7 Ways to Show Emotional Intelligence in a Job Interview

By | January 30, 2019

Emotional Intelligence (EI) also known as Emotional Quotient (EQ) is fast developing as a crucial factor that might have an impact on your entire life that is personal, professional, financial, and social. EQ has now become an essential tool in testing if you have the proper ability and mental skills for a job.

Emotional Quotient or Intelligence is the potential to feel, communicate, use, recognise, describe, remember, learn from, identify, understand, manage, and explain the emotions. EI is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others (Psychology Today).

Technical skills are also important to get a job, but not as important compared to EQ. Therefore, let us focus on seven different ways you can use to show your emotional intelligence when you are in a job interview.

1. Listen Actively

This is the first and the most important tip that you are not present in an interview to talk about yourself but you are there to listen as well, and this is the only right way as you should listen more to understand. Repeat the question back in your own words to make sure that you understand it the way the interviewer intended it.

When you listen actively and deeply it means you are listening to understand the talk instead of listening with the intention to either respond, disagree, or to bring your turn to talk. The most important tip is to listen with a curiosity to learn something new and see things from a new perspective.

2. Share credit for your achievements

When you are asked about any project that was a success, you should always share and give credits to your team, unit, and all those who were involved in the project. You should be proud to be a member of the entire group which came together to achieve success. This will give more credibility to you in being a part of the team that will simply take entire credit for you only.

3. Rethink about your canned responses

Some questions will be asked in your interview for the job. However, if you are going for your second or third job, then you might also go for responses to some of the common questions that worked in the past. If you are asked, “Why you left your last job?” Then you should not blame others for this, one of the great indicators of emotional intelligence is the ability to take responsibility for mistakes done by you. This is an opportunity to show your ability as to how you can handle and regulate your negative emotions, and above all, you can even channel your negative emotion to transform it into a positive outcome or solution.

4. Try to show your emotions

When you show some of your emotions, you can form a connection between your interviewer and you. Smiling is always good, but it should not appear as forced or inauthentic. Showing your enthusiasm and some excitement is always good, but it should be real. The caution or warning sign over here is never forcing any of your emotions. This is so, if the interviewers get a hint or trace that you are not coming across as your true self, it can create trouble for you, as they will not trust you and it will reduce your chances of getting the job.

5. Ask questions

Once you answer the questions of the interviewer, then you can ask some of your questions. This is also important, as ultimately you need to determine that the job offered is the right fit for you. Hence, asking smart questions is another great way to show off your emotional intelligence. When you show interest, you become interested, and this is good. Therefore, it is good to be curious and exploratory.

You need to prepare some questions about the business, their unit, and the team you might be joining, values and culture of the organization, and much more. Another question that can be asked is about what makes the people in their organization successful in their working culture or some of the common novice mistakes made by the apprentice or trainee. Thus, all these points show that you are thinking not only of getting the job, but you are thinking much ahead of getting success in the job.

6. Pay attention to the non-verbal cues

Why are the interviews taken face-to-face and not entirely over the phone? There is a reason behind this to get the best employees with full potential, as your interviewer might also observe and interested in your behavior which is not verbal. Hence, pay attention to your non-verbal cues as these can be sued as tactics to show your emotional intelligence.

Let me explain with an example, one of the most powerful tools used during interviews is that use a pause while answering any question. Most often we are eager and excited to show how much we know. But, rather we should start with a pause by taking a moment to rethink and soak well in the question, this will convey not only the depth, but it will also portray humility. Other non-verbal cues such as body language and facial expressions are also important to be taken care of. Finally, be comfortable and relaxed, also try to make eye contact during your interview.

7. Be authentic

Always remember that self-awareness is an important component of emotional intelligence. The interviewers tend to grill you on your skills and experiences, over here they are looking on your ability as to how you respond when you don’t have all the right answers. This also is a great indicator of showing emotional intelligence.

It is rightly said that if you have any shortcoming, then you should not be shy or afraid in accepting that you don’t know the particular question or don’t have any experience in this, but you can take the opportunity to learn and put all your effort into your new role. Thus, you should be more authentic and show your humanity, the more weight it will give to your character and also to your self-awareness. It is not that you have to accept and say yes all the time, it is ok if you don’t know anything or are not comfortable doing.

Therefore, keep in mind that emotional intelligence takes practice. Focus on being yourself, and your interviewer will differentiate your authenticity.

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