Your resume oozes professionalism. Education and training are a perfect fit for the credentials advertised for this job opening. Past experience positions you in a great spot compared with many others also applying for the same position. It appears your “ducks” could not be better aligned. But what about your emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence, or EQ as it’s often referred to, focuses on a person’s ability to recognize and understand emotions—in themselves and others as well. If you are wondering what an understanding of emotions has to do with landing a job, the answer is both a lot and more than ever before.
When you consider that understanding emotions leads to a greater aptitude for both managing emotions and utilizing them for specific purposes, the light begins to dawn. Simply put, those with higher levels of EQ tend to get along better with others, whether it be in a hospital or nursing home, in the office, on the sports field, in the factory, or the classroom. So, it’s no surprise that employers have hopped on board the EQ train, with most putting a greater focus than ever before on screening for EQ. Many have gone on record stating EQ is as important, if not more so, than the experience and technical skills a candidate brings to the table.
Now, back to the question at hand—what about your emotional intelligence? Ask yourself these questions and honesty counts.
- Do I communicate well, orally as well as in writing?
- Do I work well with others?
- Am I known as a self-starter?
- Am I familiar with and comfortable with my strengths?
- Am I forthcoming about my weaknesses?
- Do I accept constructive criticism and coaching?
- Can I sense when others are struggling or upset?
Self-awareness ranks at the top of emotional intelligence skills as it impacts a host of areas. For starters, it allows an honest evaluation of where on the EQ scale you are currently. Remember, no fibbing because where would that get you? Nowhere.
Self-awareness also assists a person in identifying nonproductive behavior and working toward a solution. It aids an individual in uncovering his/her place within an organization’s higher purpose. And in a host of other life and career impacting ways.
Anyone can strengthen self-awareness by initiating a time of evaluation at the close of each day. What went well today, and why? What worked, what did not work? The next step is to detail specific tactics for improvement. If practiced daily, this type of honest and thorough evaluation will impact your job performance and, often, your level of satisfaction at the workplace, as it improves your EQ.
To further hone EQ skills, focus on enhancing your relationship management skills. Recognize the difference between reacting and responding. Decide to focus on active listening. Evaluate communication patterns for effectiveness and clarity. Be aware of the presence or absence of empathy to establish deeper connections with the people in your life.
So, back to the job search. Expect that EQ identifying questions will be part of an interview. Questions about your handling of challenges and failure, successes, and learning opportunities, as this type of questioning will call upon you to share real-life experiences and scenarios. Remember, here is where your aptitude for communication will be evaluated, where your relationship skills will be noted, and the way you approach life will take center stage.
When packaged with the right technical skills and knowledge, EQ will give you a definite edge in pursuing career goals in your chosen field.