Engineers rarely work in isolation. Complex projects require collaboration and teamwork; therefore, you must be able to showcase your ability to work well as part of a group in every interview. Hiring managers may ask you directly about teamwork, but it is much more likely they will make inferences based on the anecdotes you share throughout the interview. Use these strategies to demonstrate that you embrace teamwork.
Skills That Demonstrate Strong Teamwork
Teamwork requires some important skills. As you prepare for an interview, you’ll want to focus on stories that showcase skills like:
- Listening: You can demonstrate active listening during the interview itself. Do not speak over the hiring manager, reword the question as part of your answer and ask follow-up questions if you need clarification.
- Delegation: Strategic delegation ensures a project stays on track and that tasks are completed by the people with the right skills and aptitudes.
- Giving and receiving feedback: Team members often provide feedback to one another and it is important to both give and receive it with grace and professionalism. It is equally important to act on constructive feedback, either by repeating positive behaviors or eliminating negative behaviors.
- Respectfulness: The reality of teamwork is you won’t always like everyone you work with, but you must be able to set aside personal feelings to get the job done. The way to do that is to respect your team members’ abilities and strengths and focus on that, rather than their personalities
- Pitching in to get the job done: Effective team members go above and beyond the call of duty. They might take on additional tasks if a project is falling behind, they may step in and help someone who is struggling, or they may pick up tasks no one else wants to do. Valuable engineers let their egos go in order to achieve group goals.
Questions to Prepare For
There are many questions that hiring managers can ask to uncover your teamwork abilities, but to help you prepare for your next interview, here are some sample questions to help you practice and pick effective anecdotes from your past experience:
- Tell me about a successful project you were a part of in the last two years. What were your contributions to that success?
- Tell me about a failed project you were a part of in the last two years. What could you have done better?
- Discuss a time you were forced to work closely with someone you did not like. What was the outcome of your collaboration?
- When someone on your team isn’t pulling their weight, what do you do?
- If a team member accused you of not pulling your weight, how would you respond?
If you are a professional seeking engineering career opportunities, the recruiters of Selectek want to hear from you. We can help you find opportunities to work on exciting projects with dynamic teams. Contact us today to get started.