Right now there is a team working on the next iPhone. There is a team working on preventing Alzheimer’s disease. There is a team working on a car that gets 100 miles per gallon. What teams are going to achieve their objective? What makes for a successful team?
Patrick Lencioni in “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” developed a model of high performing teams that include five key characteristics: inter-team trust, healthy conflict, team member commitment, team member accountability, and team results orientation. But before someone can be a high performing team member, they need to have been hired into the organization.
In all likelihood, a new hire will be assigned to a team sometime in their career. Hiring managers should screen for teamwork skills along with other job requirements.
Here are some questions for hiring managers to ask candidates to understand how well they will perform in a team setting:
Describe an effective team in which you’ve participated. What made it a good team? Describe a team that was less effective. What was the difference between the two?
Have you ever seen someone violate a trust relationship with another team member? What was the trust issue that was violated? What was the result? How could it have been avoided?
Give me an example of a group or team decision that was made and you felt that it was wrong or was something you disagreed with. How did you handle it? Were there others who agreed with you? What was the end result?
Empowered teams choose new hires who will make great team members and experience more success.