Skip Nav

How to Use Emotional Intelligence in a Job Interview

How to Activate Your Emotional Intelligence to Nail Your Next Job Interview

Congratulations! Scoring an interview confirms it: your credentials are turning heads. As you prepare, you're probably thinking through answers to interview questions, amassing references, and contemplating all you've learned from your current position — all great prep.

The interviewers already know you're well-qualified. But you want them to leave the room saying, "I need her on my team." That's where your emotional intelligence (or EQ) comes in.

What's the deal with EQ?

EQ guru Dr. Travis Bradberry explains: "Emotional intelligence is the 'something' in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results."

Nailing a job interview calls upon this "something." It's not just about answering questions. It's also about demonstrating fit. Here's how:

Forge connections

When you lead with your EQ, you view your interviewers not just as gatekeepers to something you want, but as actual people with whom you can connect. So think about connecting as much as impressing.

Break the ice by sharing your enthusiasm. You'll find it's infectious and will likely inspire your interviewers to share theirs. Do your research to find what makes this organization a unique and thrilling place to work. Also note factors about the environment that impress you. For example:

  • "I was blown away to see that there's an org-wide green policy. It must feel great to work for a socially conscious institution."
  • "Campus is electric when the students are changing classes. It must be inspiring to have that energy around you."
  • "I've always admired this beautiful building. It must be cool to work in such a beautiful space."

Genuine enthusiasm is an attractive quality, so find an angle that helps you muster it. You may also find that connecting with your interviewers helps quell your jitters.

Slow down

Embrace your role as interviewee. You may or may not get this job, but there's value in this meeting either way. Calm yourself. Breathe. If a drink is offered, accept that hospitality. Doing so reminds you to relax into the moment, and it adds an air of friendliness — which is how it should feel because this is just a group of professionals discussing an opportunity. It benefits both sides for this conversation to go well. It speaks well of the interviewers to foster a productive interview, just as it speaks well of the interviewee to participate in one. You have a shared and attainable goal.

Readjust your mindset

Instead of thinking: "I just have to get through this and make these important points," try thinking: "I'm having a conversation about an exciting opportunity that could be a fit for me." Aim to enjoy this experience. Isn't it awesome that you have a greater realm of jobs open to you than you did the last time you searched? Look how much more you qualify for now!

An interview is just a conversation. You're not getting weighed for your worth as a human being. The job you're discussing may be one you really need or want, and that may tempt you to throw desperation at the project. But putting that hurdle in your way won't help. Get comfortable in your skin and in the situation — from that vantage point, you're much more inclined to enact your best work.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Paul Kabat
Product Credit: Uniqlo Turtleneck, 7 For All Mankind Jumpsuit
More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
An Astrologer Warns You Shouldn't Quit Your Job in 2020
Interview With Female Scientist, Diyana Sudarsono
Best Ways Businesses Are Staying Afloat During COVID-19
Cute Outfit Ideas For Short and Petite Women in 2020
Roxy Jacenko's Advice on Building a Brand
The Best Sweater Trends to Fill Your Closet With This Winter
How to Look Cute in the Rain — Yes, It Really Is Possible
The Best Way to Store Mushrooms
Kiernan Shipka's Outfits Are Better Than Ever in 2019
Sneaker Collaborations Have Hit an All-Time High in 2019
Want to Transfer Colleges? Here's What You Should Know
Going Out Outfit Ideas For Fall 2019
Latest Smart Living
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds