Being a team player is encouraged from a very early age, when parents demand that we play nicely together and be willing to share, by putting the needs of others before those of our own. Getting along with our teammates, in other words, was essential to cultivating an organic, convivial dynamic between children. As any good marketing recruiter or headhunter will know, the significance of interpersonal relations, no doubt, carries over well into adulthood, particularly in the working world, where these dynamics are part and parcel of professionalization.
There are some traits and quirks that marketing recruitment firm representatives can identify in people that regular, internal hiring committees cannot; indeed, one of the many benefits that a financial recruiter offers is the ability to predict how an individual can fit within the context of an already-established team. This is precisely why job ads usually list “good team member” towards the beginning of the listing – the team, or corporate family, must come first.
Headhunters and employers alike seek out candidates who are able to not only emphasize their interpersonal skills, but demonstrate them within the environment created by interviewers. It goes without saying that a team is only worthy of the name if it is comprised of team players – lest one’s company consist of individuals who begrudgingly work side by side. Certain studies suggest that this composition is absolutely vital to the well-being of any enterprise, and most financial recruiters would agree. And yet, being perceived as a team player can be quite difficult in the short period of time that you are allotted for an interview – an experience that is intrinsically personal and about showing off the real “you.” Some people desperately try and convey themselves as a team player, in ways that don’t always work.
The show, Don’t Tell
The phrase team player is risky to use offhand; what is more rewarding is that one that be demonstrate that they are, in fact, a team player – the more a word like this is thrown around haphazardly, the less likely that those uttering the word are actually team players. In fact, there are several words and phrases that actually ought to be avoided or used very carefully. They go as follows:
- “I”: If you’re talking about yourself too much, or this is the lead into the crux of your sentences, it is will make you appear unpalatable to most interviewers.
- “Collaborate”: This is, more than anything, a buzzword that has supplanted other terms for interacting socially. Not everything surrounding a team dynamic needs to be inherently productive; be sure to leave room for the casual, and don’t abuse this word.
- “The Team Comes First”: This is a trite turn of phrase that should be avoided, simply because it isn’t always the case that the team can come first – we must focus on our own individual roles within a team, sometimes.
All in all, it’s much easier to simply show how your skills, qualifications, and overall experiences in the workforce have thus far produced a team-oriented person, rather than trying to pitch yourself as team-obsessed. With this in mind, you should be able to follow through and join the team that you deserve to be a part of.