How often does this happen – your hiring team spends months wading through the talent pool until they finally find the “right one.” However, in just a few weeks in, your job-site manager starts complaining that the skilled laborer simply isn’t getting along with the rest of the crew. Now, you find the whole construction project slows as you spend precious time and money to help the employee develop teamwork skills or, worse, start the job search process all over again.


On paper the candidate had all the right qualifications, impressive certifications and ample training. However, in action, the candidate’s lack of interpersonal skills and uncooperative nature disrupts the entire workplace culture. With a little more intention and extra insight during the initial interview, you can discover clues about the candidate’s teamwork skills. The staffing professionals at TKO Construction Services have developed three questions you MUST determine if a candidate will be the right fit, both professionally and personally.


Step One: Ask them questions about specific collaboration examples

During the interview, don’t simply ask: “How have you contributed to a team?” Instead, get more specific. You can ask: “Tell us about a time that collaboration was a challenge. How did you overcome that situation to be successful?” If that answer isn’t satisfactory, try throwing out a hypothetical situation and ask how the candidate would respond. The key is to discover if the candidate will put extra energy into teamwork that keeps a project moving forward to an on-time completion.


Step Two: Ask what their former bosses would say about their teamwork skills

Of course, you can ask the job applicant’s previous employers when you call for reference checks, but why not see what the candidate thinks those former supervisors would say. Ask questions that help you determine what they think their former bosses think about their level of cooperation. Find out if the candidate initiated team projects or had to be dragged along. Learn about how they worked with the entire crew – from peers to subordinates to authority figures.


Step Three: Body language can answer unasked questions

Pay attention to not just what a candidate says, but also how it is said. Body language is a great way to tell if an interviewee is being authentic. If you ask a question about working on a team, does the candidate avert their eyes? Do they show excitement? Listen closely to their words, but also notice their facial affects when answering. Sometimes words may convey one idea, while body language reveals another. Even if it doesn’t mean anything to you in the moment, jot down their physical response to reflect on it later.


If you’re in the need for more team players, contact the experienced construction staffing firm professionals at TKO Construction Services. We’ve helped hundreds of companies find solutions to the toughest staffing problems. Want access to a fully vetted talent pool of job seekers who can meet your needs? Contact our construction recruiters!TKO_CTA-Find Top Talent

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