Excel at Work with Emotional Intelligence
Regulars | Article

Excel in the Workplace
by Being Emotionally Intelligent

Excel in the Workplace by Being Emotionally Intelligent

Emotional Intelligence – or EQ – is one of those nebulous terms we hear perhaps a bit too often. It is an attribute employers assess before hiring a job applicant, and can be gauged by the quality of responses to interpersonal interview questions and reactions to situational questions.

If you belong to the group of poly students intending to enter the workforce after graduation, you ought to have a good understanding of what constitutes emotional intelligence and work towards developing these aspects. This will definitely stand you in good stead for your interview and career.

According to a book we have read entitled ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQ and Working with Emotional Intelligence’, there are five categories of emotional intelligence. Let’s look at them here.


A person with a good sense of self-awareness understands their strengths and acknowledges their weaknesses. Self-awareness also allows one to see how their words and actions might affect the people around them.

How to show self-awareness at an interview:
Highlight your strengths and relate them to your ability to deliver in the workplace. Try to strike a balance between playing up your strengths and appearing over-confident. It will also pay to humbly acknowledge job functions you might need help succeeding in.

How to show self-awareness in the workplace:
With confidence that you have something to offer your team, ask them if you can help in any way during hectic times. Some people might prefer to do certain tasks individually, so avoid pushing it if they decline your offer.


Self-regulation is the maintenance of one’s emotional well-being. In order to do this well, one has to monitor and control their emotions and display appropriate behaviour according to what the situation calls for.

How to show self-regulation at an interview:
If you are asked a tough situational question, stop to think about your answer instead of spouting whatever comes to mind. Allow your response to suggest that you are a person who works towards an outcome that is the best result for everybody, not an outcome that is self-serving and motivated by your emotions.

How to show self-regulation in the workplace:
Understand that things do not always go the way you want in the workplace and that your colleagues do not think the same way you do. It helps to remind yourself not to take anything personally and to constantly monitor your level of professionalism.


Highly motivated individuals do not stop in their tracks when they encounter any difficulty. They are driven by the prospect of success, even if they know that achieving it requires immense effort.

How to show motivation at an interview: If possible, highlight any challenging experience in school that tested your resilience. There are bound to be times during group projects or while you were balancing CCA and assignments that required you to reach into the depths of your mental strength.

How to show motivation in the workplace: It is not difficult to show that you are a driven worker at work. Be resolute in your belief that anything is possible if you do it with hard work and unwavering optimism.


Empathetic people make one feel comfortable and at ease. Their approachable quality also assures us that we can always turn to them for sincere advice.

How to show empathy at an interview: Empathy is closely linked to the ability to connect and engage. At your interview, show that you are completely present in the interview room, be sincere in your responses, and make your interview more of a conversation than it is a Q&A session.

How to show empathy in the workplace: Be the person whom people can be comfortable with! Actively listen to what your mentors and colleagues share with you and show them you are listening by offering your own perspective every now and then.

5.People Skills

If you are seen as someone with good people skills, you are seen as someone able to communicate effectively with others. Individuals with good people skills are more likely to come to a mutual understanding with others – good for when you need to work on projects with various other stakeholders.

How to show people skills at an interview: Shake off the nerves and articulate with confidence. Show your interviewers that you are happy to be at the interview. Once again, highlight experiences in school or during internships that prove your ability to work in a team!

How to show people skills in the workplace: Show sincerity and respect to everyone you meet. This extends beyond your colleagues and bosses – offer a word of kindness to the office cleaner or janitor when you see them. Appreciate the presence of those around you and you are bound to develop into a person with a much more positive outlook in life.