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Top 21 Empathy Interview Questions and Answers


The interview is a process where a candidate will be examined for his / her personal and professional capabilities.

Most of the interview process involves a certain level of skill tests and those skill tests can be based on their professional and emotional capabilities.

Perhaps all the interviewers expect some kind of emotional abilities in their candidate who can be considered to play well during a meeting with their clients.

And for that sake empathy interview questions are asked to know the emotional control of the candidates.

empathy interview questions and answers

Questions to Make You a More Empathic Person:

Empathy is nothing but the capability to understand and feel the emotions that others experience. Having a competitive empathetic approach to problems would give you the best of solutions to them.

You can learn [empathy] with time and dedication”, said Annie McKee, author of Primal Leadership and Happy at Work, in Harvard Business Review

It starts with having a dream– a vision of the future that means enough for you to put in the hard work needed to change old habits. And, you need to accept how important empathy is at work — and perhaps […] the realization of the damage done by not having it.”

Key Components of Empathic Thinking:

Inquirer: Cross-examine presumed facts
Convener: Expect others needs
Alchemist: Examine and learn
Confidant: Have the patience to observe and collect information
Sage: Live in here and now
Cultivator: Foster and develop actively
Seeker: Be confident and take risks

Empathy Interview Questions:

Considering a candidate with emotional capability is one kind of an interview where the interviewer examines the emotional limits and controls of a candidate by asking some empathetic questions, which can be beneficial for the company for their future business deals. The following are a few questions about empathy.

1. Self-introduction:

Asking a candidate to introduce themselves in front of the interviewing panel will help an interviewer to consider the confidence of the candidate.

Self-introduction provides a brief detail about the candidate from his / her own words. This kind of self-introduction helps a candidate understand his / her emotional capabilities in terms of their educational and professional experience.

Therefore, one of the main starts for any type of interview would be a self-introduction which briefs the professional and emotional capability at the same time.

2. What do you fear the most?

Feeling scared and feeling fear in some things is kind of a behaviour where a person experiences a certain type of fear while doing a task.

It is an emotional feeling where a person experiences an uncontrollable fear of performing a certain task. And such fear can hold back certain people.

And during interviews, the interviewers expect an honest answer to such questions because if a candidate lies about his / her fear regarding some things, then it can affect in their company’s future betterment.

3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

When an interviewer asks certain questions such as strengths and weaknesses, the candidate needs to keep in mind that these questions are asked to determine the empathy and emotional abilities of the candidates.

Some candidate tries to be honest while answering such questions and such kind of honesty can lead them to get selected for the post applied.

Most probably these strengths and weaknesses represent candidates’ emotional abilities.

4. What kind of things or people inspires you?

When a candidate approaches a question such as inspiration and people who inspire them, then the candidate needs to understand that such kind of questions are asked to know more about the qualities which make them inspire themselves.

The interviewer expects a candidate to share his / her inspirations and their motivational stories to them so that they can understand the empathy and emotional qualities of the candidates.

5. What are your career goals?

While attending an interview, the candidate will be approached with a question where he/she need to explain the interviewing panels about his / her career goals.

And these kinds of career goals related questions expect a certain type of objective which leads the candidate to develop their career availability.

Therefore, through this question the candidate will be judged on the basis of his / her future plans and this can help those interviewers to determine the credentials of the candidate.

6. Are you a team player?

This is one of the questions which can be presented to know about the candidate’s social skills and management skills.

If a candidate is not much of a team player then it is one of the negative points that the interviewer can consider with the candidate.

Instead of that being a team player, a candidate might assure the interviewer or an employer to handle any type of situation. A candidate being a team player can handle meetings and communicate better with their clients.

7. Why did you leave your previous job?

This is a tricky question that needs to be answered cleverly. When the employer presents this question, he/she expects that the candidate might rat out all the bad things about his / her previous working experience.

This question even helps the employer to understand the level of respect that a candidate delivers to their previous working company.

And most of the candidates fail in this skill because they present the negative part of their previous working environment.

8. Salary expectation?

In most of the job interviews, the employer personally approaches the candidate about their salary expectations.

The employer expects a salary expectation from the candidate so that he/she can determine his / her value of work and abilities.

Therefore, whenever the employer inquires about the salary expectation the candidate needs to be firm with their answers. And that is because his / her confidence over their abilities will help the employer to find empathy inside themselves.

9. How is your relationship with your previous company employees?

When an employer presents such questions about his / her relationship with his / her previous company employees, then it is clear that the employer is trying to understand that whether the candidate is capable of maintaining a healthy relationship or not.

If the candidate has a healthy relationship with his / her previous company employees or staff then it can benefit the company in which he/she is trying to get into.

10. How will you help your company and team, when the company faces some uncertain events?

This kind of question is approached to see the handling qualities of the candidate.

When the employer presents such a question with an assumption, then the candidate needs to be clever with their answers.

This kind of question can help employers to understand the management abilities of the candidate. And in the end, the employer may receive a clear picture about the candidate’s capabilities.

