Tag Archives: Question Answering

How to Apply Emotional Intelligence (EI) at Interviews

I recently attended a workshop in Melbourne during Human Resources Week on Emotional Intelligence (EI). What was interesting about this event, besides the topic on hand, was the

number of human resources professionals present.  It was the most attended workshop throughout the whole week and I was astonished to see the amount of interest that Emotional Intelligence conjured among our professionals.

Perhaps human resources practitioners can relate to this concept better than other professions due to the humanistic element that Emotional Intelligence proposes.  Another factor that is influencing human resources practitioners in taking up the concepts of Emotional Intelligence, is that it can be applied at the recruitment stage, as a predictor of success and as a measure of intelligence.

A growing body of research suggests that Emotional Intelligence is a better predictor of success than more traditional measures. It may be the single most important factor that leverages the success of people and characterizes those individuals with the right stuff. Research also indicates that whilst your level of IQ contributes 20% of your success, another 36% can be attributed to your Emotional Intelligence (EI). At least 90% of the difference between outstanding and average leaders is related to Emotional Intelligence (EI) and explains why some people excel while others of the same caliber lag behind.

Well here it is, in the disguise of Emotional Intelligence. Recruiters will commence changing selection criteria for vacant positions to include Emotional Intelligence (EI) competencies and new behavioral questions will be developed to extract your level of (EI) at the interview.

There are also assessments already developed to test your level of Emotional Intelligence during the selection process developed by Genos Pty Ltd. To find out more about these testing products, got to www.genos.com.au

You may find sitting a pre-employment test to measure your Emotional Intelligence (EI) among a suite of other tests usually conducted to measure your abilities.

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI)
It is the street smart or intuition in you. Reflecting your ability to deal successfully with other people, your feelings, and your everyday work and social environment.

Ever since the publication of Daniel Goldman first book on the topic in 1995, Emotional Intelligence has become one of the most talked and written about influencers of personal and business success.

Applying (EI) at Interviews
When you are preparing for your interview, consider the following elements of Emotional Intelligence (EI) that you should demonstrate or incorporate into your answers to interview questions.

There are 5 competencies that recruiters will apply in measuring your Emotional Intelligence (EI) as follows:

  1. Emotional Recognition and Expression (in oneself)
  2. Understanding Others Emotions
  3. Emotions Influence Learning, Thinking and Decision Making
  4. Emotional Management
  5. Emotional Self Control 

How I found a job using my own networking principles

Employment Exhibition

Employment Exhibition (Photo credit: Modern_Language_Center)

This is a story I like to tell everyone about how the author of the book, How to Find a Job in 6 Weeks, was once out of work and had to find a job very quickly. It’s a personal account about what I learned through the process and some of the simple techniques I applied to get me back on my feet.

It all happened very quickly. At one point I am recruiting staff for the company, and before you know it, I am looking for a job myself. Within the space of 30 minutes I had gone from recruiting to looking for work. That was an incredible change in circumstances for a human resources professional. I was advised without notice that the company no longer needed someone of my abilities and that my position was being made redundant.

I had a family to support, mortgage and I was the sole income earner. To make matters worse I only had 2 months pay before I ran out of money. How is that for pressure! So what do you do? I had to change from employed into job search mode fairly quickly and my whole life changed in an instant. Here is a list of the first 4 techniques I employed within 48 hours to commence and kick-start my job search.

  1. Inform your professional contacts
    I wrote a list of names of all my professional contacts and I rang them one by one to inform them I was in job search mode. I was surprised how they wanted to help me and  I was provided with assurances that if they heard of anything through their own network they would advise me. Their is no shame in doing this because I discovered that some of my colleagues had been in a similar situation before and were understanding.
  2. Inform employment agencies of your availability
    Advise employment agencies that specialise in your profession of your availability. Write a list of all the employment agencies that are relevant to your profession and contact them. Don’t wait for the job adds to appear in the press to apply for a job because employment agencies  sometimes conduct discreet searches and do not want to advertise the vacancy. I was treated very well by employment agencies, obviously because I was marketable, and they did follow up my inquiry when the right job was on offer.
  3. Inform you non-professional contacts
    In this case I am referring to those professional people you have good relationships with but are not related to your profession such as lawyers, accountants, doctors, councilors etc….I found a short term assignment contracting in human resources through my solicitor. He referred me to a company that was looking for some assistance in this area and this kept me going for a month and helped relieve the pressure.
  4. Register for unemployment benefits
    When people leave their jobs they do so under various circumstances. Whether employment benefits will apply to you will depend on your financial situation and your reasons for leaving work. For example, there is a test to determine if you partner is employed and earning income, whether you have liquid assets, a second property and other non-liquid assets. As embarrassing as it may seem, it is important to find out quickly and register for government unemployment benefits. It is only a short and interim assistance package that may help relieve your financial burden whilst looking for work. The worst thing that can happen is that your are not entitled to benefits for the first 12 weeks before your application is re-assessed.


Just for the record, I found a job in 6 weeks by way of a referral from a professional colleague. The employment consultant had a good relationship with my colleague and had respect for his referral. He said to me that if I was good enough for my colleague then I was good enough for him and he referred me for interview with the General Manager of the company. I had my nose ahead right from the beginning and the rest was history. I got the job I wanted and my networking principles paid off!

10 Key Tips on Answering Behavioral Type Questions

If I was to explain to you the best way of answering behavioral type interview questions I would sum it up in a couple of words, “telling a story”. It’s about telling someone, you have just met for the first time, a little story about something special in your life that happened not long ago. Usually this story is about an  experience at work that you felt was special or a unique representation of  your abilities. Think about this for a minute and you will realise that we do this all the time over lunch,  dinner and at special occasions when we meet our friends and new people. If you want to be good at behavioral interviews then start by being yourself and pretend you are telling a good story to a friend. You will see that the pressure normally associated with such interviews will no longer hinder your performance overall and will offer you the ability to have a better dialogue with the interviewer. Here are 14 key tips on answering behavioral type interviews you should consider:

  1. Refer to an achievement in your resume when answering behavioral type questions
  2. If your response refers to a major project you were part of, break it down into smaller phases in a clear and concise manner when responding
  3. Be specific about your role in each situation
  4. Don’t talk just to fill up dead air…take a minute to collect your thoughts and organise your answer before replying
  5. Use statistics or other measures in your response to back up the information you have provided
  6. Always turn a negative situation into a positive
  7. Always reflect on your ability to work as part of a team and to look for solutions to problems
  8. Show examples where you have done more than expected
  9. Prepare your responses to common behavioral questions before attending the interview
  10. Explain what you learned from each experience.

Remember, that you are telling a short story of a specific situation from the beginning to the end, and it is not uncommon for a good answer to take up to 5-10 minutes. Ask the interviewer if he/she would like more detail.