Interview Questions to Ask to Reveal a Candidate’s EQ

In our last post, we talked about how emotional intelligence (or EQ) can outweigh the value of a candidate’s IQ.  

A person’s EQ reflects their ability to pick themselves up when they fail, empathize with others, and motivate themselves. It’s the difference between an indispensable team member and someone who gets the job done.  

You don’t need to channel your inner Freud to pick up on clues about a candidate’s EQ. You have to ask the right questions.  

What Kind of Questions Should You Ask?  

The questions you ask should try to draw out each candidate’s understanding of their own emotions and behavior.  

An emotionally intelligent candidate can:  

  • Recognize their own emotions as well as other people’s  
  • Identify and regulate their behavior  
  • Manage their emotions and behavior to suit their environment  

You don’t need to dig too deep into their psyche. These questions will lead the candidate to begin processing and sharing their experiences, which is all you need to learn more about their EQ.  

5 Questions that Reveal a Candidate’s EQ  

Questions related to EQ should be strictly work-related, and you should avoid veering into the personal.  

Some of the best emotional intelligence interview questions to ask include:  

  1. Talk about a time someone criticized you at work. What happened next? What did you learn?
  2. Talk about a time you had a conflicting view with your supervisor. How did you solve the problem?  
  3. Have you ever had a day when everything went wrong? What happened? How did you handle it?  
  4. What environments help you be your best self? What situations bring out your worst qualities?  
  5. Who was the most challenging supervisor you have worked with? What made the relationship challenging? How did you manage the relationship?  

Don’t be afraid of candidates who report challenging experiences with supervisors, colleagues, or environments. Remember that the most critical part of these answers isn’t whether they face adversity but how they handle it.  

Don’t Forget About Reference Checks  

An interview can tell you a lot about a candidate’s EQ, but you shouldn’t take their answers at face value. Their answers give you a springboard to launch a better reference check, which will provide a fuller understanding of their previous experiences and their EQ.  

Remember, there are always two sides to every story.  

EQ is as Important as IQ  

Hiring someone who can do the job is essential, but if they have low EQ, then you’re not getting the most from them. An emotionally intelligent candidate not only does their job but also motivates themselves and overcomes adversity. They also become valuable members of your team and make great leaders.  

Are you hiring competent candidates, or are you hiring strong team members?

At Energi Personnel, we prioritize well-rounded candidates who fit naturally into existing teams and even make your workplace culture stronger. Get in touch to learn more about how we hire emotionally intelligent candidates for companies like yours.