Best Ways to Show Your Emotional Intelligence in an Interview

So you have just been invited for a job interview. This has come probably after months of applications sending. To be honest, job interviews come with their own pressures; how to impeccably respond to questions asked, your demeanor when asked difficult questions, and most importantly, how you grab your hiring manager’s attention and create that good, lasting impression. All these require emotional intelligence.

This is a guest article by Michael Shannon,  who is a content marketer. The funny thing about this article: I did not need to edit it. I even kept the first paragraph, which I usually rewrite myself.  I hope you will enjoy what you read as much as I did. [Lev]


So what is emotional intelligence and what are the most important aspects of it? Simply put, it is the ability to identify, comprehend and deal with our own emotions while at the same time recognizing and affecting the emotions of others. There is increased responsiveness of emotional intelligence, and the role it plays in working environment and managers are usually keen to hire individuals who demonstrate extraordinary emotional intelligence during an employment interview.

Gauging emotional intelligence involves looking at certain characteristics and competencies. It’s not just about having technical skills to perform a particular task. While having the technical abilities is important, complementing them with some connected soft skills like listening, communication, quick understanding, and problem-solving is essential for employability. Some of the vital elements are self-motivation, empathy, self-awareness, self-control, and social skills.

So, how do you then convince your interviewer that you have what is required to land the job? By simply stating, “I work under minimum supervision” or “I am self-motivated and can work under pressure” won’t promise you the job.

How to Demonstrate Your Emotional Intelligence

Below are a few tips on how best you can prove your emotional intelligence. You can choose to demonstrate, narrate your story, give social attestation and intelligently respond to interview questions.

Show Understating to the Interviewing Panel

Be nice and courteous to your interviewers. Firstly, it’s no harm to greet your panel and even compliment so of their achievements. Talk in a way that shows you know how it feels to make such a milestone. Smile as you respond to certain questions. Do not see your interviewer as an authority or a keeper at the gates of the castle. You may end up being too nervous which is not good. After all, the interview is just a human being like you who also has feelings. It is recommended that before the interview you should take some time to read the profile, for instance, of the web development company, and even your interviewer to find out what the company or institution does, its objectives, values, and mission. Read about the top management of the institution, their qualifications, accolades, and hobbies; perhaps they love reading as you, and you have certain things in common. This will make you much more friendly and comfortable as you meet the interviewer.

Etiquette and Your Behavior

When you are invited to the interviewing room, greet your panel and remain standing. It is more well-mannered to wait until you are asked to take a seat. If the panel is taking too long to ask you to sit, politely request whether you can take a seat. Keep your greetings neat and respectful, and any initial conversation or small talk should be done with humility and care.

Illuminate Excellent Communication Skills

When asked any interview question, take a few seconds to internalize and reflect on the best answer. Make sure you prepare comprehensively by charting succinct and appropriate answers to common questions that are asked during the interview. Be careful not to sound like it’s a script you have crammed. If you give your panel the impression that you have scripted the questions, you may fail actually to show that you are emotionally intelligent.

Mind Your Active Listening Skills

This is a great skill that you should possess. Through communication, there are things that will actually be expressly said and others will not be said. Listen to both. Give the session your exclusive attention. Do not think of what will be asked next or what you intend to say next.

Self-Control and Calmness

This is mostly tested by the apprehension we feel when being interviewed. Some interviewers will intentionally ask you difficult or unfair question to see your reaction, not because they expect you to have an answer to their question. Ensure that you prepare yourself adequately for such situations. How?

  • Practice and take time being calm and imagine that you are already in front of the interviewer. Imagine having a poised and positive interview. It works!
  • Look for breathing exercises and practice them in advance. This will help you in knowing the best way to breathe and relax. Also, know when you will need to.
  • Adequate preparation brings confidence and helps to get rid of anxiety.

Self-Awareness and Preparation

You should acknowledge your greatest attributes and strengths, what really inspires you, and your weaknesses. Be bold enough to answer any questions on self-awareness. It goes a long way to show your personality.

