Interview Coaching
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Competency 1. Teamwork

Lesson 3

A good team is one that understands its strengths and weaknesses, maximises the former and develops the latter.

Not shying away from weakness is important. Not only does it show self-awareness but it denotes a capacity for development as awareness is always the first step in this. ​Demonstrating ​this will ensure to the board that you​ are, not only a​ team player,​ but a leader​. 

​This competency is important because few jobs in today’s world are performed in isolation. Teamwork is integral to the success of ​almost any initiative. You must fully embrace and understand this in order to be a successful team player.

Common Questions

  • How do you feel about working on a team?
  • Tell me about a time you solved a problem as a member of a team.
  • How would you motivate team members if you were working on a project together?”
  • Tell me about a difficult experience you had when working on a team project.
  • Give me some examples of your teamwork.
  • Describe being part of a team.
  • Tell me about a challenging workplace situation that you had to deal with.|
  • What role have you played in team situations?

The ​Panel is trying to assess:

  1. Do you like working on a team.
  2. How well do you work in groups.
  3. What role you tend to take on a team project (for example, leader, mediator, f​acilitator). 

All of these questions help the interviewer gauge your experience and comfort with teamwork.

​Answers

​Good

"I find teams are a good opportunity to ​achieve bigger things..."  Followed: by specific example

"I have learned a lot about myself from working as part of a team..." Followed: by specific example

Bad


"I have worked on teams where one or two voices tend to ​dominate the group, and other peoples’ ideas are not heard."

"I feel my record speaks for itself."


Remember: The Panel only has one chance to assess ​you as a ​ candidate, so masterfully “dodging” a tricky question with a slick answer may help to alleviate your discomfort, but it won’t help the interviewer with their decision. They are looking for specific criteria in order to award you marks. In order to provide them with this we need to showcase how you solved problems and what you learned. Make sure you are answering the question that is being asked and are not wandering off ​topic (which can easily happen when you are nervous). The panel cannot assign you marks if you don’t meet the​ criteria.

Using the strengths from previous lessons, choose a memory of when one of these opportunities presented itself to you - write it down and extract what you learned from this task. Be sure to pay particular attention to your​ role in the example i.e the specific actions you took to achieve the desired outcome. ​​​

​​​The Skills of Team work

Here ​is a list of teamwork skills that you'll want to keep in mind as you prepare to answer questions ​under this topic. Ask yourself, when did I demonstrate any of the following:
Communication
Conflict management
Delegation
Drawing out the input of introverts
Framing key issues
Jumping in to do additional work during times of crisis
Listening
Leadership
Monitoring progress
Recognising the achievements of others

Examples of introduction to Teamwork Competencies

“In my last position, I was part of a software implementation team. We all worked together to plan and manage the implementation schedule, to provide customer training, and to ensure a smooth transition for our customers. ​During one particularly challenging and complex assignment an issue arose when two members of the team began constantly butting heads...

“I was part of a team responsible for evaluating and selecting a new vendor for our office equipment and supplies. In this regard, the team was tasked with reviewing options, compare pricing and service, and then choose a suitable vendor​. I was conscious of the importance of the time frame from the outset of this initiative ...” 

Point of note:
​Although this is a teamwork competency be careful that you use the word ‘I’ in relation to demonstrating the role you undertook in a given scenario. Don’t tell the story by describing the actions of ‘we’ throughout. ‘We’ are not being interviewed.‘I’ am.

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