There was a time when looking neat and tidy was considered to be of prime importance for any teenager when going to a job, college, or university interview.
Later there was a period when being able to offer coherent answers to standard interview questions such as, “Why do you want this job?” was thought to be particularly helpful.
And yes, there is still something to be said for both points of view. But it is also true that in recent years many of those who are interviewing candidates for jobs, and those looking to offer places in further and higher education, have changed their stance.
Now there is a much greater tendency than ever before for interviewers to consider applicants in terms of much deeper and more fundamental personality traits.
It is true that many application forms and interviews invite the applicant to say something about him/herself. Others give this more depth by providing a touch of context as in, “How do you think you’d get on working in a team?”
But in a very real sense that is a trick question. A trick because it invites the answer, “I think I am very much a team player; I listen to others and I’m able to contribute when appropriate.”
Such an answer sounds absolutely right – which is why applicants give it – yet increasingly it is exactly the answer that causes employers and admissions tutors to reject an applicant.
For increasingly they are NOT looking for a generalised belief that one is a team player, but rather for people who already know what they would bring to a team situation.
This transition in requirement is catching many applicants out, and for this reason Belbin has produced a new, free, report for tutors of school leavers, which deals with the issue of Team Roles – the topic that has become of prime importance to many who consider applications from school leavers.
If you would like a free copy of this report please email firstname.lastname@example.org and write “A teenager’s greatest asset report” in the subject line and we will send it back to you at once. There is no charge, and absolutely no obligation, and I’ll be happy to hear from you with any questions you may have.
You can also read more about Belbin and our work at www.belbingetset.com.
I look forward to hearing from you