Monday, August 1, 2016

Does the applicant have team skills?

I am a huge Vince Vaughn fan and watched that comedy THE INTERNSHIP about two older salesmen who go into Google's internship program and end up pulling together a team of misfits. It has its moments--funny and dumb.

Anyhow, someone had to decide these two had team-like possibilities despite being complete goofballs and older goofballs at that.

Lou Adler, CEO of the Adler Group, a recruiting firm, writing in Government Executive, July 26, 2016, says you can hire for motivation, hire for cultural fit, but asks how do you determine whether a person is a team player?

He says the most important interview question is: Can you please describe the most important team accomplishment of your entire career?

This could be managing a team project or being on an important team.

You might also have to answer follow-on questions:

--Who was on the team and what was their role?

--What was your assigned role--did this change?

--What were the objectives and were they met?

--Describe how the team was managed. Were you a part of this?

--Who did you influence the most--did you coach anyone or get coached?

--What would you change if you could?

--What was the biggest team problem?

If the applicant has thought about all this, he or she may be a good team member.

Think about it if you're an applicant--or an employer.

I am trying to pull together a team to make my one-minute cartoon trailer. I may start asking about other teamwork they have done as I talk to people.

In the movie, the two goofballs with more life experience tended to be more empathetic to their younger team mates and thus inspired their loyalty. And they were clearly a team of two.

The low point came when one goofball--Vince--screwed up on the computer (at Google!) and cost the team a win. Still, they stuck with him and even coaxed him back, where he, of course, found a way to use his sales skills to prevail.


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