It’s sort of a dirty trick. You spend 15-20 years in school before you start a full-time career. In that time you are generally evaluated as an individual. To a large extent, your academic experience is a solo act.
Then you graduate and take a job where everything you do is a team effort. Committees, group presentations, cross-functional work groups, quality teams. It never ends!
Your paycheck may even be based on how well your team performs. After all those years of running your own show as a student, you’re expected to be the ultimate team player.
Being able to work effectively with others – not just co-workers, but clients too – is essential in almost every job. It’s so important that interviewers specifically look for candidates with strong Group Skills. Interviewers look for evidence in your background that suggests you can work well in a group.
You can make the interviewer’s job a lot easier. Be prepared to describe the role you took on a key campus committee. Describe a project you worked on with your sorority or club. Most importantly, describe how you gained the respect of the group over time and earned a leadership role. Having strong examples of group skills can be a big advantage in the job search.
Before any of this interview magic can happen, of course, you will need to get involved in campus groups or organizations. The sooner you get involved, the better. It takes time to establish the trust of a group, which you will need in order to become a leader. If you’re on the introverted side, it will take even longer, but it makes it that much more important to build your comfort in groups now.
Working in a team setting is part of your future. You might as well make it part of your college success plan and master it now.