Job candidates struggle to highlight their accomplishments without seeming arrogant. While interviewers want to know your past and skills, they don’t want you to seem self-centered.
The idea is to utilize language that demonstrates how well you cooperate with others. According to a 2022 Universum report, hiring managers like collaboration most. Collaboration is one of Cappfinity‘s top five abilities in today’s competitive job landscape.
Collaboration tops these “must haves” because businesses believe collaborative applicants will stay longer, operate effectively in a hybrid workplace, and produce the greatest results.
Here are five strategies to appear collaborative in job interviews:
Don’t overdo your “I statements”
While speaking about yourself, avoid using too many “I statements.” It’s easy to get caught up in the “I statement” trap. When your interviewer asks you, “Tell me about yourself.” It’s easy to answer instantly with “I did this” or “I did that.”
While it would be impossible to completely avoid using “I,” make sure to check yourself for overuse. Pre-record your responses, and if you hear “I” in consecutive sentences, practice again with some of the “I’s” removed. In the following passage, for example, there are too many “I’s”: “I’ve always wanted to work as a doctor. I liked the notion of assisting others. That is why I chose medicine.”
Instead, say, “It was my dream to become a doctor from a very early age, and that led me to pursue a career in medicine, specializing in cardiology.” By limiting your use of the first person, you may bring more attention to your larger ambitions.
Say “we” and “team”
Include other people in your narrative when describing successful ventures. For instance, if you were invited to be a team leader for a new software development program, emphasize those you worked with by saying something along the lines of: “the squad was made up of ten bright minds. Throughout several months, we worked day and night to fulfill our goal of delivering error-free code on schedule and on budget.”
Of course, you shouldn’t hide the fact that you were the project’s team leader. Make it evident that you are in charge. For example, you could say: ”As the team leader, I knew we had to meet some lofty goals. I made certain that we met those expectations.” Then demonstrate how you achieved it.
Give credit to those who’ve helped your career
Mention how others helped you succeed to show the hiring manager you are collaborative. Everyone understands that relationships build careers. It’s important to acknowledge that you wouldn’t have gotten to where you are today without the guidance of instructors, supervisors, and others.
Thus, before your next job interview, write down a story about how others have supported you along your career path.
Talk about collaboration in your new role
Make sure you market yourself as someone who will create good working relationships throughout the interview. Demonstrate to each interviewer how you would like to collaborate with them or their teams.
Michael Palombo, a successful millennial, describes how he demonstrates his collaboration skills at a recent interview for a high-tech firm. “I asked each interviewer how in this role I could best support them and enhance their own contribution to the company,” he says. This was his approach to demonstrating his ability to work well with others, and it paid off: he got the job.
Palombo did not claim to know exactly how he would be able to assist each person in achieving their goals. So he framed it as a series of questions, asking them how he could collaborate with them on the job at hand.
Have a few stories about collaboration
Finally, before your next interview, have a few anecdotes prepared about how you engaged a group of people or a team at work and how, through your leadership, you accomplished something amazing together.
The stories could pertain to work situations, but you can also draw from other parts of your life. You might have a story about a sports team you were on, a play or concert you directed, a charitable event you organized, or a school project you started.
These stories will not necessarily spring to mind during the interview. However, if you plan ahead of time you’ll score major marks in terms of collaboration.