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There was a time when technical expertise and understanding of the undercurrents of the industry were the decisive factors in landing a job. However, things have changed over the years, and the importance of human factor and related soft skills are now becoming as essential elements in consideration of candidates as technical expertise.

One of the central elements of soft skills is emotional intelligence, and the thing with it is that it is a secret weapon that can turn the cards in your favour during the job interview.

But first, let sort few things out.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

The term “Emotional Intelligence” refers to a set of emotion and self-control related interpersonal communication skills and the ways of these skills are applicable in certain situations.

The concept was first described in 1995 by Daniel Goleman in the study of professional interpersonal relations. Since then it became a staple of human resources studies.

In essence, emotional intelligence is an ability to understand in what emotional state you are and how to manage it to be more effective in performing your tasks, accomplishing set goals and also avoiding such things as conflicts, misunderstandings, miscommunication, interpersonal challenges, etc.

Best Ways of Showing Emotional Intelligence During the Job Interview

1. Listen, Then Act

Job interviews are built around a set of questions designed to showcase your understanding of the requirements of the vacant job position. They also, and equally importantly, provide you with an opportunity to present yourself in the best possible way. While the way you are answering the question is integral to the process – the process of perceiving information aka listening to the questions also matters.

Here’s why: when a recruiter performs an interview, for instance,  in an ad tech company – he’s not just asking questions, he also analyzes the way you react to things and behave during the back and forth.

Showing attention, listening carefully, and acting accordingly is a good way of showcasing how efficient and cooperative you can be.

Here’s what you can do. Be aware of:

  • What is the actual question?
  • How is it formulated?
  • How is the interviewer asking the question?
  • What does it intention behind it?

This kind of approach will show to the interviewer that you can engage with the incoming information and process it on the go.

2. Emote

One of the reasons for conducting a job interview is to take a look at the candidate and empirically check how he acts and interacts with people in the professional conversation.

Because of that acting naturally and expressing emotions can be a good thing to do during the job interview. Sure, that’s not the most important thing, but it gives a lot of valuable information about how you interact with people. And that can be a decisive factor for a recruiter.

Here’s how to make it right:

  • Try to act as if the job interview was just a routine working conversation – an exchange of information and figuring out the solutions.
  • Don’t amp the emotions – keep yourself calm and reserved.
  • Don’t make sarcastic remarks – they may not find this amusing or genial. 
  • Avoid making tense situations by over- or underreacting.
  • Don’t go on the defensive if you don’t like where the conversation is going.

3. Be Engaged in the Conversation

One of the critical elements of the successful job interview is how valuable the conversation was information-wise. One of the most telling factors defining the value of the dialogue is how engaged the interviewee over its course.

Here’s a straightforward on tip how to make it right: get involved. The fact of the matter is – the job interview is a collaborative effort and to make it successful on your side you need to keep it interesting for the interviewer.

How? You need to provide full and satisfying answers to the questions and follow them up with ones of your own. For example, you answer the question and also give some additional information that is subsequently discussed or return the favour in the form of a question about something work-related.

4. Connect the Dots

Every job interview revolves around the narrative of showcasing the candidate. The thing with that structure is that it can prove sporadic, or it can be a persistent throughline. It is naturally better to have the latter.

Here’s how you cement that throughline with every answer you give:

  • You need to present an apparent description of the train of thought or the process.
  • You need to punch up this description with examples of how this or that thing is done or can be made doable.

This approach will help the interviewer get all the information he needs, while simultaneously presenting you most efficiently.

5. Tell How You Improve Yourself

One of the vital aspects of emotional intelligence is understanding your weak and strong points and figuring out the ways of improving yourself. That feature is very telling, especially if the company is looking for a long-term relationship.

You need to show eagerness to learn new and go beyond your comfort zone.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Present plausible scenarios
  • Have a plan of accomplishing the goals
  • Have tangible results.

6. Discuss Company’s Culture & Values

The terms “culture and values” are overused buzzwords that are usually dropped to make an impression of “digging it.” However, behind them are significant aspects that correspond to every aspect of the working process.

Discussing different aspects of culture and values is vital in two ways:

  • It helps you to understand what the company is really about.
  • It shows your interest in the company.

7. Avoid Generic Responses

No one likes generic “everything and nothing” responses and they will do you no favours during the job interview. And if you overuse that trope – that’s some bad news coming soon.

Why so? Generic response means you don’t care and if you don’t care then why should the potential employer even bother considering you for the vacant position at all?

You’re just doing time, and you present no value for the company from the get-go. So, try to give valuable information in each response and present in an engaging manner that will evolve and perpetuate the conversation.

Two men having conversation-Professional etiquette-Salary negotiation - hiring process mistakes


These days emotional intelligence skills are as necessary as technical expertise and understanding of the inner workings of the industries. In many ways, it is even more critical than those abilities. It directly impacts the way workers interact with each other and manage to accomplish common goals.

With these tips, you will be able to showcase these skills and leave a positive impression on any recruiter in any industry.

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