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Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions and Answers


The interview pattern in today’s business has gone through a deep transformation from too much formal to very cool and casual. Nowadays the employers look more for a well-balanced employee than a man-machine. To get that perfect bend the interview pattern has also changed a lot.

Now an Interviewer prefers more in asking emotional intelligence interview questions to judge the candidate’s emotional intelligence than to assess the domain knowledge.

emotional intelligence interview questions

Define emotional intelligence:


Emotional intelligence is a blend of self-motivation, social skills, empathy, self-regulation and self-awareness in any kind of situation. A candidate who possesses these emotional intelligence skills in him has the capacity to work under any particular pressure and bring out desired results. “Emotional intelligence is the key to being really successful,” told by Business Insider’s Jenna Goudreau. Here are few such questions jotted down for the emotional intelligence assessment of the candidate.

18 Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions & Answers:

The following mentioned are few emotional interview questions along with answers.

1. What bothers you most about others?

Sometimes an interviewer shares a personal experience about his dislike for a particular person and asks this question to know about your dislike for somebody in your relations or in your last workplace.

Your smartness will be proved if you add a kind of solution to the instance that you have worked on to resolve the distress created. This kind of emotional intelligence question is very likely to bring out a person’s insight, how he/ she judge others and maintain relationship with them.

Answer to such a question will also judge the candidate’s behaviour with co-workers and his interpersonal skills.

2. Who inspires you and how?

Here is a trick for the interviewee to have a peep into the candidate’s behavioural trait by knowing the kind of person he/ she follows. If somebody from the trait seems to have influenced the candidate then this is an indicator of the candidate’s interest in the business and the erg to grow further in the field. This candidate can be of immense use to the business in its advancement.

3. Narrate a day when everything went wrong:

Answering to such a question if clubbed with an instance where you have experienced some real worse situation in your life can be impressive for your interviewer. In such a question, the interviewer tries to analyze the problem solving skill in you.

In adverse situations only the problem tackling and solving skills can be beneficial in the advancement of the business. Describing such a day may help the interviewee have an insight of how the candidate has dealt with the problem, has he brought out a solution or got nervous and dwelled in it.

This answer would help the recruiter select a right person who can deal with adverse and unpredicted situations smoothly bringing out soothing solutions.

4. How do you tackle failure?

Most people set bogged down with failure. Here is a chance for the interviewer to assess the inner traits of the interviewee how he assesses his failure.

Does he really gets down with a failure, continue to be upset with it or he learns from his failure, learn from his drawbacks. This kind of candidate proves to be beneficial for the business as he has the capacity to get going in any kind of situation.

Failure is not a factor of setback for him. This would also give an insight how much proactive the candidate is.

5. What type of cultural behaviour do you expect to establish within your team?

An interviewer will ask this question with an intention to get a clear idea about the leadership qualities in a candidate. How the candidate handles the team and how is the work culture he expects to prevail within his team. This could give a insight of the candidate how fluent he is to work with a group of people. Here in this question you are free to describe your strategies which could reflect your personality, your work orientation and many more.

6. How do you handle change?

Companies look for people who are open to change and at the same time can handle changes in a positive note. This answer clubbed with an instance with a positive sense can give a feel to the companies that this person can be a positive player in case of changes in the concern.

7. How would you define yourself?

This is a very common question been asked in any sort of interview. This might apparently seem to be a very plain & simple question. But an answer to this must be very carefully given as this a very tricky question that extracts your quality of self awareness. How much you know yourself is the main point that the interviewer is trying to find out. How emotional you are? Do you often fall prey in hands of emotion?

8. Site an instance where you had a collision with your colleague and why so?

This very tricky question is destined to yield answers that may reveal the self control aspect of the candidate. Is he/she very much impulsive and reactive to heated situations and also how they handle heated situations? This kind of a question is likely to bring out the emotional traits of the candidate.

A very witty and emotionally balanced candidate here would also find out ways to carry things in a positive way taking things towards advancement while a weak one would get indulged into conflict.

9. Teach me something:

By asking this question the interviewee is passing on the ball to the candidate’s court and he himself tends to be less knowledgeable in an area thus allowing the candidate to take the lead. This situation will help the interviewee to assess the candidate if he takes the lead and become confident with a change in facial expressions, body language, tone, etc or he becomes nervous and starts questioning more trying to figure out what the interviewee is actually looking into.

