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Are You a Team Player? How to Answer this Tricky Question in an Interview?

Are You a Team Player? How to Answer this Tricky Question in an Interview?

by Talentese Team 15/09/2017

Are you a Team Player or Individualist?

Tricky! This question ranks pretty high in the most frequently asked interview questions. Why do employers ask such mind boggling questions? How do I answer them? Am I a team player? Am I an individual? Will I lose the job if I answer either/or?

First things first, relax. Take a deep breath.

This question is always included in typical interview questions and answers. While it may seem that there’s only one right answer, most of the time, it’s actually not. There is no right or wrong answer. There are negatives and positives however you reply. It completely depends on how you portray yourself. It’s at this stage in your interview process that you must keep your wits about you. What?! What does that even mean?

We will look at this reply individually and together.

I am a Team Player:

are you a team player answer Let’s just take a moment to emphasize how essential teamwork is in any environment. Teamwork as a skill has increased in importance over the years. With the onset of cross-functional, multicultural work environments, you want to be an asset to the organization. Your contribution to the function will be solely dependent on how well you play with others. No one likes a lone wolf in office. Innovation and ideation are words that you must use in typical interview questions and answers.

They form the basis for teamwork. It is a necessity to work with others effectively in the quest for innovative solutions. Teamwork queries are ideally asked to sense your behavior at work. Hence, most interviewers will try to throw you a curveball with this question!

Before you walk into an interview, make a note of the aspects of teamwork you have enjoyed. Use these as anecdotal evidence while answering this most frequently asked interview question. Beware of sounding too enthusiastic while portraying your team successes. You don’t want your future employers to presume that you depend on others to provide advice and input. Remember to be extremely respectful of past colleagues in your narration. Be honest while outlining your teamwork examples. Provide a past encounter for evidence while accentuating how you worked in collaboration with your peers.

I am an individualist:

Individualism is a fabulous trait! Many people prefer working alone to promote exclusivity in their work. Your uniqueness shines when you work alone. However, while responding to this most frequently asked interview question, most people hesitate to answer ‘individualist’.

are you a team player answerOne of the reasons for hesitation is that you don’t want your prospective employer to think you are going to be occupying a work cubicle alone without interacting with colleagues. You don’t want to come across as unfriendly and unapproachable; this is especially true in the case of managers and team leaders. The essence of being in a managerial or team leader position is the need to inculcate feelings of openness and approachability.

On the other end of the individualist spectrum, is that you want your future employer to know how you work independently; that you are able to manage your work without needing assistance and depending on others. Again, think of an instance or experience where you had the advantage of working alone, if that is your preference. Study the job description carefully to tackle this typical interview question and answer round. Mold your response around what the interviewer would most likely relate to, and push it forward.

I am both; team player and individualist:

So you want the best of both worlds! Ideally, this is the best approach to tackle this most frequently asked interview question and answer. Incorporate your positives from working with a team and as an individual while responding to your interviewer. Answer in a simple, straightforward manner while addressing both aspects of this tricky coin. Explain how you enjoy teamwork, but that you are also comfortable working independently should the role or project call for it.

Give a well-rounded example of how you have worked with a team previously. Elaborate how you continued to work independently while simultaneously keeping your team members in the loop. Portray how you are able to multitask while combining different skill sets to submit a positive result for your entire team. Enhance your ability to collaborate and work towards a common goal to come up with creative solutions. Conclude with company benefit in the long run. Always ensure that your employer understands how you are able to multifunction and switch easily between roles of team player and individualist with ease.

The best way ahead is to decide previously the example you choose for different responses. Most employers look for versatility, so it would be ideal to showcase that you’re an all-rounder. For you, switching between the roles of individualist and team player should be as easy as breathing! When you come across most frequently asked interview questions and answers like these, make sure you keep your options open at all times. Illustrate how you can tackle typical interview questions with ease and confidence. Exemplify your personal attributes of working in both conditions. This will ensure that your future employer realizes what an asset you can be to the company!


Talentese helps you find job based on WHO YOU ARE, not just what you can do!
Talentese helps you find job based on WHO YOU ARE, not just what you can do!

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