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One Reason Why Employers Aren't Calling You Back

It might not be YOU; it might be your brain.


Employers and hiring managers aren't just looking for smart people these days. They're also looking for "emotional intelligence," or the soft skills that make you great at working with other people. It's why we have empathy, motivation, social skills, and self-awareness—and some people are just better at these things than others. But it doesn't mean these skills can't be improved on, learned, or (especially if you already have them), highlighted on your resume and addressed during an interview. We searched for the top tips and advice on emotional intelligence (also called "EQ") to give you a few easy ways to upgrade your application process and be the thinker and do-er candidate that employers want to hire .


Interviews are key. Many employers use the interview process to ask questions about why you want to work for the organization, what career goals you want to achieve and what exactly about the role would make you excited to get up in the morning. When you showcase your emotional intelligence in addition to your core skills, you’ll likely be seen as a balanced professional.

For instance, candidates should speak convincingly about collaborative work in former assignments, share how they interacted with team members and discuss successful outcomes of projects. The ability to work effectively with other people and resolve conflicts can be an indicator of one’s emotional intelligence, and a job interview is a great place to showcase this.

Do You Have the Emotional Intelligence Employers Seek?

Take on challenges. Rather than turn and run the other way, a jobseeker with EQ will face difficult or uncomfortable situations. It might mean making the decision to change her career, or attend networking events requiring her to leave her comfort zone, or join LinkedIn and use it to its potential. The majority of people who enter our career center take on the challenge of finding a new job, while others wait for a job to find them.

10 Ways to Show Emotional Intelligence in Your Job Search

Have specific examples prepared. Employers hire for positive attitude, resilience and cultural fit; therefore, your responses to interview questions should include examples of how you have overcome obstacles, adapted to changes and worked effectively with others. Simply saying that you possess these traits is not enough.  Go into your interview prepared to share several examples.  That way, if you have multiple levels of interviews, you can share a different example with each interviewer.

Hired or Not? Emotional Intelligence Can Make the Difference


Want more on EQ?

Author and psychologist Daniel Goleman first coined the term in his 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence. Read more (and more recent work) on his website or check out the book on Amazon.

"The rules for work are changing. We're being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other. This yardstick is increasingly applied in choosing who will be hired and who will not, who will be let go and who retained, who passed over and who promoted."


Last Updated: May 24, 2017
About the author

Kelly Love Johnson

Kelly Love Johnson is Content Strategist for Jobs2Careers. She's also a shower singer, TV watcher, pop culture junkie, and habitual smirker. She's passionate about helping people find their dream jobs and closing the wage gap. Her book, Skirt! Rules for the Workplace: An Irreverent Guide to Advancing Your Career, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008.