Best Ways to Show Your Emotional Intelligence in an Interview


Rock solid technical expertise and deep understanding of the undercurrents of the business are not the only things that secure landing on a well-paid and fulfilling job. It is a foundation, but the final piece of the puzzle comes from another place. Recruiters are paying close attention to soft skills, namely self-control and cooperation skills. But the most important soft skill is emotional intelligence. Let’s take a closer look at it.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is an informal term that describes various emotion and self-control related interpersonal communication skills and the ways of using them in certain situations. The term was coined in 1995 by Daniel Goleman in the study of interpersonal professional relations. Basically, emotional intelligence is an ability to identify your emotional state and manage it in order to be more effective in accomplishing your goals and at the same time avoiding hard edges i.e. conflicts, challenges, etc.

Best ways of showing emotional intelligence during the job interview

1. Listen, then act

The interview is built around a set of question regarding specific aspects of the position. Answers are part of the equation, but the way you perceive information is also important. Listening is a good way of showing your efficiency. It is a simple way of presenting yourself as a cooperative person who can deliver upon expectations without a fuss. Here’s how you can show to a recruiter. During the back and for try to listen to the following:

  1. What is being asked?
  2. How it is formulated?
  3. How it is expressed?
  4. What does it really mean?

That approach shows to the interviewer that you are able to engage with the incoming information and process it on the go.

2. Emote

The reason for conducting the job interview is to examine how the particular candidate interacts with people and acts in the professional conversation. Because of that, expression of the emotion is one of the decisive factors in making the right impression during the job interview. Sure, what you say matters more, but how you say it brings color to it and also affects the results of the interview. Basically, it means you need to act reasonably natural and in no way stilted or constrained. Here’s how to make it right:

  1. Act as if it was a routine work-related conversation – an exchange of information.
  2. Don’t amp the emotions – remain cool.
  3. Don’t do sarcastic remarks – this might be misinterpreted.
  4. Avoid creating tension by over- or underreacting.

3. Be Engaged in the Conversation

Maintaining a dynamic conversation is a hard but necessary skill. It builds engagements, develops trusts and uncovers hidden opportunities. Showing it during the job interview can be a big karma boost. Here’s how to make it right: get involved. The job interview is a collaboration. You need to keep the conversation interesting for the interviewer. By “interesting ” I mean not “pulling rabbits out of a hat ” but more pragmatic information exchange. For example, you answer the question and also give some extra information or ask the question in return.

4. Connect the dots

According to, every interviewer got several types of questions aimed at studying your emotional intelligence skills in a sneaky manner. Usually, such questions are about your course of action in a certain situation or some abstract thing in general terms. Because of that, it is good to punch up the answers with some real-life, logical, plausible examples. Here’s the winning formula.

  1. First, you need to present a logical process – step by step.
  2. Then you need to show it works on an example.

That way, the answer will give the interviewer exactly what he needs without a threat of misrepresenting the candidate.

5. Tell how you improve yourself

The ability to embrace new and unknown and go beyond the comfort zone is one of the things every employer appreciates. You need to show the eagerness to grow and change from the get-go. The best way to present it during the interview is to lay the plan out in the following manner:

  • Being plausible;
  • Having an actual step-by-step plan for achieving certain goals;
  • Being able to present tangible results (certifications, etc).

The whole thing must be well-reasoned and aimed at progressing in a certain direction.

6. Discuss Company’s culture & values

According to, the job interview is built around a throughline narrative. The initial stages are usually dedicated to such things as company’s culture and values. Why bother asking about it? If you don’t share values and unable to fit in the existing culture – why bother even trying to work at that company? You’ll make a bad time for both parties. It should be noted that discussing culture and values is not the centerpiece of the conversation. It is more of a background discussion that is represented in every answer in one way or another. Just like you demonstrate your emotional intelligence skills by answering the question, the same things can be used to discuss values and overall company culture.

7. Avoid Boilerplate Responses

“By the numbers ” generalized responses that consist of a lot of words but in reality tell little to nothing of note are bad. Really bad. Avoid them like plague. The thing with generic answers is that it takes down a notch your chances to successfully pass an interview. How not to do boilerplate responses? The answer is easy:

  • Provide valuable information;
  • Amplify it with real facts;
  • Provide illustrations of thought processes;
  • Go into detail with additional questions.


While emotional intelligence seems like a second-tier quality to some – in reality, it is one of the most important skills of any worker. The fact of the matter is – if you can operate with other people with harmony, even if your technical expertise is not up to the snuff – it will be easier to get better because of the common effort. These seven tips that will help you to show your emotional intelligence skills in the best possible manner.

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