“The ability to work well within a team” the OG of competencies on job descriptions. By default, it’s required everywhere - companies are split into ‘teams’ who work together towards the same goal. Teamwork is a fundamental skill which entails collaboration, compromise and influence - and here is how to show you possess all these attributes.

Teamwork is about operating smoothly and efficiently as a team, encouraging others, dulling your ego to compromise, communicate and negotiate with other conflicting perspectives.


On applications:

The key aspect when talking about teamwork on applications is emphasizing how your personal contribution enabled the team to reach its full potential. Generally when talking about your skills, you want to highlight your work's immediate results. However, when talking about teamwork, your example should reveal how the team was better of as a result of your contribution.

Any competitions or prizes won collectively as a group from outperforming rivals, or completing a task ahead of time, or under budget would be great examples. Another good example could go along the lines of “by encouraging a group atmosphere and supporting my colleagues I helped in my team's efforts to beat the competing groups.” Explaining why you affected that outcome and how your team was successful is key to answering these types of questions.

Try to avoid saying things along the line of “I lead my team to success due to personally being the highest performing employee”, this just screams ego at the recruiters and isn’t the best first impression!


Developing teamwork

Most people have gained teamwork skills without even realising it, from sports teams and clubs (maybe not so much tennis or golf), to committees of societies and part time jobs. Examples are everywhere, you don’t need to be a semi-professional athlete to know that team sports require teamwork! However, if you feel you lack teamwork experience, the good news is that all these activities are available to anybody, anytime.

When talking about an example make sure to use the STAR method to explain and evaluate the scenario.


skillsMaarten Karremans