Taking Control of Your Interviews

04 June 2024

On average, full-time job seekers apply to around 30 positions, yet only hear back from four!

It’s no wonder 90% of Americans surveyed say that interviews are stressful. Some would even say they cause anxiety due to the high stakes involved.

So just like everyone with a relative who overshares on social media, everyone has an opinion on how to interview: arrive early, be yourself, practice with a friend, relax, and research the company… just to name a few. But rather than learning “how to ace” an interview, consider using the interview process to boost your emotional intelligence—a highly desirable trait among top employers.

Right to Win vs. Hope They Like Me

I’ve noticed one thing about interviews: hardly anyone has a bad interview, or at least that’s what almost every candidate tells me after their interview.
After an interview, many candidates express optimism, saying things like, “I think it went well.”
However, instead of focusing on whether you impressed the interviewer or demonstrated your technical prowess recognize that interviews are a two-way street. They are interviewing you, but at the same time, you are interviewing them. They are evaluating if you can do the job, but you are also evaluating if this is the right next step in your career.
Just as companies market their products based on their unique selling propositions, high EQ candidates know which roles are in their sweet spot.
Companies evaluate their resources and capabilities and then they communicate to their target market the benefits of their product/services.

You should understand your skills and competencies and then learn to illustrate how you can add-value.

Lexus does not market golf carts, and Apple does not market dishwashers.

Can they? Sure, but they don’t, to stay true to their brand, and core competency and focus on their strengths.

Likewise, it would be best if you didn’t waste your efforts interviewing (or trying to get an interview) for a job that you have no right to win.

Level Up your EQ

According to Harvard Business School, “self-awareness” is one of the components of emotional intelligence (EQ). It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses not just for the sake of the interview, but to apply them to your daily life.

Remember, rejection is part of the process, but your ability to manage such situations positively, through self-management, another facet of emotional intelligence, can turn setbacks into learning experiences.

Personally, I like the proverb, “As a person thinks in his heart, so is he.” Adrian Rogers said, “Your thoughts—positive, negative, good, or bad—control your attitudes. Your attitudes are the sum total of your thoughts. Your attitudes lead to your actions.”

We obsess over technical skills. Yes, I get it, you need to stay relevant. However, don’t ignore the qualities that will help you get a job today and in your day-to-day: motivated, flexible, humble, clever, team-oriented, curious, emotionally stable, and resilient.

Interviews can be stressful tests, so here’s a bit of humor to help you stay resilient: