How To Interview For Emotional Intelligence

It’s a cliché, but it is true: people who are successful in life have high self-esteem. They believe in themselves and their abilities, and use that confidence to accomplish things.

This type of person may talk about how they can’t do something, or don’t know something, but then they realize there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to – so they go into action to learn what they don’t know.

In fact, one of the reasons why I continually succeed (be it at my job, or in other areas of my life) is because I recognize my own limitations and stay focused on developing skills I am capable of learning.

I also keep track of all the things I cannot do, and instead focus on what I can do. By doing this, I prevent myself from getting overwhelmed by the size of my “walls”.

Provide authentic feedback

how to interview for emotional intelligence

A recent study found that 65% of employers report having given up interviewing because they could not get enough quality interviews. Why would someone invite you to an interview if they cannot give you meaningful feedback?

Interviews are crucial tools in the career toolbox for several reasons. First, they can be one of the most effective ways to assess emotional intelligence (or lack thereof).

Second, giving honest, clear, and timely feedback is a key part of anyone’s job role. And when it’s done well, it enhances employee performance and motivation.

Third, great interpersonal skills are a highly desirable workplace asset. According to LinkedIn, more than 70 percent of all successful business leaders possess at least some form of social or human capital expertise.

So whether you are interviewing candidates for a position, offering advice to colleagues, or asking others to offer their opinions about someone, there is value in doing so with solid etiquette and good feedback practices.

But before we talk about what makes good feedback, let us take a look at why providing authentic, actionable, and thoughtful comments is so important.

Ask open-ended questions

how to interview for emotional intelligence

It is very important to ask open-ended questions during an interview instead of short, closed questions. These are questions that require more than a one-word answer like “yes” or “no.”

Open-ended questions get your questioner’t time to think of what response to give you before they respond. You can then use this information in another question!

Good open-ended questions allow people to talk about their experiences, skills, strengths, and weaknesses. They also let them be candid and honest without worrying about whether they will be judged or criticized later.

Interviews should be a two way conversation, not only do you want to learn about the job, but also about the person doing it! This makes for a much better working environment.

Getting rid of short answers helps avoid the silence that many employers notice in employees. If someone does not speak up soon, there could be something going on in their life that they did not tell you about.

Emotions play a big part in how well people work so asking about emotional intelligence is a good test if they stumble under that umbrella.

Make it a game

how to interview for emotional intelligence

It’s not enough to ask about someone’s emotional skills if you don’t test them yourself, so before an interview, try asking some indirect questions that require a short answer. For instance, “What are your strengths?” or "How do you feel about X?" where X can be something related to workplace culture, your position, or your department.

By asking about their strengths instead of weaknesses, you’re more likely to get answers like “I am good at motivating people around me” or “I know how to bring out the best in others.” Those aren’t bad things!

If you're looking to assess EI, then why not check out our article: The Best Way To Test Emotional Quotient In A Candidate.

It's always better to know whether someone is able to motivate themselves or if they use positive reinforcement rather than negative punishment when leading others, but being aware of their personal strengths is a good place to start.

Ask how they are feeling

how to interview for emotional intelligence

A good way to assess someone’s emotional intelligence is to ask them about their emotions. When interviewing, ask whether the person was able to identify his or her own feelings and then asked if anyone else’s thoughts and feelings influenced those.

This also applies when people around you who know the individual well discuss what mood they were in at that time. It can help determine if they are aware of how others feel about them.

By asking about how they are feeling right now, you will find out more about their ability to recognize and control their emotions. — How To Boost Your Emotional Intelligence

Good questions to ask include: What are you thinking?; Are you happy with this situation? Why/why not?

You may be surprised by the answers!

Emotions play an important part in success. If you want to climb the ladder at work, you need to understand your colleagues and get along with them. Likewise, if you want to succeed as a parent, sonor daughter, friend, partner – there are many opportunities where your relationships matter.

So, while it might sound clichéd, being aware of your own emotions and keeping them in check is essential to your personal growth and development. And we all have different levels of emotional intelligence – some more than others.

Some experts say that everyone has enough emotional intelligence to read other people’s emotions, but few apply it consistently.

Look for their emotions in their face

how to interview for emotional intelligence

A good way to test emotional intelligence is by looking at their facial expressions. If they can look you in the eye while showing strong emotion, that shows an understanding of their own feelings as well as others’.

If however, they appear distracted or not fully focused, it may indicate that they are trying to conceal how they feel about something. Or maybe they just do not show many signs of feeling anything beyond basic happiness, sadness, or indifference.

Ask how they are doing

how to interview for emotional intelligence

This is one of the most important questions you can ask in an interview setting. Not only does it show that you are paying attention to their life, but it also gives them the chance to tell you about themselves.

Ask how they are doing every time there is a break in conversation or after they say goodbye at the end of a session. This helps to create a more lasting relationship than just having a few chats once a week!

By asking this question consistently, you will get some great answers. Some may avoid answering completely, but chances are they’ll talk about their personal experiences with emotional intelligence.

Everyone has different levels of empathy, for example, so they might mention something like ‘I have learned to appreciate my family who have been supportive of me’ or ‘My work colleagues help each other out when I am too busy for our lunch breaks’.

Connect with them

how to interview for emotional intelligence

In these days of technology, it is easy to stay isolated. With every device having its own screen, person posting about their daily lives frequently, and social media sites that are more focused on sharing pictures and information, connecting with others has become limited.

Interacting face-to-face is one of the most powerful ways to connect with people. A small talk or conversation can really get down to what matters to you both and makes your friendship stronger.

By asking open-ended questions and listening actively, you will learn something new about someone. This also helps you understand how they process information and what things mean to them.

It is important to be curious and look into the other person’s personality. You want to know if there is anything you could say or do to make them happier or less happy.

Emotions play a big part in our everyday life so being able to identify them and control yours is an essential skill.

Ask how they are able to be so calm

how to interview for emotional intelligence

It is important to ask about their ability to manage their emotions in the workplace, as well as outside of work. People can’t perform at their best if they aren’t able to regulate their emotions, but some people seem to have it easier than others do when it comes to this.

It may be helpful to note that emotional intelligence (or EQ) has nothing to do with mood or personality. That would make sense, since not everyone shares the same personality type.

Instead, EQ refers to your understanding of yourself and other people, and the skills you uses to relate to them. You’d probably know what makes someone else feel good about themselves, and how to help them feel better about themselves.

You’d also know what sorts of things motivate someone else, and how to use that motivation to get them doing what you want them to do.

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