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“There is no I in team, but there is in win”

From our earliest days, in school and sport, we are taught to share credit with others. To avoid shining the spotlight on ourselves. Team work and credit sharing is viewed as proper, a noble gesture. Many of us have taken that message to heart and follow it still: There is No I in Team. 

But there is a limit to that cliche, which reportedly gained wide-spread popularity in 1960 while the Pittsburgh Pirates marched toward a World Series title. 

During an interview, there is an I in team. Place an I in team if you want your next job.

Regularly we speak with high level facility management professionals who say they are wary talking about their professional accomplishments during interviews. They don’t like to brag. They don’t like to take credit. They don’t like to stray over that imaginary line between confidence and bragging. They claim it’s uncomfortable for them.

This is a misguided interview strategy. If you can’t verbally market your professional achievements, why would a potential employer hire you? You are simply words on a resume as opposed to a confident, accomplished professional, sitting front and center articulating success.  

So where is the line between boastfulness and speaking with confidence?

From experience, we know that perceived lines between boastfulness and confidence can be subjective, especially during an interview. What is not sub jective is specific hospital-client feedback we have received that a prospective candidate has not expressed the proper balance between personal and team achievement. There were too many I’s and not enough We’s. And it has cost candidates opportunities they covet. Clients openly question leadership qualities when a candidate brings it all back to I: You can’t accomplish I without We

But if you don't like to speak about yourself, interview time is the time to push yourself past that uncomfortable feeling. You need to sell you

rself and that means including both I and team in your responses. Recall past team success prior to your interview and practice verbalizing these examples aloud, alone, in front of a mirror. Speak and hear these words, getting comfortable with the sound of your voice and your words of accomplishment.

Six-time NBA champ Michael Jordan once said, “There is no I in team, but there is in win.”  During your next interview, think of Jordan’s alteration of the oft-uttered cliche. An interview is a game with a winner and a loser. Don’t let modesty cost you a job. Expressing achievements and accomplishments during an interview is not bragging, it is what you need to do. 

Make no mistake, interview time is marketing time.


Peter Martin 










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