Emotional Intelligence and the Interview process

What is emotional intelligence? Let’s begin by defining emotional Intelligence.

Peter Salovey & John Mayer define emotional intelligence as the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions.

Daniel Goleman’s concept of emotional intelligence covers five traits: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. 

Why use emotional intelligence? TalentSmart tested emotional intelligence alongside 33 other important workplace skills, and found that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining a full 58% of success in all types of jobs –

How to use measure emotional intelligence in the interview process? Emotional intelligence is measured by utilizing the behavioral interviewing technique. Behavioral interviewing questions evaluate a candidate’s past experiences and behavior to determine their potential for success and future behavior.

Examples of behavioral interviewing questions:

Tell me about a time you streamlined a process?

Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a leader regarding a project?

Tell me about a time you had a conflict with a peer?

Interviewers are looking for candidates to utilize the STAR method when answering behavioral interviewing questions:

S – Describe the Situation – be specific

T – Describe the Task – be specific

A – Describe the Action

R – Describe the Result 

When crafting the interviewing questions determine what you want to uncover by the candidate’s responses. Let’s consider the emotional intelligence trait self-awareness. You can ask the question, “Tell me about a time when you prepared yourself to deliver negative news to a client/manager/co-worker?”

Additionally, behavioral interviewing can uncover if the candidate has the experience that they indicated on their resume. Pay close attention to the “action” portion of the STAR approach to determine the steps the candidate took to solve a problem or create a process, etc.

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