Wednesday, March 24, 2010

10 ways to apply Emotional Intelligence

A job interview is a stressful situation because the stakes are high. If you really want the job, or need the job, it's important to put your best foot forward. Here are 10 ways to apply emotional intelligence to the situation for positive results.

1. Know how to manage your emotions.
Developing your emotional intelligence skills will benefit you in every area of your life. Take the time to study EQ and work with a coach. Then you'll be prepared to manage the emotions inherent in any interview.

2. Know yourself – who you are, what your values are and what you have to offer.
The cornerstone of emotional intelligence is self-awareness. Without this, there can be no emotional intelligence. You can't get what you want if you don't know what you want. Work with a coach if you're unsure in these areas.

3. Maintain your integrity.
Know what's important to you and why. Know what your values are. Set your priorities. If you enter a company culture that's opposed to your own, the results are going to be negative. If you go just for the money, you will be disappointed. Integrated self means knowing how you feel about things emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually, and authenticity means remaining true to these.

4. Know your strengths and weaknesses and look for a position that will allow you to work in your areas of strengths, and a manager or boss who understands this concept.
We recommend taking the Strengths Finder profile . This excellent profile tells you the strengths that are innate to you. They're the ones you were born with and will die with. The closer you can work to your innate strengths, the happier you're going to be, the better your chances of reaching your potential, and the less strain you will feel.

5. Prepare yourself emotionally before the interview.
Anxiety, fear and anger can cloud your ability to think. It's important that you be able to think clearly so you can present yourself well. Practice relaxation techniques. Work out before you go, so your nerves are settled and you're calm. Understand that in the last analysis, all that's required of you is to dress, show up, do your best and then go home.
Studying emotional intelligence will also allow you to read the nonverbal communication and emotions of the interviewer which will allow you to steer things in a direction beneficial to you.

6. Work on your nonverbal communication.
90% of what we communicate at any given time is not through words, but by nonverbal communication such as expressions, gestures, and posture.

7. Expect the best.
Your self-talk is very important all the time, and particularly in an interview. Remember it's YOU who puts the thoughts into your own head. (If someone else has done this and you aren't mindful, get some coaching. It can be changed.) If you go into an interview thinking, i.e., saying to yourself, "I'll never get this job," or "no one would ever hire someone my age," or "here comes another rejection," you are setting yourself up for defeat. Instead, program your thinking.

8. Be mindful of your attributions.
They will color your expectations and influence your ability to succeed. Learned optimism (Seligman) means attributing bad things in a way that isn't personal, permanent or pervasive. If you don't get the job, attribute it to something not personal ("That interviewer doesn't know a good candidate when he sees one"), not permanent ("Well, I'm sure I'll get the next job"), and not pervasive ("Not getting that particular job doesn't reflect on my abilities or the rest of my life").

9. Claim your successes.
When you do get the job, and you will, celebrate. This is crucial to your self-esteem and personal power. Attribute it to things personal, permanent, and pervasive. In other words, don't say it was just luck, or the fact that no one else applied. Tell yourself it was because you were the best candidate, this is a fact of your life, and applies to your life in general. You got the job because you deserved to get it. It is crucial that you celebrate your successes in order to build resilience and manage your self-talk.

10. Get out of your own wake.
If you've been on a cruise, and looked at the stern of the ship, there's a lot of commotion going on back there. The bow of the ship is thrusting cleanly through the water, but behind the ship there's churning water that even smart fish have the sense to keep away from. It isn't necessarily bad, and there isn't always anything to learn from it. It's just what the ship has to do to go forward. If the outcome of one interview was bad, just keep going forward. Don't look back.

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