Last week we talked about how challenging interviews can be in the digital age. Today, we share several ideas on how to use emotional intelligence to help you ace your big interview. I’ve shared these ideas with many of my best candidates to help them get the best job for them. It will provide you with an emotional intelligence edge!
Before we share these three key tips, I want to share something that should help you be more confident in your interviews. The better the job, the less likely you will be able to dominate your fellow interviewers. In most cases, people get hired for the smallest differences between the individual candidates. Said another way, employers expect the key job skills to be in place or you wouldn’t be a finalist.
The first emotional intelligence edge is you should know yourself. The best candidates know themselves. It is critical that you understand your own story. You should know what makes you extraordinary. Take time before your interview to know what you’ve been great at in your prior roles. Learn how to share these high points in a way that are comfortable for you.
The other side of knowing yourself is knowing what your emotional hot buttons are. Then work to respond in a calm manner. Some interviewers are very good at bringing out the worst in a candidate during an interview. Learn how to respond when these people punch, push, and pull on your emotions with their questions.
The second emotional intelligence edge is knowing what your interviewer wants. It’s not as easy as it seems. It’s critical you help your interviewer feel confident and comfortable when they are interviewing you. You must be very good at reading the subtle changes in the interview throughout the interviewing process.
One of the ways to establish your emotional intelligence edge is to understand how much pressure the person who is interviewing you is under. Many people who do interviews hate doing them. Almost all struggle to find the time to prepare the way they would like. If you remember that they are under pressure, you will become a stronger candidate in their eyes. If you can help them look great, you create an ally when it comes down to the final hiring decision.
The third and final emotional intelligence edge is release the idea that you must have this job. So many people fail in interviews because they feel it’s their only opportunity to get a great job. You must be in the present if you want to truly perform at your best during the interview process.
Your emotional intelligence edge is created when you feel confident that you can take or leave the job for which you are interviewing. As my client’s boss, Warren Buffett, has taught me, there is always another great opportunity coming down the road for those who are patient enough to wait. He’s done okay with this advice.
The bonus emotional intelligence edge is to be willing to let go and to respect yourself enough to know an interview is, at best, a very small part of who you really are. If someone chooses to not hire you, it’s their loss not yours.
I’ve found the universe has an incredible sense of humor. I’ve been passed over for several jobs in my career where I ended up coming back to the company and being paid to fill their role. I have also been hired into senior roles where I ended up being the interviewer’s boss.
Learn to treat yourself with respect and you will not only have the emotional intelligence edge, you will find more joy and laughter in your life.
See you next week.