Network Cultivation and Development

Demonstrate that you have an interest in working with like-minded professionals and to connect with companies and people that you’d wish to work for. You may have a referral to such people for mentorship. This brings out the social proof.

Utilize Social Media Platforms to Serialize Your Profile

You may get various recommendations from your friends, employers, co-workers, and clients. You will find people whole will vouch for you for being a great communicator, writer, researcher, and a people’s person. For instance, getting online recommendations on a platform such as LinkedIn makes you accessible to the public.

Prepare Creative Answers for Interview Questions

Search online for emotional intelligence questions and prepare well enough to give detailed and clear answers to the questions. Some examples of the questions are: “How would you react if someone ridiculed your work?” or “How would you handle a rude client?” Internalize such questions and find the appropriate way of responding to them. Remember to give practical and legitimate answers and be strategic in delivery the best response.

How to Advantage During an Interview

While responding to questions, you will need to show that you understand what is required of you in the specific role that you seek to be employed. By mastering these strategies, you will be better placed to manipulate some questions and utilize them to your advantage. The strategies are random and can be used depending on need and the questions asked.

Attention to Both Challenges and Achievements

Emotional intelligence is connected to resilience and how your previous challenges gave you an opportunity to use your skills to respond to certain difficulties and how you adapt to new arising situations. Give practical instances where you met new tests and how you effectively handled them and the learning experiences such challenges gave you.

Prominence on Relationships

Emotionally intelligent persons have the ability to persuade others, shape relationships and handle differences and struggles effectively. As you do the interview, give instances where you worked well in a group and had the chance o provide leadership in difficult situations and to also provide alternative solutions by guiding the other team members to think outside the box. Do it with a lot of prudence that you don’t sound as you were bragging. Connect some of the success to your other group members and give credit to the necessary people.

Turning Your Weaknesses into an Advantage

By recognizing a gap in the skills that you have, you will be demonstrating great self-awareness. If you are asked, “what are your weaknesses?” Honestly talk about them as a springboard to demonstrate self-awareness and how you have positively accepted criticism and worked towards improving yourself.

Talk About and Show Your Passion

Most interviews are not just about the professional skills that you possess. They are also about knowing you as a person outside an office set up. It may seem irrelevant, but you will most likely be asked about your hobbies, interests in life and the things that inspire you as a person. This is a perfect time to illustrate your enthusiasm, maybe for sports and the role that you play in your team. This, in turn, brings out your leadership attributes and the ability to motivate other team members.

Final Thoughts and Considerations

Interviews provide just a picture of your strong point as an employee. Always use the opportunity you get to show that you not only have the required skills for a particular job but also, you have very high emotional intelligence for your employer. Through adequate preparation, it clear that it is a worthy investment to just think through some of the common interviews questions and reflecting on how best you can respond to them.

If you are an interviewer and you have never really thought about emotional intelligence, by using the tips and strategies discussed above, you will be in an excellent position to get a mature, and skillful individual that will add value to your organization. As an interviewee, the tips will prepare you to ace an interview and land yourself a job.

The coolest way to successfully pass a job interview is to expect tough questions that you may be asked. This should be done before walking into the interviewing room. The aspects of emotional intelligence will not be easy, and some questions will be trickier than you initially thought. But be confident enough to articulate the answers clearly and precisely.

Questions that you have not really thought about may also be asked. For example, “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?” or “What is your greatest letdown on the job?” However, by practicing the common interview questions, you will have the astuteness to respond. Additionally, you can create small role-playing situations with your friends and ask them to be the interviewers. It is a really good technique to gather confidence and eloquence to respond to the common questions asked during an interview.

Finally, remember that an interview is a conversation. No one is there to judge you or point out your human imperfections. Even if you really need that job, don’t show desperation. It will not help. Instead, ensure that you are comfortable and calm. That is the vantage point that brings out the best in you.


Being a content marketer, Michael Shannon strives to help brands to plan effective business strategies including creating, publishing and distributing content for a targeted audience online. With 5 years of rich domain knowledge, he loves to share his views on modern technologies through his well-researched content pieces. You can follow him on Twitter.

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