How To Handle An Emotionally Unintelligent Interviewer

“In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels” – Daniel Goleman

 

Good Morning Class! Take a seat and get cozy. Today’s topic of discussion: Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for short. Emotional Intelligence is a term that is getting thrown around more and more in today’s society. EQ is essentially the exponent to your IQ. While your IQ is strictly how much you know in terms of academia EQ measures how much you know emotionally. Specifically focusing on empathy, viewing other people’s emotions, and the self awareness and self management of your own emotions. Here’s the kicker, studies have found that the more emotionally intelligent you are, the more successful in your career you will be! However, some careers require a little more emotional intelligence than others. In today’s blog I’m going to discuss an experience of mine when I went on an interview and was met with a very Emotionally Unintelligent interviewer:

 

Preface- It was a cold February day here in Northern New Jersey. The position I was applying for was for a Pricing Analyst Position at a pretty cool company. The company was a tech start up and judging from their website were really creative and innovative. I was excited for this interview and an opportunity to speak with them! I should mention this specific interview was done via skype (another blog on that soon to come). My attire was killer, even though I felt weird sitting in front a of a computer screen in a suit jacket and with my hair done, I was feeling really self confident in my abilities to perform this job. I was ready for this interview:

 

Interview – As the interviewer called me in via Skype a nice girl (happy, but it was clear she was there to do business) appeared on my screen. She was probably in her early to mid 20’s, dressed business casual. “Hi Jess, how are you?” “It’s so nice to meet you” I said on my end. “Hi” She replied, “Why don’t you tell me what you already know about the company” in a toned that was between stressed and annoyed. After receiving that statement my primal sensors went off. Either this interviewer is having a bad day, or she might not be too great with people.

 

I did my homework on this company (as everyone should do for any interview they are on!) So I proudly recited when the company was founded, the products and services they provide, and why I found this company so interesting; being sure to include sincerity yet enthusiasm in my responses. She replied “ok, let me go over the benefits,” she then recited the benefits which were posted on the job description off a computer screen.

 

As an interviewee I’m already thinking something is up. A) This interviewer is having a terrible day B)This interviewer hates her job/isn’t into me C) This Interviewer is emotionally unintelligent. As the interview progressed I asked more questions about the company, position, and how I could add more value to the company through my skills. Every response was met with very melancholy at times apathetic responses. After I was finished asking questions I thanked the interviewer again so much for her time and the call was ended.

 

Conclusion/Reflection – In the course of 20 minutes I went from being over the top excited about a position, to really asking myself “do I want this position?” So what changed? On a primal level humans can detect danger or when other human beings are feeling uncomfortable (this is empathy and emotional intelligence) Three seconds into my interview I felt something was wrong due to the interviewers tone and facial expressions; this slight sense of discomfort triggered questions in my mind “what kind of environment, does this company provide?”or “this interviewer seems like she’s not a very good fit for this position, how will they ensure I’m a good fit?” These questions and many more hit me just a few seconds after the first impression of the interviewer.

 

So what can we learn? When dealing with an emotionally unintelligent interviewer/person there are a few things you can do. First, you want to be yourself. A person who has high EQ is very good at changing their mood to fit those around them, it’s so important to be yourself and that you feel comfortable. If an interviewer is displaying negative or apathetic behavior it’s only a reflection of the company culture (that’s why it’s so important for companies to choose wisely when deciding who will be on the front lines of their business.) The second tactic you can take is to show empathy. The more I reflected on the interview I felt I should have taken the initiative and responsibility to ask the interviewer if everything was alright? It seems that she might have been having a rough day. Looking back this might have been an effective method.

 

So I know you’re all dying to know, did I get the job!? Well after pondering on it, I decided that if I was offered the position I wouldn’t take it; as I don’t feel it would have been a good fit. As you can tell from most of the blogs on this site, company culture and environment is what drives people to be their best. Without a cultivating environment I personally don’t believe I could thrive. I think we owe it to ourselves from time to time to let our emotional minds take over, as sometimes it brings greater clarity and sobering thoughts than our logical minds.

Life Hack: How To Get Paid To Go To The Gym

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you’re like me, you love Life Hacks. Life can be hard and stressful enough, so when an opportunity arises to be creative AND make things easier I’m there! Now, I’ve always thought about going to the gym but I’ve never really acted on it; primarily due to the financials. My logic being: if I can buy a piece of equipment to work out on, why would I pay a monthly fee to use virtually the same equipment at a gym? However that was before I actually realized you could make money by going to the gym. In today’s blog I’m going to outline not just how you can get paid to go to the gym and fitness centers; but how preserving your physical health is essential to your financial well-being:

Did Someone Say Insurance – I always considered my full time job as a medical debt collector a bit of an oxymoron. Mainly I deal with insurance reps and patient’s who owe several clinics money; my job is to get this money from them and strike up various payment plans etc… I always thought it was a little funny how my job is to talk to insurance companies, who make money by me staying healthy, who in turn raise my blood pressure and at times destroy my mental health (#gofigure!?). In any case, I recently started looking into gym memberships to combat high blood pressure and just to release some stress. Then I got an idea: does insurance cover gym memberships? I started to dive a little deeper into this and discovered most insurances do!

How It Works – Personally I have BCBS (Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey) as my insurance carrier and they have a program called HorizonbFit. Essentially they participate with bigger gym franchises such as (LA Fitness, Anytime Fitness, Golds Gym, etc… )* and will reimburse $20/mo (or $240/yr) if you go to the gym 12 times a month! So you might be thinking ok… how can I get paid to go to the gym? Well say you do have Horizon BCBS and have a planet fitness membership (which can start at as little as $10/mo or $120/yr) if you go 12 times a month you’ll be eligible for a rewards of up to $20/mo. This essentially means you can get paid $120.00 ($240 in rewards – $120 gym membership = $120.00) to go to the gym! *Please note that BCBS plans outside of NJ might participate with different fitness centers and gyms around your area. The best way to find out if your gym participates with your BCBS plan is to go to the HorizonBFit website and type in your plan ID number and location.

