By Naomi Seselja
The most irresistible job applicants marry their emotional intelligence with competency based answers in their job interviews to impress on all levels. These applicants understand an interview isn’t an interrogation but an interactive platform for interviewer and interviewee to arrive at the same station – and feel good about it.
While there are a range of processes to understand about behavioural interviews, I will focus here on three pointers compelling candidates understand about their job interview and what they say that highlights their emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is not ‘faking’ it, it is articulating your genuine positive insights in a purposeful and advantageous way. It is putting your best foot forward and using a smart approach, that indeed is useful both inside the interview and in life.
Successful applicants are incredibly passionate about the job at hand – and prove it.
You are a high quality candidate with a history of excellence in your chosen field, or as a newbie you showcase your potential and willingness to be great at your job. Passion, enthusiasm, zeal, cannot-wait-to-get-the-offer-and-get-started, or any way you want to put it – is undeniably magnetic.
Show off your fervour in a way that translates to “I will be on top of my game in this role”. Anyone can say “I would love this opportunity” without explaining why. In fact, a user of this phrase probably uses it in every interview they’re asked to, and interviewers remain untouched by this cliche. Why not suggest your enthusiasm by the questions you fire back with?
A sample of questions that impress upon your passion:
- “What would you expect me to have achieved in my first 3 months on the job?”
- “Can you tell me about the upcoming projects / campaigns in your company?”
Irresistible applicants come across as someone others would love to work with.
In focusing on facts and figures, don’t forget the ‘likeability’ factor. Sometimes the person most qualified for the job misses out because the interviewer didn’t warm to them and didn’t feel the team would, either. The most skilled candidates practice empathy with their interviewer, understanding they are only human with their own social needs to fit in, to be understood and respected, and use this bias to their advantage.
Ways to be charming in an interview:
- Make the interviewer feel comfortable by being warm and even humorous if the occasion calls for it.
- Think of the interviewer as someone you know, talk to them as if you genuinely like and respect them. They will feel this warmth and be confident that the team will to.
- Speak about your greatest achievements, in a modest tone. Let your achievements speak for themselves.
- Be interactive and ask questions of your own. People often say they don’t get the chance; but when you are answering a question, the floor is all yours to fire away with your own.
- Don’t be combative, boastful, cold or disengaged – the most superhumanly intellectual of candidates can lose the opportunity just by being unlikeable.
The best candidates aren’t reserved about complimenting the company at hand.
Stipulate your admiration for the companies initiatives, campaigns, projects, presentation, vibe, vision – anything you genuinely like about the company. Compliment the company.
When answering questions, feel welcome to talk about past relevant experiences and then inject what you like about the company’s matching initiatives.
“I volunteer with an NGO that helps rescue victims of human trafficking, and was actively involved in my previous company’s campaign to stop child trafficking. I’m so excited that you have projects now in Europe involved in this – it’s such an important global initiative that attracted me to applying for this position. I’d love the opportunity to be on board with what you’re doing there.”
Just by using some emotional intelligence to target your answers and build rapport on a range of levels, you are able to get greater insight into the position and company and find out if it’s right for you, as well as being able to sit in a very comfortable position.
Of course, there are exceptions in some cultural climates, but in general this is how the best of candidates do it. This is not enough in itself to get you hired, but by putting your best social foot forward and having that correlate with your suitability for the position, correctly answering competency based questions and highlighting your fit within the company culture, you are giving yourself the best chances of success.
Naomi Seselja is the founder of Mode Recruitment & Career Services. An expert resume writer and interview coach, her clients include: CEO’s, Biologists, Executives, Financiers, people in the beauty industry and everything in between all across the globe.