By Justin Bariso, Founder Insight

Inc, May 20, 2019.

Employers value emotional intelligence in their people not only because it makes them more effective at their jobs, but because it helps them to work with others in a team.

Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand and manage emotions, is an invaluable quality in the workplace. And more and more employers are recognizing this, as illustrated by a CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers and HR professionals which found that:

  • 71% said they value emotional intelligence more than IQ in an employee
  • 75% said they were more likely to promote a candidate with high emotional intelligence over one with a high IQ

Employers value emotional intelligence in their people not only because it makes them more effective at their jobs, but because it helps them to work with others in a team.

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So, how can EQ help you not only to get your dream job or promotion?

Recently, I had the privalege to speak with Sarah Johnston, founder of job search and interview consultancy Briefcase Coach.

Our conversation revealed a simple, four step method that can work for anyone:

Show confident humility.

Any recruiter will tell you the value of confidence in the job interview, but they also want to see candidates who aren’t full of themselves and are willing to learn from others.

Reason being, every hiring company lives and dies by the success of the teams within that company. A great team can accomplish much more than a single person, no matter how talented. And a single brilliant jerk can totally ruin a potentially high-performing team.

So, in the interview focus on communicating what you do well and the value of your experience. But also focus on what you’ve learned from mentors and colleagues, and give credit to them for helping you to become the person you are today.

Build a relationship with your interviewer.

An interviewer may speak with hundreds of candidates in the course of a job search. So, how can you make yourself memorable? 

With the ease of electronic communication, it’s easy for candidates to get lazy. But this is a great opportunity for you to stand out. Write a handwritten note after the interview, and tell the interviewer something positive that you learned about the company during the interview process.

Or, if you can think of one question you wish you had answered differently, mention it in the note. You could say something like: “I’ve been giving some thought to [the question you asked / that point you mentioned / etc.] and I wanted to share something: …”

With this type of communication, you’ll stick out more to the interviewer. You also show the job and company are important to you. 

And you get the chance to do something most candidates never do: express yourself after extended thought and away from the hectic environment of the interview process.

When an interviewer asks you about your weaknesses, tell them.

“What is your greatest weakness?” may be a dreaded interview question, but it shouldn’t be. It’s actually a chance for you to demonstrate high EQ and stand out as a job candidate.

How so?

Pondering this question promotes self-awareness, the ability to identify and understand yourself and your emotions. Identifying your weaknesses takes intense self-reflection, critical thinking, and the ability to accept negative feedback–qualities that many people don’t have.

So, ponder this question from time to time, and develop a plan to work on your weaknesses. For example, if you’ve discovered you’re a people pleaser, relate steps you’ve taken to combat that weakness.

View the job interview as a two-way street.

Remember that a job interview isn’t just for the interviewer, it’s also for you. So pay close attention to  determine if this job is the right fit for your own goals and skill set. 

Some questions that can help you gather important information about a company and its culture:

  • What are the best things about working here?
  • What are the worst things about working here? (Or, what would you change if you could?)
  • What’s the biggest challenge the team has faced in the past year?
  • How would you describe the CEO’s (or managing director’s) leadership style?

Pay attention not only to what they say, but how they say it. A lack of confidence or struggle to answer may speak volumes about the company’s culture.

And identifying that ahead of time can keep you from settling for a job that you know will make you miserable–and help you find the job of your dreams, instead.