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5 Interview Questions to Screen for Collaboration Skills

Collaboration – The capability of working within a team in order to complete a task or achieve a goal.

You’ll be hard pressed to find an organisation where teamwork isn’t essential.

Strong collaboration skills can have a huge impact on whether a candidate is successful or not. Collaboration can help improve overall productivity and team morale. A study from Harvard Business also suggests that 50% of great collaborators also tend to be top performers.

When hiring for a role which requires effective teamwork, screening candidates for collaboration skills can help you find someone who will work well with others and drive their colleagues towards greater success. Failure to hire someone who doesn’t possess collaboration skills could create roadblocks for colleagues.

The top 5 interview questions to screen for collaboration skills

Describe the best supervisor or partner you’ve worked with and what part of their management style appealed to you?

This is a great question to ask to help you understand the candidates’ working style and what type of personalities they work best with.

It also helps establish what sort of environment they will help create on your team.

Can you share your favourite experiences working with a team? What contributions did you make?

This question gives candidates the opportunity to express their energy and motivations when working as a team. It also allows them to demonstrate the collaboration skills that help them excel when part of a team.

In their answer, look for acknowledgement of their team’s contributions, too. Great candidates won’t take full ownership of success. Instead, they’ll note that it was a team effort, and they simply helped or enabled the ongoing success.

Tell me about an experience where a project dramatically shifted direction at the last minute.

Learning about how the candidate handles unexpected changes can be really valuable, as projects can and will dramatically shift from time to time!

Good candidates will focus their answer around how they would keep the team aligned. They may also talk about how they’re comfortable asking for help when needed (another very valuable skill!).

Have you ever had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with? How did you handle this situation?

Sometimes, we don’t get on with the people we work with. Unfortunately, that’s a fact of life. How we deal with disagreements reflects on who we are – it’s essential that your candidates demonstrate how they handle conflict in the workplace.

They should show a willingness to try and see things from a colleague’s perspective. Do they find the cause of tension and find ways to improve the relationship?

Ask for specific examples of a time when they’ve handled a difficult situation, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and dig a little deeper if they’re vague.

Describe a time when you were communicating with someone and they didn’t understand you. What did you do?

This question will highlight whether the candidate possesses patience. Great collaborators will take the time the make sure they’re understood and adjust their working style to align with others.

Modern workplaces are diverse places. Misunderstandings are inevitable.

Your candidates should demonstrate that they understand this and are able to find a better way to make themselves understood.

Need help booking more interviews?

At Absolute Personnel, we specialise in matching the perfect candidates with their ideal businesses.

We meet every single candidate that we provide to our clients, meaning you can rest assured that you’re interviewing the best of the best.

Let’s talk about your vacant positions. Get in touch with our specialist recruitment team today.

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