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Question:

How do you deal with emotions? Has your emotional intelligence helped you overcome a challenge in the past?

Solution

Emotion is the psychological state expressed through physiological and behavioral response to subjective experience. While subjective experience is natural to life, resultant emotional reactions can be controlled. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to have awareness and control over emotional reactions. This is an important capability because it determines reactions to everyday situations. It also influences interpersonal relationships and professional achievements. I learnt the value of emotional intelligence during my search for a job. After I graduated with a Bachelor degree from my university in Iran, I started searching for a job in the United States. Naturally, I was anxious about my job prospects. I experienced fear because of the increasing rate of unemployment in the country. After several weeks of applying for various positions, I secured an interview with one of America's multinational nutrition companies. In light of the firm’s reputation for attention to detail, I prepared thoroughly for the interview. Nevertheless, I was still anxious about the exercise. I had never attended a job interview with a firm of this caliber. Moreover, I knew that the interview would have significantly ramifications for my career. Anxiety can harm interview performance by harming candidates’ ability to express themselves. It may also imply a lack of confidence or professional competence. I knew that these effects had the capacity to imperil my interview performance. Thus, I dedicated a lot of time to emotional preparation.

A leading cause of stress is lack of preparedness. By acknowledging this fact, I recognized that one way of dealing with my anxiety would be to prepare thoroughly for my interview. I worked to understand the position’s specific requirements. Together with some of my co-applicants, we performed mock interviews.  After a week of preparation, I felt prepared to handle any interview scenario. I looked forward to facing the interview panel and banished any feelings of anxiety about my capability to impress the company.

On the day of the interview, however, I found myself feeling anxious about passing the interview.  Trying to ignore or suppress anxiety can worsen the resultant behavioral expression. However, the sensation of anxiety does not mean that one must exhibit nervous behavior. Knowing this encouraged me to accept my feelings as a natural part of a stressful experience and instead work on managing my reaction to it. At the same time, I realized that there was a need to improve my stress management. To improve my attitude, I focused on my positive traits, thus shifting focus from the need to be perfect. Moreover, I recognized the fact that many of my fellow interviewees were likely facing a similar situation to mine. By knowing that situation was not unique, and that many people had successfully undertaken the exercise, I boosted my confidence. Moreover, I engaged relaxation techniques to enhance my physiological and behavioral reaction. These included calm breathing techniques, power posturing and positive visualization. By managing my emotions effectively, I performed exceptionally well and got the position I had applied for.

Lessons Learned and Future Behavior

My emotional intelligence experience continues to determine the actions that I take to everyday situations. One important lesson I learned is that emotional expression can determine the outcome of both social and professional endeavors. Thus, I am motivated to improve my emotional intelligence. This insight will undoubtedly improve my social and professional life.

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