, as well as creative solutions and a willingness to set aside individual differences to work toward larger goals.
  4. Would you be willing to complete a work sample test with one of our teams?
    Although many companies prefer the traditional question and answer interview, work sample tests, experiential or hands-on interviews can be remarkably successful at identifying talented employees. For instance, a logistics manager could coordinate a shipment with an in-house team or an engineer could collaborate on a current project. This gives you the opportunity to see the candidate in action, on the job with their future co-workers, while your candidate has a chance to test drive the position. Of course, setting up experiential interviews requires time and resources, and this deters many organizations. However, businesses that use this method report lower turnover and a higher quality of hires. (SHMR, 2018)

Are You Looking to Add Top Talent to Your Team?

Connectology can help you find the most skilled manufacturing professionals for your organization. Our goal is to find the perfect matches for your long-term success. Learn more about Working with Our Team in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin today!