Emotional Intelligence (EI) can become a very important characteristic to show to your interviewer that you have the proper ability and mental skills for a job. It conveys your ability to feel, communicate, use, recognise, describe, remember, learn from, identify, understand, manage, and channelise your emotions. If you are emotionally intelligent, you can manage your own emotions as well as the emotions of others in your team.
So how can you show emotional intelligence? Here are some ways.
Listening is the most important part of any conversations. If you listen well, you understand what is being said, engage with the questioner, see things from a different perspective, and then respond with intelligence. This is probably the easiest way to gain extra EI points. If you can listen well, it would say a lot about you.
Another way of showing that you are listening properly is to ask questions. Counter questions too. If you the tiniest bit inquisitive, you will always be able to understand your interviewer and ask a question in return. This shows you are thinking while listening and possess an active mind.
2. Share credit for your achievements
No man is a lone achiever. If you have achieved success, won awards, you can always show how your entire team including your peers and seniors helped you achieve it. This shows your sense of belonging, your orientation towards working as a unit and your attribute of sharing credit.
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. Be expressive
An interview is between people; human beings. And human beings express emotions. It is always good to smile or show excitement. When talking about something that got you great results, it is always great to show enthusiasm. But ensure your emotions are not forced. It is never a good idea to come across as someone who is not their true self.
5. Pay attention to the non-verbal cues
Why are the interviews taken face-to-face and not entirely over the phone? The reason behind this is to assess the behaviour and personality of candidates. The non-verbal cues that you pass to your interviewer can tell a lot about your emotional intelligence.
Let me explain with an example, one of the most powerful tools used during interviews is to 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 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.
6. Be authentic
Always remember that self-awareness is an important component of emotional intelligence. The interviewer might grill you on your skills and experience, and try to gauge 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. This shows acceptance and a lot of character. It is not that you have to accept and say yes all the time, it is ok if you don’t know something or are not comfortable doing some part of your new job.
Becoming emotionally intelligent takes practice. Focus on being yourself and your interviewer will recognise your ingenuity.