11. What factors of your own will lead you to a successful career?

Considering this question, the candidate needs to be clear about his / her capabilities and skill of expertise.

And the candidate needs to be aware of the factor that he/she considers, will be the reason for his successful career opportunities.

Therefore, with this the employer paints a clear picture about the candidate’s working abilities. And eventually, these factors of success help the company in which the candidates will be considered beneficial.

12. Are you helpful by nature?

The employer expects a certain type of humility in their employees. And that’s why the employer presents those questions.

Therefore, the candidate needs to understand the intention behind such a question and while answering, the candidate needs to be honest because most of the employers prefer employees who are helpful by nature.

Being helpful by nature provides a scope of improvement among people.

13. What is your contribution towards society?

In this question, the interviewer expects some kind of social contribution to society.

It is not just a question about understanding humanity inside one’s thinking. It is a way of understanding the nature of the candidate, the empathy hidden inside the candidate.

Therefore, at the end of the interview session, the employer would be clear with his / her decision about the candidate suitable for the position offered.

14. Are you ambitious?

Most of the time while asking ambitious related questions, most of people simply answer as if they are very much ambitious about their work.

Sometimes the interviewers may present such questions in a different manner and that would be by asking about their future plans about their career requirements. This can help the interviewer to estimate the actual qualities of the candidate.

Therefore, the interviewer will make an eligible decision for the sake of the development of the company or firm.

15. How do you react when someone comes to you for some kind of help?

When the candidate approaches question that how would he/she will react when someone seeks them for some help, then the candidate needs to be honest while answering the question.

And that can be possible if the candidate tries to describe them the situation with an example suitable for the situation.

Therefore, the candidate needs to be positive with their answering which can show their simple thinking about their work.

16. Are you a difficult news bearer?

It is a question in which the interviewer wants to know about the handling abilities of the candidate.

When an interviewer asks such question like how they can handle difficult news, then the candidate needs to be creative with their answers.

Because most of the time in business, there will be a possibility that the company may face uncertain or unwanted events in their business. Therefore, at that time the candidate needs to carry difficult situations without being panicked.

17. How do you take criticism?

During the interview process, most of the employers ask their candidates about their personal qualities.

And one of the common qualities that every single employer searches is facing criticism. Most of the employees of the company criticize others so that they are the best of everyone. But there are some people who don’t take criticism very positively.

Therefore, it is expected of all the candidates that they need to be positive about the criticism they receive.

18. Are you optimistic?

Most of the job interviews don’t involve any kind of questions which is personal to the candidate.

Being optimistic is something that every single employer expects from their employees. And it is one of the skill and qualities that are needed in every field of work.

Therefore, being optimistic can favour a candidate to get oneself selected for the post they applied. And eventually, this helps the employer and the employee equally in terms of their development.

19. How to react when people make you angry?

Anger is one of the emotions that every single person needs to avoid in their personal and professional life.

During most of the interview sessions, some of the company takes stress interviews of their candidates. And in these stress interviews employers push their candidates to a certain extent where they check the patience level of the candidate.

If a candidate stays calm the entire session, then the candidate can be selected for the position offered.

20. Do you have an ego?

Ego is something that can ruin one’s personality. Most of the people who are very egoistic can normally be very distant from others.

And in the working environment of the company, the employer expects a candidate who needs to mingle with the team with whom they work.

Most of the employers reject those who demand things for their position and this implies their egoistic nature in front of the interviewers.

21. Do you have self-control?

Being self-controlled or self-controlling one’s feelings and emotions are not a bad thing.

Actually, this can help a person handle their emotions better as compared to others. But being self-controlled can benefit a person who works in the office.

And that is because emotions take their own turn while working in a healthy environment and that can trigger one person to lose control. And a person who is very well self-controlled can handle such situations better.

Questions to Strengthen Empathic Thinking:

  1. Have your instincts ever moved you from the right direction?
  2. Do you have any personal biases that come your way of discovering the truth?
  3. Does your curiosity create a tough time
  4. Which type of questions makes you uncomfortable?
  5. Have you ever be challenged by anyone to get better yourself
  6. How comfortable do you feel with others
  7. How iteration can inform your work result
  8. How important experiences to you
  9. How do you balance yourself between selfless and self-serving
  10. Does silence works out well in communication
  11. Where do you feel most present
  12. What should people think about you
  13. How do you handle negative emotions
  14. When are you most focused?
  15. How are you so down to earth when everyone is whole overwhelming?

To Wrap Up:

The bottom line is that these situations and question helps the interviewer while conducting interviews. The main objective of such a question is to find out the empathy value within the candidate’s thinking.

Most probably, at the end of such empathy questions, the interviewer will make his/her decision perfect.

Therefore, these all empathy questions and answers helps all those people who are attending such an interview. And also will provide them with an idea about the way of handling their answers, which eventually makes them self-confident about any type of situation created and questions asked by the interviewers.