Interview Questions About Your Emotional Intelligence

Assessing Applicant Emotional Intelligence (EI)

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Hiring managers may use interview questions to assess your emotional intelligence. Copyright Robin Skjoldborg / Iconica / Getty Images

Increasingly, interviewers have begun to assess a candidate’s emotional intelligence (EI),  the ability  to understand your own emotions and the emotions of others, during the  job interview process.

Sometimes, interviewers assess emotional intelligence through written, psychological-based tests. Other times, interviewers simply ask particular questions to assess EI.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability of an individual to understand his or her own emotions and the emotions of others.

 Testing job applicants for their emotional intelligence (in the form of psychological-based tests) is a growing trend in employment today.

If a worker has high emotional intelligence, he or she is more likely to be able to express his or her emotions in a healthy way and understand the emotions of those he or she works with, thus enhancing work relationships and performance.

How You Handle Yourself and Relationships With Others

Interview questions that assess emotional intelligence tend to focus on how the interviewee manages oneself and manages relationships with others.

The questions asked are often behavioral questions, meaning that they ask the interviewee to explain how he or she acted in a past employment-related situation. Below are some examples of typical EI interview questions.

Sample Interview Questions About Your Emotional Intelligence

  • What is one of your weaknesses? How do you overcome that weakness?
  • What motivates you to do your work?
  • Describe a stressful work situation you’ve had. How did you resolve that situation?
  • What are one or two things that make you angry or frustrated at work? What do you do when you get angry or frustrated at work?
  • Tell me about a time when you received feedback on your performance and you disagreed with the feedback. How did you handle the situation?
  • Tell me about a setback you had at work. How did you handle it?
  • Describe a time when you made a big mistake at work. How did you handle the situation?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to handle multiple work assignments at once. How did you feel? How did you handle the situation?
  • Tell me about a time when you took on a task at work that you was new to you. How did you feel doing it?
  • How would you handle a coworker who consistently does not pull his weight on group assignments?
  • How do your colleagues benefit from working with you?
  • Tell me about a time when you did or said something that had a positive impact on an employee, coworker, or customer.
  • Have you ever noticed that someone at work was having a bad day? How did you know? What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time when you had a dispute with a colleague. What did you do to deal with the situation?
  • Describe a time when a colleague came to you with a problem. How did you respond?
  • Tell me about a time when understanding someone else’s perspective helped you accomplish a task or resolve an issue.
  • Tell me about a time when you motivated someone to accomplish a task. How did you motivate him or her?
  • Why is it important to develop a rapport with your colleagues?
  • How do you build a rapport with your colleagues?

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