Would You Want You for a Co-Worker?

By: Pam Barker

Whether you like it or not, your coworker has left and somebody new has taken their position in lab. They aren’t going to know how to make those special cookies the other person used to make, they may not root for the same sports team you do, but guess what, it’s THEIR first day on the job.

I ask you to take a minute and ask yourself – would you want YOU for a coworker.

Being able to answer YES is the key to success and everyone getting along in the lab.

The most important things you want to see from a new coworker are dependability

and ability to do the job. The most important things a new coworker wants to see from YOU are a friendly smile, a welcoming attitude and maybe some help with a few things that are specific to your lab. Sounds to me like a more than fair trade.

In today’s very competitive employment market we tend to get so focused on what WE are looking for in a new position or what WE need in a new job. In the current job market, employers can’t afford to make a mistake any more than you can.
So when you are in that next interview trying to make your best impression, remember that while they are evaluating your skills and experience, they are also asking themselves would I want this person as a coworker?

How do you convey that you would be someone that they would like to have as a coworker? Let’s start by making a list of attributes people like to see in their coworkers:

1 Responsibility

2. Dependability

3. Initiative

The list could go on forever but I find that most of the other attributes that people talk about fall under one of the above 3. So how DO you relay this in an interview? Be prepared to be asked about your current or previous employment situations. Take some time BEFORE the interview to prepare answers that give specific examples of how you displayed responsibility and dependability and how you took initiative. Never say anything negative about a past employer that conveys that you are a complainer. Would you want to work with a complainer?

This might seem obvious but bear with me. Show your qualities of responsibility, dependability and initiative DURING the interview. Show up a few minutes early with a clean copy of your resume, a pen, and the information not on your resume that you might need to fill out an application. Be polite to the receptionist and thank everyone that you speak with during your time at the interview site. And don’t chat up other people in the waiting areas or the office personnel.

Last but definitely not least, here is what you can do AFTER the interview. Send a thank you note to each of your interviewers and contact your references. Let them know to expect a call about you and ask them to mention to the reference taker what a great co-worker or employee you are.

Remember it isn’t just about what you can do, it is also about how you do it.

Would you want to work with YOU?

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