This makes clear about the candidate that how much proactive he/she is. In case of a emotionally intelligent candidate, it seem to be an opportunity to grasp the situation and put across his/her view and turn the game towards himself while a candidate with low intelligence will mess up with the situation being nervous and losing words to express.

10. Mention one thing that you are proud of:

Here is a question where you provide the interviewee to speak about his/her achievements, good jobs and performances while in his last job or elsewhere. In this answer when the person starts describing about his pride, it is to observe how much credit he gives to himself and how much he does distribute to his associates. This trait will reveal if he is a one man show or has the capacity to run the show with a potential team. Do they include others in their achievements or keep on boasting about self.

An actually intelligent person knows it very well that nothing can be accomplished all alone.

11. To run a business, what kind of team you would like to recruit?

This would give the employer a view into what the candidate do values in others. It gives an insight on what kind of people or group does the candidate rely upon to get a task accomplished. His pattern of selection and the kind of team he select would focus on the fact what he pays the most importance on; the person or the outcome. There remains also a scope to judge their team strategies in shared projects and also reveals the tendency to be a team player or an individual identity.

12. What would be your top most ideologies to start a Company?

Answer to this question can give the recruiter a clear insight of the candidate’s motive and personal trait. The honesty and the cultural integrity of the candidate is revealed from the ideologies he/she follows. It also states the motive of the candidate, is it short term or a future proof planning that can be beneficial in a long run.

13. Do you like making friends at work? Will they be long lasting or short span?

Being close to co workers does take time. An emotionally intelligent person having high emotional intelligence would be good in communication too thus helping him in making friends.

One who is a good communicator among his group remains beneficial in putting his points across in the board. Team building and team work are other attributes that come from making friends with purpose. How do they take relationships and how caring they are about relationships does matter?

14. Which areas do you still lack in?

Advancement and erg to grow is something that is most desired in every employee. In order to find out these traits in a candidate a recruiter might ask this question. The answer to this question would reveal the candidate’s tendency to grow or remain contended with what he has in present. With the growth of the employee the company will grow. So, every employer looks for a learner who shows the curiosity to learn and know about things.

15. Give an instance when you took a decision which was risky?

This question tends to bring out the proactive quality in a candidate. It shows how far he can go to save the purpose of the company. The company would love to rely on a person who has that capability to stand independently and can support the cause of the company smartly as he is deciding for self.

16. What is your hobby or what is your favourite pass time?

This kind of question being a very simple and light weight is a very tricky question to read the candidate’s personal traits. The kind of hobby or pass time, a person follows gives an idea of how he/ she may deal with issues in his/her job front.

17. Site an instance where you have helped your co-worker to recover an emotional depression:

Such a question would help the interviewer to judge on how empathetically the candidate deals with his team or co workers. This trait helps to assess the quality of listening and understanding points placed by everybody in his team and office. Answer to such a question helps the recruiter understand how the candidate can influence and bring solution to people with his words.

18. How you completed a project that had full chances of failure?

To this question a candidate would definitely prefer to come up with an achievement in career for which he/she may be very proud of. From such an instance it would be easier for the recruiter to assess the quality of a ‘Go Getter’ in the candidate. The personality of a true leader would be reflected from such an instance. The motivating factor which actually pulls up the team mates from being bogged down by the fear of failure is another quality of an emotionally intelligent candidate.

In today’s work culture the stereotype man machine is not desirable. The recruiters look for an all rounder in the person who they would like to invest in with full zeal. Its sure that the traditional way of interviewing a person by digging out his past job experiences has made its exit, making way to find out the actual emotionally intelligent quotient in the candidate who can manage to get the best out of any situation. The following are few inbuilt attributes and components of emotionally intelligent people:

  • Would not show self frustration but be open in any kind of situation.
  • Be ever motivating.
  • Be empathetic and careful for others
  • Always have a 360’ communication strategy with open to feedback
  • Smart in odd situations
  • Flexible to changes

If there is such an employee in the team the company must go to any extent to retain him/her, and if still looking for one, must keep these factors in mind while searching.