How To Be Sure You’re Hiring Team Players

How do you trust what’s written on a CV? Sure, you can be enticed by a pretty design and some flashy statistics–but there’s a level of trust that needs to be applied to each application. You go into this believing that what’s being said is true and that these employees are capable of making the differences they say they can make. But how do you know if they’re really the team players they’re claiming to be?

This can be a daily problem for some recruiters. But there are still some ways to makes sure you find the right fit, it’s just about taking the necessary steps. Let’s take a closer look at how to do just that.

Make sure to ask the right question

Some candidates can get flustered during the pressure of an interview, especially if they’ve embellished a few key facts on their CV. The best way to weed these out? Ask the right questions. This is a great way to get a feel for how they would work with the rest of the team and how their skills would benefit the wider business.

This can include:

  • Asking them about their greatest achievement at work, with tangible examples and quantifiable results
  • Asking them how their skills will help the charity achieve its goals and targets
  • Asking them about conflicts they’ve had with team members and how they’ve resolved them
  • Asking them for examples of ways they’ve worked successfully with their team on a campaign or project
  • Asking what makes them different from other candidates

Remember, the most important thing to highlight is examples. It’s not just enough for them to say they ‘improved donations’. Ask them what they did to engage donors and what the results looked like.

Find out if they’ve volunteered

Volunteering can be an important part of a career path in the charity sector; it can also be a great way of ensuring someone is a team player. So, you might want to check on their volunteering experience. You can improvise with the questions in this part of the interview because anything you ask will resonate within the candidate. Volunteering is essential to teamwork because it involves voluntary, socially acceptable work, free of charge.

Find out:

  • Where they volunteered and what they were doing
  • How long they volunteered for
  • Did they volunteer as a part of a team or did they do so individually (as someone doing content writing or graphic design for example)?


Roleplay a few scenarios

Your company is bound to have a rich history of exciting projects and looming deadlines. Use this opportunity to ask your candidates to solve those kinds of situations to the best of their knowledge. You can do these exercises in teams, but it’s much easier to see the results on an individual basis.

Give them about an hour’s worth of time and don’t answer any additional questions they might have – giving them a way out isn’t going to push them to their limit. While this might seems a little unfair, it is a great way for a candidate to demonstrate patience.

Consider running some group workshops

Speaking of teamwork, you can organise group workshops in case you have a lot of candidates to go through. This is a great opportunity to gauge problem-solving and adaptability. You never know what sort of things people come up with when they have to think on their feet!

These exercises can be anything that is remotely connected to teamwork – from building an object out of scraps of paper, to playing team board games or doing writing exercises on certain topics. It’s up to you to come up with interesting games that cater to your company culture.

Always be feedback-oriented

Let’s face it, we can’t give the job to everyone. And there will be a few candidates who make it to the end only to find out you went with someone else. People can sometimes take criticism a little close to heart – this is exactly what you should be careful of when conducting your follow-ups. You’ll want to find candidates who are open to constructive criticism and self-development.

Stuck between two candidates for the final decision? This is a great opportunity to provide feedback and ask a few follow up questions that can gauge how they deal with criticism. Come up with a few activities or questions which allow potential candidates to demonstrate their willingness to learn and develop with your company.

See if they have a collective mindset

The best way to see if someone works well with others is to ask big questions. How can they influence the company or how they can change the company in the next five years?

These questions are meant to differentiate candidates who use ‘I’ from those who say ‘we’. This is a small, crucial difference between team players and individuals, no matter if you are a large international company or a local charity.

So what should you take away?

Take as much time as you need during the interview process. The more pressure you apply, the more you will see their true colours, but remain professional and always understand that an interview can be a stressful situation. Don’t be shy of conducting exactly the kind of screening your company reputation and vision deserve. Candidates that are meant to be with you will find their way.

Tags: applications, hiring process, hiring the right people, team players

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About the author

Angela Baker

Angela Baker is an experienced specialist who is currently working as a freelance writer and trying to improve herself in her blogging career. She is always seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth and is convinced that it’s always important to broaden horizons.