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Interview Questions to Measure Emotional Intelligence


Emotional intelligence is the latest parameter which has taken a toll over the recruitment process lately. Although, it has been around the corner for quite some time now, but off late the managers/recruiters have started giving it quite a lot of importance while hiring new candidates or at the time of promotion of the existing candidates.

According to many recruiters, it would be more advisable as well as viable to hire a person with a high EQ (Emotional Quotient) and comparatively lesser technical knowledge, as compared to the one with a low EQ. This is so because the former one can be trained on technical stuff through various levels of training but the latter cannot be for building his emotional quotient EQ.

Emotional intelligence is drawing so much attention nowadays because of the fact that a person with high emotional intelligence would perform better at work and it is believed that if combined with apt technical know-how and experience, the employee can prove to be a real asset to the organization.

emotional intelligence interview questions

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence EI can be defined as the ability to assess one’s own emotions and manage them positively to destress, communicate in a better way, handle conflicts politely and improve your attitude and social behavior with others.

In order to test the emotional intelligence of the candidate, there are several kinds of interview questions which are asked by the interviewer, few of them are listed below:

23 Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions:

1. Tell me about your goals in life and how would this job help you achieve them?

2. What do you enjoy the most and what makes you laugh?

3. How well do you think you handle stress. Quote an example something went wrong and what did you do to manage it?

4. Give an example where you got embarrassed in public and how did you handle the situation.

5. What raises your level of energy and excitement?

6. What do you enjoy the most and have fun in doing?

7. Tell me two of your habits which you think are the most positive ones you have?

8. Are you open to help other people in need and do you easily accept help from others?

9. What is your passion in life?

10. What is that one habit of yours you want to get rid off?

11. How often do you get angry and what are the reasons which make you angry

12. Do you enjoy your work?

13. What would be your reaction when you get to know that after a long day of work, you have to stay a little longer and spend couple of more hours at office?

14. Do you think that your work and personal life are completely balanced, if no then what steps would you take to balance the two?

15. Who is your inspiration in life and why?

16. How would you rate your energy levels on an average day?

17. Unless and until some exception comes up, what do you focus more on: results and tasks or people and emotions?

18. In case you start up a new company, what would be the values of the same?

19. How do you deal with stress?

20. If your colleague is stressed out at work, how would you react to the situation and what steps would you take to help them?

21. Have you had a long lasting friendship ever at the workplace? Are you still good friends with any of your ex-colleagues?

22. What is your biggest weakness or strength?

23. If you had to teach me something which I am not aware of, how would you do it?

Top Qualities Employers Look for:

Based on the above-stated empathy interview questions, the interviewer would be able to decide on the following stated traits of the candidate and hence would be able to zero down on the hiring decision and selecting the appropriate candidate:

1. Self-Awareness and control:

Knowing what one is capable of is yet another quality which is sought for nowadays. This one is extremely important as it helps the employer know if the candidate is well versed with their emotional intelligence skills or traits and how well do they have control over them.

This quality lets the manager know if the candidate himself is aware of his shortcomings and how well is he ready to cope with the same and improvise them for good. Most common emotions which are taken into consideration herein are anger, disappointment, and fear.

It is believed that if a person understands him, then in that case, they will be in better shoes to understand the emotions of their peers and this trait ultimately leads to a better environment at the workplace and this would turn out to be better for the organization on the whole.

2. Uncertainty:

The businesses today are so uncertain and ever-changing that one needs to change themselves and adapt to the new work culture continuously. Dynamism is the key to success nowadays.

So in order to cope with the dynamic and volatile business trends, it is more advisable to recruit such a candidate who is open to changes and can easily adapt and inculcate the same.

If the employee does not change himself/herself with the changing business requirements, then the process becomes stagnant and the growth also stops after a certain point of time. This implies to both the individual as well as the organization. So in order to prosper further, dynamism is one quality the employer must look out for.

3. Empathy for others:

Herein, the managers/recruiters look forward to check if the employee/candidate understands the viewpoint of their peers. It is very important that the candidate should understand and think from the viewpoint of the other person, as this makes the work-life easy for both of them.

In a situation of stress and confusion, if there exist proper understanding and empathy between the peers, then in that case, there would be no unnecessary chaos and problems created. Therefore, this is one of the most important trait which is looked out for.

