If you are reading this on G.I. Jobs, you likely understand what it means to be on a team. More than likely you’ve seen what happens when a team succeeds, or when one fails to function at all. Perhaps you’ve even experienced leading your own team. Before I go any further, let me explain what the term “team” means to me: it’s a group of people with different experiences and complementing skills who are headed for the same goal together.
My professional team today consists of a mix of very diverse people with vastly different backgrounds and experience levels. Each one of them has been selected not just based on their work experience, but more on their personality and their ability to work with the rest of the team, as well as our clients.
To get you pointed in the right direction, I’ll cover what I look for when I start the initial interview process for my own team:
- Punctuality – Being on time (which means a little early) to the first interview is critical. Don’t let anything get in the way, as a lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
- Research – Understand what the company’s mission is and what the potential job will require; this can be done by doing some quick online recon, including similar jobs with similar companies. Have a clear idea of what your role will be on the team and what you bring to the table.
- Attitude – I like people who don’t take themselves too seriously, and other business owners that I associate with would agree with that. I want someone who appreciates the importance of the company’s future, yet also has a sense of humor about themselves and life in general.
- Appearance – While jeans and a Def Leppard shirt aren’t going to impress me one bit, a suit isn’t that impressive in my line of work, either. A pair of slacks and a nice polo are almost always a safe bet. I’m also not just talking about clothing here: you’d better believe that I check all social media sites, discussion forums, and creatively Google every applicant who comes my way. What a team member does off the job and shares through social media and discussion forums can be seen by clients, and that can affect business.
Once the initial interview is done, assuming all went well, some due diligence background checking begins. During that time, I expect a potential team member to show me their determination in getting on board. I don’t want them to call me every day, but after a few days have passed an email outlining their finer qualities followed up with a quick phone call is a good idea.
Once a team member is selected, there are a few things they can do to ensure that they have a solid future with the team:
- Professionalism – A clean, sharp appearance is vital, and no matter how bad things get, you have to maintain your cool and keep your mouth in check.
- Loyalty – “Riding for the brand” is a term that seems to be getting lost in today’s competitive business world, and being willing to “take one for the team” every now and then is an important concept to understand as well.
- Education – A team member who is constantly striving to become better at their profession through education and more training, especially at their own expense, is more valuable than someone who may already “know it all.”
- Ideas – Speaking of knowing it all, nobody does – so if you have an idea that you believe may make us all smarter, faster and stronger, don’t keep it to yourself!