 

What Are Some Other Ways I Can Save? – The cool part about gym incentive programs from insurance companies are that there are other ways to save. Many times people forget that saving money is the same as making money! Even if you’re insurance carrier doesn’t cover the full yearly amount of your gym membership, that is money you are saving; which in turn can be allocated towards an investment that will make you money! Think about it, even if you saved $100/yr extra and invested that money each year in an IRA or other dividend/passive income producing asset, the return on your money would grow without question.

Health Benefits – It goes without question that Healthcare Costs in the United States is a topic that needs alot of addressing. Premiums are through the roof for many people who seek insurance independently, making it barely affordable. However, by utilizing a gym incentive program you cannot discount the obvious benefit: your health! Think of utilizing a gym incentive program as not only getting a free (or close to free) gym membership, but saving on Doctors visit copays, visits to specialists, and other types of medical emergencies which might be brought on by neglect of physical activity.

Conclusion – Overall, utilizing and looking into a gym incentive program might be just want the Doctor ordered (in my case literally). However don’t discount the benefits physical exercise can have on your financial health. Saving money is the same as making money and how you allocate and invest those savings can have a dramatic effect on your future financial health. The key takeaway: take care of yourself!

*For a complete List of Gyms that are covered by your insurance fitness incentive program it is best to call your insurance company.

Helpful Links For Fitness Programs:

Why It’s Important To Choose A Career That Matches Your Personality

“We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard’s education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of power, but to use well the kind you’ve been granted.”- Susan Cain

I rarely make New Year’s resolutions. In fact I kind of secretly despise them. I firmly believe that if you are going to do something you shouldn’t wait to take action; whether that is mapping out a plan, or diving right in to your goals. However, this year I did decide to make a New Year’s resolution: to read 2 books every month. I’ve started the year reading some amazing books and I want to share those books with you; so I created a reading list! Every book that I feel played a significant part in my life through a personal, career, or investment standpoint I add to that list.

I recently finished Susan Cain’s work of art Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking. In her work, Susan Cain discusses not only what it means to be an introvert, and the importance of balance between introverts and extroverts in the world and workplace; but brought up a really good point that I wanted to focus today’s blog around. The topic is temperament and careers. How do we choose careers that match our temperament? Is this an innate sense? Do we choose passions based on the environment they will allow us? In today’s blog I’m going to discuss why it’s so important to choose a career that matches your personality and temperament; and more importantly how to find that career.

 

Dig Deep – Like most revelations choosing the right career that matches your personality takes tons of introspection. You need to really connect with yourself and think not only what you enjoy doing; but what environment you like doing it in! For instance it’s wonderful that you love numbers, but if dealing with stressed people during tax season isn’t going to give you gratification it might be worth trying to find another career that allows you to foster your love of numbers while providing an environment that isn’t so stressful. You can kind of see what I’m getting at here; your passion is what you love doing, but your temperament dictates the environment you like doing it in. So how can you find the healthy balance!?

 

Learn From Experience – Honestly the best way to find that healthy balance is to put yourself in various environments dealing with your passion or interest. Say you are so passionate about music. Take time learning and asking questions from music teachers, musicians, recording artists, acoustic engineers, instrument builders, etc… There are so many possibilities for each career. If your temperament is highly sensitive to stress and judgement you need to find a career that will allow you to feel relaxed while feeling like you have an impact. If you thrive under pressure you might love setting up for a big rock show minutes before it’s announced.

 

The key here (and I’ve said this before) is that our passions certainly are a driving factor; but I believe the human species is more impacted by the environment we do our passions in. In essence, are you geared to do your passion with people or alone? Do you prefer to travel or do you enjoy the safety of your own space? These things might not seem like important factors when deciding on a career; but they can become factors that might affect your happiness down the road. It’s important to ask: will this career/position fit my personality? Asking this question is just as important as asking about salary, benefits, or a 401k match.

 

Going Against The Grain – One thing I truly believe is that humans, in an anthropological sense, are the best adaptation creatures earth has ever seen. We went from discovering fire to creating the most unique ways to find a mate (#swipeleft?) but what we need to look at is what happens if you go against the grain. In essence what happens if you’re an introvert in an extroverted career? And vice versa. Is it possible? Well I have a little experience with this and would love to share that this is completely possible.

 

As I hope some of you know from reading the blogs on this site; I’m a real estate agent. Sales in general is perceived as one of the most extroverted careers there are. You are constantly talking to people, networking, meeting new clients, and mortgage reps. For me (one of the most introverted people on the planet) it wouldn’t appear to be a good match for a career. However, surprisingly I love sales! and another surprising thing is that I’m good at it! So how can this be? How can a person who really can get overstimulated easily make a career of being around people all the time?

 

The secret is looking into your career and aligning your passion. My passions are helping people, forming deep connections, and creating lasting relationships. A career in sales, somehow, meets all of my passions and needs. Being introverted, I admit, I’m not much of a talker (that’s why I write!) but this makes me a great listener; and it turns out people love to be listened to! Finding a passion is one thing, but digging into your values and personality traits and deciding how you are going to bring them out in a career is another story. Be creative, be innovative, but more importantly be yourself.

 

Conclusion – The important takeaway and message I want to convey is that when choosing a career it is incredibly important to not just follow your passion, but evaluate your temperament and environments that you thrive in. What values has your temperament gifted you? And how can you incorporate those gifts and values into your career? Let us know your thoughts and comments below, we always love to hear from you!