There’s No “I” in Team – OR IS THERE?

By: Jeff Johnson   |   February 21, 2017

“There’s no ‘I’ in TEAM.” You’ve heard this sage wisdom since you were a child, but it’s not completely true. In our teamwork oriented culture, the idea that personal accomplishments should be touted is sometimes unpopular. When it comes to an employment interview, however, your personal accomplishments can be your most valuable asset. How do you highlight your accomplishments without being braggadocios or appearing to lack a team-oriented mentality? The answer to this question can separate you from other candidates and ultimately help you land your next position.

Today’s employment interviews are often composed of a series of behavioral-based questions, where candidates are prompted with “Tell us about a time when…” from employers. Often, in an effort to showcase a strong teamwork mentality, candidates tell a story about how they collaborated with their team members to accomplish great work.

Unfortunately the way these stories are often framed doesn’t highlight the candidate’s true personal accomplishments and thus waters down the impact that they individually had. When interviewing, it’s important to realize that the interview is about YOU and what YOU will bring to the organization. Beyond teamwork and collaboration, what skills and abilities will you bring to the team personally that will improve overall performance?

Here are three questions to answer as you share team-oriented examples in your next interview to ensure that your individual contributions shine through:

  • What was your role on the team and what responsibilities did you personally take on?
  • How did your specific contributions result in your team accomplishing their goals?
  • What did you learn from this team experience that you will use in your next role on a team?

Remember, don’t be afraid to use the word “I” instead of “we” as you share your stories. Talk candidly about your appreciation for others contributions while showcasing the collaborative leadership that demonstrated in each team situation. Our advice is to practice sharing your team successes, while ensuring that you frame up your participation and leadership in the best possible light. Feel free to practice on us, we are happy to provide you with feedback.

For more tips on preparing for your next interview and connecting with top healthcare employers in your area, get started today.