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Interviewers Will Test Your Emotional Intelligence(EQ)

For centuries, human behavior has been an area of study. Behavior is associated with personality, thought processes, reactions, attentiveness, etc. This is one trait that can never be seen in a resume, copied, or even manipulated. Coming closer to emotional intelligence are psychometric tests that are carried out by hundreds of employers to understand the behavioral patterns of candidates and employees.

Interviewers and hiring managers are now using these personality traits and turning them into interview questions based on emotional intelligence.

We will try and learn about what emotional intelligence is and how recruiters and hiring managers really assess candidates based on emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the readiness to be in tune with your emotions and that of others. This trait can help you land a dream job. It is one of the most in-demand skills of 2020, according to a LinkedIn analysis. As employers get prepared to provide better healthcare and a positive corporate culture for their employees they are looking for fresh blood who can enhance their business and bring much-needed value to an existing team.

What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why Are Interviewers Asking About It?

Emotional intelligence is your behavior pattern that works behind the scene and below the surface. It is not on your mind but more inbuild into your subconscious being. It impacts how you and your colleagues interact on a daily basis and how effectively you complete your tasks and meet your goals.

I came across Patricia Thompson, creator of the “21-Day Crash Course in Emotional Intelligence,”. Her course has been completed by more than 18,000 students.

This course deals with

  1. Your ability to understand yourself and your emotions, and based on that being able to regulate yourself appropriately.

  2. Recognize and process your own emotions and keep them under control.

  3. Understand if you are in tune with others to perceive, interpret, and empathize with their emotions.

EQ deeply impacts your relationships with managers, coworkers, and clients as well as your productivity and your ability to come up with and implement successful strategies. It provides you with an increased focus on preventing workplace burnout and can help create a healthier environment for you and others.

For these reasons, you can expect recruiters and hiring managers to be looking for individuals with high EQ. In an interview, questions about your EQ might come at you in the form of behavioral questions and other questions that prompt you to share how you process, manage and perceive emotions. It can even look like the simple “What weaknesses are you working to overcome?” question, for example, which can help the interviewer understand how self-aware you are, how you take feedback, and how you deal with frustration.

A Few Quick Tips explaining Emotional Intelligence in an Interview

You can show off your emotional intelligence throughout your interview by:

  • Using EQ examples in most of your answers: You don’t have to be directly asked about emotional intelligence to show your reflective nature, concern for others, and the way you use these qualities to enhance a company’s atmosphere and success. So make sure you use EQ whenever you can—any time you’re telling a story about teamwork or collaboration, for example.

  • Asking questions: This shows initiative, drive, and confidence, and gives the impression that you’re aware of the kind of environment you can thrive in and contribute to and are interviewing them to ensure it’s a great fit.

  • Balancing confidence and humility: It’s a hard line to walk, but people with strong EQ know their worth and communicate it clearly without coming off as "over-smart". Try to give teammates and former managers credit wherever possible, a sign of high EQ.

  • Not being a perfectionist: Your future employers know you aren’t perfect, so instead go for real. By striving to interview like a human, not a robot, your future boss will see you as someone whose introspection, desire to further yourself, and attunement to others will not only help you thrive but also help your team and company succeed.

  • Bringing solutions-oriented examples: More than anything else, leaders love when employees show up with not just a problem, but a solution. Prove this is the type of employee you’ll be, based on your EQ abilities to read the room, understand social cues, and improve the team.

Avoid these mistakes that can convey a lower EQ

  • Bad-mouthing your previous employer: The last thing you want to do in an interview is to speak ill of previous (or current) managers and colleagues. It can give interviewers the sense of lack of maturity and insensitivity to others’ points of view. It also can put you in an awkward position if your future employee knows that past boss or colleague you are bad-mouthing.

  • Ignoring social hints: Pay attention to your interviewer’s body language that indicates, for example, that you’ve been talking too long on one topic. You don’t want your behavior in an interview to suggest that you may not be attuned to others’ emotions.

  • Being ignorant about weaknesses: People with high EQ know their weaknesses well, in addition to what they are doing to improve them.

You don’t have to be an expert in EQ to get a job, but you do need a sense of self-awareness and the ability to read others. You can demonstrate that you have a learner’s mindset—you don’t know everything and always want to learn more. And when in doubt, seek to be your most authentic and positive self to ensure a true match with the company.


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