The days of one or two employees laboring quietly in an office are long gone. Modern companies are all about cross-departmental teams. Even if you work from home, you’ll be expected to check in with your teammates on a regular basis. So teamwork is one of the most important skills you can highlight, no matter what your industry. But how can you show off these skills in an interview?
How Can You Highlight Your Ability to Work in Teams?
Break It Down
Start by thinking about all the different times you have been on a team. This includes not only work experiences but also high school or college activities. Did you play sports? Were you in the annual musical? Maybe you were on the prom committee.
Whatever experiences you have had, think about all the different factors that went into being a good member of the team. Did you learn to collaborate, refining ideas based on everyone’s input? Maybe you showed up for the team even when you weren’t feeling your best. Perhaps you learned project management and delegation skills, with every person taking ownership of one piece of a larger goal.
Describe Specific Situations
Once you understand the different factors that made your team a success, start thinking of specific examples. In your interview, you’ll want to tell stories using the STAR method:
- Situation: Set up the scene with just enough details to add color.
- Task: Explain why you were there and what you were doing.
- Action: Describe your action steps as they unfolded.
- Result: Share the outcome.
With this framing, you can describe any specific example of a time when you used your teamwork skills. You might talk about how you worked with a couple of other players to score a winning goal. Or maybe you were able to overcome a huge obstacle and get a work project out on time thanks to the entire group coming together to brainstorm solutions. It’s okay to make yourself the star of the story, but be sure to emphasize the contributions of the group.
Talk About Your Feelings
You can use your stories as a jumping-off point to more generally discuss how you feel about working in teams. For example, you might talk about why you love the collaborative nature of your industry, or talk about how your favorite aspect of teamwork is sitting down with a bunch of smart people to figure out how to make a product even better than it was before. Let your authenticity shine through!