In today’s market, employers are looking for more than just an impressive list of skills. Soft skills and emotional intelligence are becoming as important as the hard skills listed on your resume. Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive the emotions of others and adjust reactions appropriately according to the circumstances. People with high emotional intelligence have strong social skills, they communicate effectively, show empathy to others and are able to self-regulate. These traits are heavily tied to success, so it is critical to demonstrate your emotional intelligence any time you’re in an interview. So how, exactly, do you do that?
“Confidence in your value and self control will help you grow your emotional intelligence. Take note of the social cues going on around you and spend more time trying to seek to understand. You will move a mountain forward as a team and independently.” Says Jill Stewart, Client Relations and QC Leader, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
Emotionally intelligent people are naturally confident. They know that they can read a situation and react with the right tone, tenor and input, and they have a strong yet realistic understanding of their own capabilities. To build confidence, give yourself a pep talk before every interview. Look through your resume and remind yourself of your achievements. Be ready to speak confidently about your successes as well as the traits and skills that have gotten you this far.
Know How To Manage Your Emotions
It’s natural to experience different levels of stress throughout an interview. Things may start off well, but as the conversation progresses, you may begin to doubt yourself and start to show nervousness. People with high emotional intelligence don’t let stress impact the way they work. You can steady yourself mentally by steadying yourself physically. Take longer, deeper breaths (without making it obvious), commit to good eye contact and smile. Smiling, even if you’re not feeling happy, will naturally change your tone to a happier one and eventually, your mind and attitude will cooperate with your face.
Hiring managers offer jobs to people they genuinely like. It is important to be relaxed in an interview and give natural, conversational responses. Yes, you should memorize important achievements to showcase throughout the interview, but don’t make the mistake of memorizing answers. You’ll come off as stiff and robotic rather than natural. People with high emotional intelligence compose their emotions and manage stress well, and if you let your nerves get the best of you, you’ll sabotage your chances. Treat the interview like a conversation, rather than an interrogation. Don’t be afraid to laugh and show your natural personality.
Read The Room
The key to emotional intelligence is the ability to read others, so make sure to pick up on the interviewer’s emotions and use that situation to guide your responses and behaviors. If you notice the interviewer perk up while you’re answering a specific question, ask if she would like you to elaborate. If she seems to respond negatively, ask if there is anything else you can address about that particular skill or experience. Read the room, respond naturally to the interviewer’s body language and tone and you’ll demonstrate that you have high emotional intelligence.