Teamwork is one of the most important skills that employers look for. Read this blog to understand more about the skill and if you have it.
Teamwork is about being able to work well and efficiently in a group.
When you can do this, you are showing you have the ability to:
- Encourage others when they need it and inspire them to do better
- Compromise your own ego for the benefit of the team
- Use your emotional intelligence to understand the behaviour and responses of your teammates.
- Communicate well in general, building your negotiation skills amongst others.
You have already developed these skills whilst at university. Perhaps you have had to complete a group project or presentation. Another area may have been that you were part of a sports team or society. These skills do not only come from employer based examples such as internships or part-time jobs, although they are great examples.
Employers are looking for graduates who bring different skills to the teams they have. Some may want a graduate who is great at creating new ideas, whereas others might be looking for someone who is great at monitoring the progress of projects. Whatever skill the graduate brings, the key part is that employers want graduates who will work well with others.
These employers may find out more about the teamwork skills you offer by asking you at an interview. You may be presented with questions such as these:
- Tell us about a time when you worked in a team to achieve an objective
- Tell us about a time when you worked in a team to solve a problem
- Tell us about a time when your contribution made a big difference to a team’s success
- Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with another team member. How was it resolved?
- In your opinion, what makes a team work well together?
Whilst you may have great answers to these questions in your head, it is critical to write them down in preparation for presenting them as formal answers at interview to a recruiter. In some instances, you will need to write them down anyway as part of a written application to a role. Nevertheless, the recruiter is looking to see what actions and skills you demonstrated to help a team achieve its overall objectives whilst showing you interacted with colleagues in a positive way. Here is a great example:
“I helped my team to beat competing groups by encouraging everyone to speak up and contribute their ideas in meetings. I also supported those who were struggling to meet their commitments by offering to take on some of their tasks”.
It is important to remember that you do have teamwork skills.
You may not feel like you work well with others, or find it draining to work in groups. However, that does not mean that you do not have the ability to work in a team to achieve a positive outcome. Take some time to consider the examples you have of how you have worked well in a team to achieve a great outcome – consider how you could use such an example to feel both more empowered about your future career, but also ready to respond to common recruiter interview questions.