Interview Insights | Key Question: What role will you play on the team? [Template & Sample]

team-leaders-changing-roleInterview question: What role will you play on the team?

This question comes from a recent client engagement. The goal was to uncover my client’s unique selling proposition.

The best way to do this is to see how you stack up verses your peers.

Line up side-by-side your experiences, relationships, skills, anticipated solutions with those of your teammates.  In the same way that you’ve compared competitors in a marketplace, use the same framework to make this comparison.

For example, what is your educational background? What did your teammates study? What key experiences do they bring to the table? Now, how about yourself?

This exercise if done correctly will highlight a few things:

  • You will know for sure whether your skills complement the ones already in place.
  • You will know which experiences will add to your team.
  • You will also know which ones of your anticipated solutions are unique.

Once you’ve combed through and compared apples-with-apples you can then craft your story around the role you will play within any top team.

Here’s an example:

The immediate value that I can bring to this top team includes my experience over the last twelve years having worked with organizations that have leveraged the power of digital solutions to varying degrees. I’ve built successful M&A factories and been measured in light of their success as a sales leader. I’ve been classically trained by Bain & Co. to analyze situations in a disciplined fashion yet I’ve also developed a gut instinct to inform business decisions while working in emerging markets.

While considering these critical vantage points, the role that I would play as a strategic leader for Phillips would be that of the glue that brings together the c-suite and our in-country operational heads. I’m well-positioned to take on this role because I’ve successfully advised business leaders in light of digital disruptions and adapted local programs in data-plenty as well as data-starved markets.

The key insight is that you have to do your homework. Prior to any interview, research all of your interviewees. Start with LinkedIn. Continue through Google. You should also understand the value that you’d bring to the table in light of an existing core team.

Side note: Once my client analyzed the top team, he learned that his supply chain expertise was not as valuable as he had originally hypothesized because 4 out of 9 of his peers shared this area of expertise. Instead, he learned that his digital prowess was unique, deep M&A expertise, and consulting training would be more interesting hooks for this opportunity.

You need a hook!

Find your hook.

It will rise to the top after a thorough analysis.

This is one of those interview questions that can trip up even the savviest business executives. I can help you nail the 26 others in an easy to download eBook “The Interview-Strategy Playbook for Olympians.”

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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