This is how recruiters test your emotional intelligence in an interview

Man, sitting, interview
Man, sitting, interview

The employees determine the corporate culture. Regardless of what the management provides as a guideline, the decisive factor is what is actually lived in the end.

It is all the more important to know whether an employee fits into the company or not. How well the individual employee performs in the company depends on their emotional intelligence. The term describes on the one hand the ability for self-management and a clear self-perception and on the other hand the competencies in dealing with others.

So the emotional intelligence has to be right.

Mariah DeLeon, Vice President of “people at workplace”, told the “Entrepreneur” website the seven questions HR professionals use to test the emotional intelligence of applicants.

1. Who has inspired you the most?

The answer to the question gives the interviewer the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes. How would the applicant like to be? What are his values? What behavior does he respect or admire?

2. If you were to start a business tomorrow, what would the three most important company values ​​be?

Every good relationship starts with honesty and trust. This question gives you even deeper insight into the applicant’s personality.

3. When the business changes, new priorities and goals are set: How would you like your team convey the new goals?

It happens in every company that the focus shifts. Everyone must be able to adapt to new situations and have the ability to support others in making the change. DeLeon advises companies to hire people who are confident, motivated and empathetic, advises DeLeon. “These characteristics ensure good teamwork”.

4. In one of your last jobs, were you able to forge a lasting friendship?

Building lasting relationships takes a long time. Anyone who is able to do so has emotional intelligence and a solid personality, says Robert Alvarez, Manager at Bigcommerce: “It shows that you care about relationships with other people and that you care about them.”

5. Is there a skill or expertise that you do not already have but would like to acquire?

Curiosity and the urge to learn new things are signs that you want to constantly improve. “People who think they already know everything are people who run into problems later in the job,” says Alvarez. Anyone who thinks they know everything is closed to new ideas that harm the company.

6. Can you explain something to us that is actually taken for granted. But like we’re hearing about it for the first time? (At this point you can explain, for example, how a puzzle works or how a coffee machine works.)

Depending on how the candidate answers, the recruiter can make several considerations:

  • Did the applicant think before he started talking?
  • Does he have the ability to pass on knowledge?
  • Does the candidate respond to others, for example by asking questions like: “Does that make sense for you too?” Or “Do you know another approach?”

7. What are the three main reasons for your success?

The answer to this question shows whether a person is more likely to be selfless or selfish, says Alvarez. “When people talk about their own success, she pays attention to their choice of words. Does it always say “I”, “I”, “I” or does the person talk about “the team”, “we” or “us”? ”

“Looking for a team player, someone who brings positive energy to the company,” advises Craig Cincotta, manager at, a platform for service providers. “Even if an applicant is the smartest person in the world, if he doesn’t enjoy working with others and is afraid for his own success, he just doesn’t fit into the company.”

This article was published by in March 2017. It has now been reviewed and updated.


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