4 Ways to Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence During a Job Interview

by / ⠀Career Advice / August 9, 2022
emotional intelligence

It can be agreed upon by most people that job interviews are nerve-racking. Both the interviewer and the interviewee have challenges that equate with the job interview. The ones doing the interviews have to sift through all sorts of potential workers and find the right one for the position, including making sure the candidate has emotional intelligence.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the table is the potential employee. They have to answer all sorts of questions and essentially sell themselves to the job. Regardless, not many would call it a fun event. But, for the one being interviewed, this article is going to be helpful.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the “capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” Now, that sounded like a lot, but it really is quite simple. What it means is that you need to use emotions when it comes to a job interview.

Not only do you use emotions, but it’s also about being personal, friendly, and human. If you don’t believe that emotional intelligence is the way to go, here’s a little statistic for you.

A 2018 survey says that 71% of 2,600 interviewed employers put a value on emotional intelligence over IQ. Some other statistics:

  • 75% would promote someone who was emotionally intelligent.
  • 59% would pass a candidate with a high IQ, but low emotional intelligence.

What’s more, is that the Future of Jobs Report from the esteemed World Economic Forums said that emotional intelligence is a part of the top ten most important skills required in 2020.

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But, here we are a few years later. We still are dealing with a pandemic and there are other issues in the world from food, to housing, to energy. The point is that the world has gotten into a rut and showcasing emotional intelligence is what is going to help the planet, society, and the workforce.

With that, let’s take a look at four ways you can appear more emotionally intelligent in a job interview.

Active Listening

When it comes down to the job interview, the questions are the most important part. The company wants to get a feel for you to understand who you are and if you would be a good fit.

That’s where active listening comes in. Active listening requires you to really pay attention to what they say. A good way to use this is when they ask a question, focus on the question, not the response. You want to give them a thoughtful answer, not something blurted out. If anything, repeat the question yourself so that you understand it and can answer it correctly.

Show Emotion

Unfortunately, many who have an interview tend to be nervous. This can lead to people having short answers or wooden personalities. Honestly, the best thing you can do is be yourself and polite. Show the appropriate emotions because that is how you are going to connect with the interviewer.

Being enthusiastic about the job is great, mainly if it is real. An interviewer can probably pick up if you are being disingenuous. Let the interview be natural. Like a conversation.

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Talk about Conflict

Now, we aren’t talking about full-on war, but rather, what and how you handle problems. An interviewer likes to hear about your strengths and how you use those to overcome adversity. But, what they also like is when you admit to weakness. Revealing what you can’t do is a great way to be humbling and admit that you can’t do that. Employers like to see that because it shows honesty.

But, if you have a weakness, then you also bring up that you are working on improving that weakness. As long as you are open about conflict and weakness, then it will be all positive in your future.

Ask about the Company

This is usually good for the end of the interview. You know, when you get to ask any questions. It allows you to showcase the emotional intelligence that you have. Here are some questions that you can ask about the business.

  • What are the values of the company?
  • What is the work culture here like?
  • How does one become successful in the business?

There are many other questions, but these can help you understand what you are walking into. You could also bring up past experiences with the company (if any). This will alert the employer that you are paying attention.


Displaying emotional intelligence is a lot easier when done rather than explained. All you have to do is be an honest, open, and genuine person.

Showing off those emotions tells employees that you are serious about this prospect and that you want to be successful there.

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About The Author

Tristan Anderson

Hello! My name is Tristan Anderson and I live in Manhattan, Kansas. I enjoy being in nature and animals. I am also a huge geek who loves Star Wars and has a growing collection.


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