Looking for a Job? Increase Your Social + Emotional Intelligence

The end of summer signals the start of a new planning cycle for many organizations, including the planning that comes with bringing on new employees.  Businesses are beginning to think about how they will expand and/or contract over the coming months and what strategic hires they will need to meet their key objectives.

That person could be you, if you’re the right fit.

In human resources (HR) circles we call it behavioral interviewing.  Essentially we are attempting to identify how candidates handle themselves and others in challenging situations.  We are testing – assessing – their social and emotional intelligence by how they answer certain questions.  S+EI is the ability to be aware of our own emotions and those of others, in the moment, and to use that information to manage ourselves and manage our relationships.

Behavioral interviewing questions might take the form of the following:

  • “Tell me about a time when you found yourself in conflict with another person in the workplace.  How did you handle it?”
  • “Have you ever found yourself working with a difficult person?  How did you handle that?”
  • “How do you go about building trust in the workplace and particularly on your team?”

Are you prepared for these (and many other similar) questions?

Taking time to improve your social and emotional intelligence will give you a competitive edge during the interview process.  High S+EI skills are necessary for managers and anyone who will be working in a team environment.

Here are a few quick tips for improving your S+EI and preparing for the job interview:

Identify your strengths and weaknesses.  List them out in a top five format then rank them with 1 being the best and 5 the worst under each of the headings.  Write down how you can leverage your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.  This prepares you for one of the most frequently asked interview questions—what are your strengths and what is your greatest weakness.  Knowing how you will play on your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses demonstrates your self-awareness, a key social and emotional intelligence competency.

Master conflict management.  If you are currently unemployed, dig deep for conflict situations in your previous position.  Dissect the interactions by depersonalizing them.  Figure out what you did, what hot buttons were triggered during the interaction, what you could have done better, what you learned from the interaction and how you can make it a win-win next time.  Knowing your own preferences in handling conflict and then managing your response to conflict positively going forward makes you a more desirable candidate for employment.

Practice teamwork and collaboration.  Employed or unemployed, you can practice the skills of teamwork and collaboration.  Volunteer to organize an event for a cause you believe in or sit on a local board of directors for a nonprofit organization.  Either one will provide you with rich experience in working with different types of people and managing your responses to them, another key S+EI competency.  People with high social and emotional intelligence skills are able to create a motivating and enthusiastic work environment (remember, emotions are contagious!).  They put the team’s overall goals ahead of their individual goals, and take the opportunity to share the credit for the team’s successes.  Volunteering and other community work showcases your abilities to create cohesive teams, and is just as valuable as what you have done in the office, so be sure to work it into your interview when the time is right.

These are only a few brief tips for helping increase your social and emotional intelligence and make yourself an attractive candidate for open positions.  If you’d like to learn more, please visit us at www.The-ISEI.com or email Hello@The-ISEI.com or call us at 303-325-5176.

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