Teamwork is essential to any organization’s success—and you can stack the deck in your favor by hiring candidates with the ability to work successfully within a team. According to Patrick Lencioni, bestselling author and CEO of The Table Group, those candidates possess a combination of three essential virtues—humility, hunger, and people smarts.
While there is no perfect tool or test to identify these candidates, a manager can ask specific questions during an interview—and look for clues within the responses—to increase their chances of hiring team-minded individuals.
"What is your greatest weakness?"
The key is not what their weaknesses are, but if they’re comfortable acknowledging something they need to improve on.
"What was the most embarrassing moment in your career?"
Humble people generally aren’t afraid to tell their unflattering stories because they’re comfortable with being imperfect.
"How did you handle that embarrassment?"
Has this candidate learned anything from that experience?
"How do you handle apologies, either giving or accepting them?"
Humble people are not afraid to apologize or accept the apologies of others.
"Tell me about someone who is better than you in an area
that really matters to you."
Humble people are comfortable showing a genuine appreciation for others who have more skill or talent than they do.
"What kinds of hours do you generally work?"
It may be a red flag if a candidate is satisfied with a predictable schedule. There’s a chance he isn’t terribly hungry.
"What is the hardest you’ve ever worked on something in your life?"
Look for specific examples of real, but joyful, sacrifice.
"How would you describe your personality?"
People who are generally introspective find it interesting to talk about their strengths and weaknesses.
"What do you do that others in your personal life might find annoying?"
People with emotional intelligence are generally aware of their behaviors, able to articulate them, and moderate them at work.
"Would your former colleagues describe you as an empathetic person?"
The information you’re seeking is, does this candidate generally understand and value what others are feeling?
Learn to successfully identify ideal team players through expert guidance from Patrick Lencioni, including additional interview questions and tips for navigating the hiring process. Request your free guide, Identify (and Hire) Ideal Team Players: How to Structure Your Interviews for Team Success today.
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