Can you use emotional intelligence to advance your interviewing skills and attract more talented and well-aligned candidates? As with almost every other aspect of the interviewing and selection process, a few controlled studies can go a long way toward answering the question and finding evidence-based models that actually bring results.
And as it happens, applying the qualities, gestures and language patterns associated with high levels of emotional intelligence can earn the respect and interest of the best available candidates. Here’s how.
Police interrogations, celebrity media interviews and job interviews all have one essential thing in common: the subjects tend to share more information, with more detail and more value, when they feel a personal connection with the interviewer. In an atmosphere that feels relaxed, informal and non-judgmental, the information flows. In rigid, tense, anxiety-inducing interactions, subjects button up.
Get to know the candidate and what makes them tick. This may mean different things to different interviewers, but in almost every case, it means smiling naturally, asking questions that go beyond their resume and showing genuine interest in who they are and what they have to say. Make sure to avoid discussing personal information with questions that could be deemed discriminatory, but there’s nothing wrong with friendly small talk that sets the pace and tone for the interview.
One of the most meaningful but often overlooked questions in the interview setting goes something like this: “Why have you come here today?” or “What would you like to get out of this interview?” Of course the candidate wants to land this job, but why this particular job, why now and what would the candidate most like you to know about them?
Beyond that introductory disclosure, you’ll want to draw out the candidate’s feelings about their long-term career path, where they’d like to be five or ten years from now and how they think this job can get them there.
If you’re really exercising your listening skills, you’ll soon gain a sense of what the candidate has wanted during the course of their career history and what they’ve seen, learned and accomplished on the way to those goals. You’ll get a broad overview of where their career decisions and desires are leading so far.
If you’re exercising your emotional intelligence, you’ll find links between that past storyline and the kinds of professional development opportunities they’ll find in your workplace. Are they looking for a management role? Are they looking to expand their technical skill sets? Are they searching for a job that will have an impact on others? Now is the best time to find out. And you’ll have an easier time connecting the candidate’s past performance and future development if you’re establishing a genuine connection.
For more on how to target the best possible candidates and secure their services with an exhaustive, in-depth interview process, contact the team at Executive Alliance.