4. Social expertness:

This trait refers to how a person deals with the other one on social terms. Herein it is judged if the concerned person is able to build positive and genuine terms and relationships with his colleagues and how well he handles that relationship under stress.

It is to be checked if the stressed conditions are dealt with in a healthy way or not and there are no unnecessary issues created. Such kind of employee is supposed to be a blessing for the organization and they are always ready to reach out and help those in need. They are good at building relationships with their colleagues and are always ready with a helping hand.

5. Personal influence:

Yet another trait to look forward to while hiring a new candidate or at the time of promotion is leadership. Candidates who possess this trait have a great influence on others and they have an ability to inspire others.

They are known for creating a positive work climate and get the jobs done through others. These people are big-time optimists and influencers.

They inspire others by setting up an example. A good motivator is always welcome in any organization as they lift the team spirit altogether.

6. Mastery of purpose:

When someone knows what they want from life, then they have a clear view of what they are doing and why do they want to work with the concerned organization. This is one trait that many call and refer to as motivation.

These kinds of people do not get bored with their work and rather enjoy doing the same. They are so engrossed in their work that they do not realize the time taken and complete the task with enough diligence.

Taking in view the interest and skills, the interviewer can figure out whether the job is a good fit for the candidate. A good and successful leader knows how to handle his team and get the jobs done; he sets an example by work and makes his team to follow his footsteps.

The hiring and promotion decisions that are made by an employer can affect the organizational results greatly. Few of the factors which get hampered or are affected are stated as under:

1. Cultural Environment:

Being outward, jolly and fun to work with is such a quality which is sought after greatly by the recruiters nowadays. If an employee enjoys his work and likes to interact with others in a positive way, spreads positivity around and motivates his colleague, the entire aura of the organization turns out to be so positive.

This, in turn, leads to a better environment at the workplace and thereby increasing overall productivity.

2. Growth of Revenue and Profitability:

If an employee enjoys his work then he/ she would work diligently towards the achievement of the goals set by the management. In addition, he would also promote and motivate his peers in doing so.

In such a case, the overall growth of the company will be elevated. Positivity and growth go hand in hand.

3. Strategic Focus vs. Chaos/Drama:

A whole lot of chaos and drama can be avoided if a perfect candidate with apt technical knowledge and emotional intelligence is selected. In case of the selection of a candidate who possesses adequate skills both technically and emotionally, a whole lot of unnecessary drama and chaos can be avoided.

There are certain employees who, without any rhyme or reason get themselves involved into unnecessary drama. Such people can be avoided based on their answers in the interview. These kinds tend to slow the growth of the business by reducing their own productivity along with their peers.

4. Employee and Client/Customer Engagement:

Being outward and being able to interact with the client/customer leads to customer engagement which is quite positive for the organization. If the employee is able to continuously engage the customer, then the whole business can grow in turn.

The existing customer would come back again if he/ she is satisfied and would also recommend the business to others,.

5. Ability to Embrace Rapid Innovation and Change:

If the candidate is open and willing to change with the circumstances, then the organization grows with the candidate. Such an employee vibrates positivity amongst his/ her peers and is a fun to work with.

6. Employee Turnover:

Based on the questions asked during the interview regarding the emotional intelligence, the employee turnover in an organization can be controlled.

The interviewer would easily be able to gauge if the concerned employee would be retaining himself in the organization for long or not.

7. Conflict/ Negativity:

No one would like to hire an employee who would be interested in taking up a conflict or would easily get into any kind of intense disagreement with their peers. Such kind of situation proves to be very unhealthy for the organization and in turn disturbs the aura of the workplace along with hampering the momentum of the workflow.

Disagreements happen everywhere, but managing the show without getting the work hampered is the art for which the recruiter would look up when testing the candidate on this parameter.

Keeping in mind all the above traits and skills, the recruiter at the time of interview or the manager at the time of promotion would decide if the candidate is emotionally intelligent if they:

1. Keep their calm in the worst of the situations and still manage to get the best out of the situation.

2. Would understand if someone is hampering their emotional state and would not let that hamper their work. On the other hand they would try and make peace out of the situation.

3. Maintain a friendly relationship with peers.

4. Accept if they are wrong, openly accept their mistakes and are willing to improvise the same.

5. Adjust them according to the present situation.

6. Do not unnecessarily poke into situations where not required and interfere only when it helps the situation.

If you have employees like this, do your best to retain them. If you don’t, you may want to start hiring with emotional intelligence in mind.