7 interview questions to measure emotional intelligence

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Emotional intelligence involves self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. In other words, it’s a complicated amalgamation that recruiters have a hard time testing. As a result, many fall back on their instincts and subjective impressions.

It doesn’t always make sense to leave something so important to such erroneous measurements. When a candidate possesses these qualities, they can work well with others and lead change effectively, so it’s no wonder organizations place a higher priority on emotional intelligence. And luckily, even the traditional interview format can be revamped to test it.

Almost all of the smart interview applicants understood how appear very intelligent emotionally whether they are or not. For hiring managers looking to distinguish great performance from genuine attributes, a useful first step is to step out of the office. Go to a quiet cafe, park, or other place where you won’t be interrupted. This can help catch your candidate off guard without making them too uncomfortable. Then ask these seven questions.

1. What bothers you the most about other people?

Instead of asking for it up front, you could tell a quick trivia about a family member or coworker who is annoying you. Then ask if there was anyone in the candidate’s last job who really bothered him and how he handled that.

Sure, a savvy candidate will focus on solutions, like how they’ve ironed out that relationship, but it can still give you valuable insight into how they perceive others. You will probably also learn something about how they understand the effect of their behavior on others (and its limits).

2. Tell me about a day when everything went wrong

Here, too, you can start by giving them an example from one of your hell days. It is not a matter of providing them with a scenario that you are trying to get the other person to spit; you’re just modeling the kind of situation you want to hear them think about.

So don’t just ask them to describe a bad day; ask them how they handled it. Does it seem like they dwelled on the problem or blamed others (even if they phrased it differently), or really looked for solutions? Hear the evidence for any foolproof coping mechanism. You want to hire someone who has the flexibility to deal with uncertain and unpredictable situations, a hallmark of emotional intelligence.

3. Tell me about a colleague with whom you get along really well and why you think you did it?

The relationships people build with others can tell you a lot. Besides, the way they see these relationships. Based on the candidate’s story, how does he see himself and what does he value in others? You will also gain insight into the self-awareness of your interlocutor. Humor, unless it’s sarcastic and demeaning, is always a good sign. If the relationship they describe sounds too formal and humorless to be true, it probably is.

4. What can you teach me?

This can confuse a respondent a bit, but in a good way. Ask questions that indicate your lack of understanding and really push for details in the explanation. Like you, does your candidate seem to struggle with frustration and impatience, in their facial expressions, body language and tone of voice? Or do they ask more questions in order to gather information about what you don’t get?

Are they able to explain the idea simply and rework their approach to clarify things when it becomes clear that you are still confused? A highly emotionally intelligent candidate naturally takes responsibility for getting their ideas across. The opportunity to share knowledge and teach others is exciting, non-stressful, and requires communication skills that this type of person enjoys honing.

5. Tell me about someone you admire and why you do it

Consciously or not, we tend to model some of our behaviors on those we admire. Ask the other person to think about it. Is the object of their admiration a “human person”, someone who inspires and encourages others, or rather a tactical thinker best left in the weeds, working alone? There are no categorically wrong answers here, and sometimes the person a candidate says they admire reflects the attributes they to wish they owned, not those they own.

All of this is useful to find out. Listen carefully, then dig deeper, asking them if there’s anything they’ve taken away from the person they admire. You can even ask if there is anything about this person that the interviewee does not like, despite the things they do.

6. What is one thing that you are really proud of and why?

It’s good to leave this one open, although you can offer an example of something you’ve personally achieved to get them started. It can be related to their career, but it doesn’t have to be. When the contestant talks about their accomplishments, does they include and credit others, or is it an individual show?

Do they talk about how it made others feel: the validation and support they received from family, friends and colleagues who helped them through the process and celebrated their success? Sometimes great achievements are truly individual victories, but emotionally intelligent people know that nothing really meaningful ever happens in a vacuum.

7. If you are running your own business, what types of people would you hire and why?

This will give you an idea of ​​what your interlocutor values ​​in others and in teams. What types of people do they prefer to work with? Are they focused on people or results? What is their style of relating and dealing with others in order to achieve common goals? Do they like to work closely with others or do they prefer to work independently?

The further you can move away from the traditional interview model, which is primarily aimed at probing a candidate’s past experience, the better you’ll be able to understand their emotional intelligence. It means being creative – ask hypothetical questions and feel free to share your own views and experiences.

It can help a candidate open up and offer their own candid (rather than scripted) perspective on the things that matter most in a real work environment. These seven questions are great to start with, but they’re just a starting point for measuring emotional intelligence, so feel free to adapt them. You might even make better hires if you do.

Related: This Is The Surprising Interview Question You Definitely Should Ask


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