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Your Intelligence Will Not Make You More Likely To Get The Job; This Will

It's about how you can be part of a team.

Being intelligent isn't everything. As we've written before, it's not the key trait for becoming a great leader. (The key trait is actually being emotionally intelligent, which involves being able to empathize with other people, being self-aware, and having good social skills.) We've also written that even smart people make mistakes at work, and their mistakes like being lazy or looking down on other people will negatively affect productivity and cause some distrust in the team.

Now it's been found that showing off your IQ won't really make you a shoo-in for a position. Several recruiters and managers are saying on Quora that they're not very interested in hiring people who are only intelligent, because what's important to them now is how well a person can work with a group of people who may not all be as much of a genius as the person being interviewed.

Travis Bradberry, PhD, coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, notes a recent study that surveys more than 500 business leaders across the globe, where majority of them (78 percent) prioritize personality over skills and think that that's what makes an exceptional employee. He also believes that attitude (especially towards failure) beats IQ when it comes to success.


The right attitude has a lot to do with persistence: when you still keep going and still try to learn and get things right even when you've made dozens of mistakes already. According to Travis, people with this "growth mindset" outperform others with a "fixed mindset" even when the former have a lower IQ because they take opportunities.

See? It's totally okay if you're no genius; you have a definite edge if you have a good attitude along with your competence. But if you are a genius and your social skills aren't incredible (let's be honest: Social skills take time and loads of practice to develop), you're not doomed. Recruiters or employers won't file away your resumé just because they see your honors. Travis suggests that in your interview, show them that you're a critical thinker, that you get things done, and that you can work well with others.

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