Emotional Intelligence often is the final factor
If you are like most job seekers, when you read “strong people skills” and “strong technical skills” in a job posting, you may tend to gloss over the first to focus on selling your technical talent and experience to the prospective employer. In fact, we often refer to people skills as the “soft” skills and that sounds secondary to anything else we might possess. Wrong!
More and more companies hire for attitude because they have been burned when hiring purely for technical skills and knowledge. What seemed like a dream candidate turned out, occasionally, to be a problem employee who was not successful.
Organizations often use behavioral interview questions which are founded on emotional intelligence, referred to as the “other kind of smart” by Harvey Deutschendorf and Daniel Goleman. The latter wrote a book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ, which soared to the top of the New York Times bestseller list for a year.
Additionally, some companies use pre-employment assessments based on soft skills to predict job related behavior or organizational fit. These tests determine the level of self-awareness a candidate possesses as well as how insightful s/he is of other people. The higher the emotional intelligence, the more able the individual is to influence others, crucial to many professions including customer service, marketing and sales.
Emotional intelligence separates star performers from everyone else
What is your emotional intelligence? Research consistently shows that people with high emotional intelligence (EI) outperform their peers and studies have shown positive correlation with high EI and careers involving customer service, sales and, especially, management positions. They are aware of their own emotions and keep them in control, enabling them to focus on their work, when others around them are adding to the drama and non-productivity.
Yes, you can showcase your emotional intelligence in your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile
By sharing your success stories and achievements, you can really stand out against your competition by showing how you:
Develop rapport with your work contacts
Build trust with team members and customers
Manage stressful situations
Negotiate favorable outcomes during times of conflict
Nimbly navigate change
What about the interview?
Knowing how to incorporate emotional intelligence into an interview can also give you the competitive edge you need to ace the selection process. Employers hire for positive attitude, resilience and cultural fit; therefore, your responses to interview questions should include examples of how you have overcome obstacles, adapted to changes and worked effectively with others. Simply saying that you possess these traits is not enough. Go into your interview prepared to share several examples. That way, if you have multiple levels of interviews, you can share a different example with each interviewer.
IQ may get you hired but EI gets you up the career ladder
Emotional intelligence also accurately forecasts leadership capability and is used often when companies identify and groom emerging leaders since that process consumes considerable investment of resources. But it is used extensively in identifying and training top sales teams and has been used by a wide variety of organizations from L’Oreal to the United States Air Force, with results of more effective hiring decisions, lower employee turnover and higher performance.
If you are interested in career advancement, understanding emotional intelligence is a wise investment in your development. An assessment will provide you with a baseline, and the great news is that EI can be improved over time with an individual development plan.
Patricia Edwards founded http://www.CareerWisdomCoach.com to help professionals identify their strengths and market themselves to land their ideal career.