There is no I in team, there is in interview
Grainy pictures, like Michael Jordan above, evoke a nostalgic response.
For many of us, our earliest days of youth also evoke nostalgia. They were days in which we learned to share credit with others. To avoid shining the spotlight on ourselves. Teamwork and credit sharing was proper. 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’s use, which reportedly gained wide-spread popularity in 1960 when the Pittsburgh Pirates marched toward a World Series title.
There is an I in an Interview
During an interview, there is an I in team, figuratively if not literally. Place an I in team if you want your next job.
Regularly we speak with facility management professionals who say they are wary of talking about their professional accomplishments during interviews. They don’t like to brag and they don’t like to take credit. They don’t like to stray over that imaginary line between confidence and bragging. It’s uncomfortable for them, they say.
This is a misguided interview strategy. If you can’t verbally market your professional achievements, why would a potential employer hire you? You are more than words on a resume. During an interview, you should present as 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 subjective 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.
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 yourself, and that means including both I and team in your responses. Recall past team success before your interview and practice verbalizing these examples aloud, alone, in front of a mirror. Speak and hear these words. Get comfortable with the sound of your voice and your words of accomplishment.
If you are watching the ESPN special “The Last Dance,” you recently heard six-time NBA champ Michael Jordan say, “There is no I in team, but there is an I in win.” I laughed when Jordan said that, he declared it with such conviction, and rightly so.
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.
An interview is your marketing brochure. Even if it’s uncomfortable to present it.
We are here to assist
As the healthcare industry slowly and cautiously moves towards a return to normalcy, the one constant we can be sure of is change.
Gosselin / Martin Associates, nationwide healthcare facilities management search and educational consultants, stand ready to assist hospitals and systems across the country. To learn more about us please visit our website. To listen to or subscribe to our podcasts, please visit us at