1. Factors to consider before answering "Are you a team player?"
  2. Sample Answers to “Are you a team player?”
  3. Tips to remember while answering "Are you a team player?"
    1. Research properly
    2. Use Relevant examples
    3. Use current episode for examples
    4. Use the STAR method to answer
    5. Avoid sounding scripted
  4. What not to say while answering "Are you a team player?"
    1. Avoid rushing to answer
    2. Avoid saying that you’re a lone wolf
    3. Avoid Lying

‘Are you a team player?” is a recruiter’s favorite in almost every interview but believe us, answering it without preparation is no cake walk.

Here are a few tried and tested methods along with sample answers to tackle this basic interview question and bag that job!

Factors to consider before answering "Are you a team player?"

Before you answer this basic interview question you need to know a few things.

Firstly, understand why a recruiter asks “Are you a team player?” The main reason for asking this question is to find out if a candidate can work well with others or not.

It is important to understand how your team functions, their strengths, weaknesses, and how you can use your talent to fill up the void and help the team reach its goals.

So, basically to answer this basic interview question you first need to research the company by reading reviews . Understand how the team functions in the company, their values.

Next, align your strengths with the team’s requirements.

Take for example,

  • You are a people person
  • You can mediate conflicts irrespective of their magnitude
  • You can motivate your teammates when required
  • You know how to hold your ground without disrupting the balance within the team
  • You can mediate clearly and with ease

Sample answers to “Are you a team player?”

Answering “Are you a team player?” can be tricky. When framing your answers for this basic interview question, you can opt for the STAR technique.

The STAR formula is basically
S - Situation
T- Task
A - Action
R- Result

Here is how you can use this formula to answer “Are you a team player?”

Sample Answers #1:

“There was this time where our team lead went on her Maternity leave and there were only two of us handling the entire magazine processes. But due to work stress her productivity faltered.

So, I took up a few of her responsibilities to ensure that the magazine publication did not get delayed and she also did not feel burdened.

We ended up working for 6 more months and all the while the entire process from editing to communicating with other teams and reporters in remote locations was done flawlessly.

So much so that the Editor decided to let us handle the procedures with full authority.”

Sample Answer #2:

“Last Christmas I was assigned to collect cash for a team lunch.

However, one of my teammates did not pitch in, which did strike me as a little odd as she was always the one taking initiatives for team activities.

She doesn’t speak of her troubles so I pitched in for her at the time. She later thanked me and told me she was facing some financial issues as her family member was hospitalized and expenses were high.

She was struggling with self-doubt. So, I decided to sit her down and talk to her and encourage her to look at the brighter perspectives of life and keep herself motivated and positive for her family.

She looked much relaxed at the team lunch during the Christmas eve lunch.”

Sample Answer #3:

“Last October there was a time when the company was looking to cut costs.

There was a colleague who came up to my teammate and told her that the management was planning on letting her go because of the same.

She told me about the incident during lunch and I took her to the Editor and encouraged her to inform him about the incident.

He immediately notified the other team about their teammate’s behavior and the incident was handled there and then.

This basic communication with my boss helped to encourage clarity within the team and also to trust one another to have each other’s back in challenging times.

Thereby resulting in the team’s ambiance and work productivity.”

Sample Answer #4:

“ I appreciate being in a team as it provides me with a lot of opportunities to learn and increase my potential in terms of work.

I believe there is a lot to learn from every single member of the team.

Also, working in a team helps to improve our productivity.

We can encourage each other when low and even share our victories and loss and jump back in form again.”

Tips to remember while answering "Are you a team player?"

To sum it up, here are a few key tips to remember while answering the basic interview question “Are you a team player?”

Research properly

The basic preparation process for any interview begins with proper research.
Read the job description stated carefully, then research the company and the teams they have.

Use relevant examples

Next, answer “Are you a team player?” based on your research about the company’s values and the job description stated.

It is important to frame your answer in relevance to the requirements and values of the organization.

Also, make sure to answer in a manner that can reflect adding value to their team.

Use current episode for examples

The best way to answer this basic interview question is to speak of a current episode.

This would allow you to frame your answer better and much more vividly as compared to an episode that occurred way too long ago.

Use the STAR method to answer

Much like any essay an answer also needs to be properly framed.

Similarly, when answering it is best to answer based on the Situation (that was presented), Task (that was at hand), Action (what you did to handle the situation), and finally what Results your action yielded.

What not to say while answering "Are you a team player?"

Now that you know how to answer “Are you a team player?” here are a few things that you must NEVER say while answering this basic interview question.

Avoid rushing to answer

A very important quality of a good team player is to be a good listener.

No matter what your answer, if you rush to answer “Are you a team player?” automatically you will leave a negative impression on your recruiter.

So, let your recruiter finish asking the question, understand the question properly, and then take your time to frame this basic interview question.

Avoid saying that you’re a lone wolf

There is no ‘I’ in a team. Whatever happens, the entire team faces the consequences together, and pointing fingers at one another can disrupt the entire house of cards.

Therefore, when answering “Are you a team player?” remember to frame the answer in a manner where you share the results with the entire team despite tooting your own horn.

Avoid lying

Lying will not help you go much ahead (in any sphere).

If in case you prefer working alone, frame your answer by highlighting how you can add value to the team leading them to victory.

Avoid following a script

Although it is advised to practice your answers for your upcoming interview, you would want to avoid sounding like a robot.

Instead, try to answer this basic interview question more conversationally.

You wouldn’t want to bore the recruiter so a conversational answer to “Are you a team player?” is your easiest bet in bagging the job.

Hopefully, these tips to answer “Are you a team player?” will help you to tackle this basic interview question and you will ace the interview.

All the best!

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