Emotional Intelligence is critically important at the workplace, yet it can be difficult to assess during the interview process. Even so, it’s often considered even more important than technical skills.
According to a report from Office Team:
- Nearly all of the more than 600 human resources managers (95 percent) and 800 workers (99 percent) surveyed said they think it's important for employees to have emotional intelligence (EQ).
- More than one in five employees (21%) believe EQ is more valuable in the workplace than IQ. Nearly two-thirds (65%) said the two are equally important.
- Most workers (92%) think they have strong emotional intelligence; slightly fewer (74%) believe their bosses do.
- Three in 10 HR managers (3%) feel most employers put too little emphasis on emotional intelligence during the hiring process.
- HR managers identified increased motivation and morale (43%) as the greatest benefit of having emotionally intelligent staff.
- 86% of workers said when a colleague doesn't control his or her emotions, it affects their perception of that person's level of professionalism.
The research describes how professionals can rely on their emotional intelligence to deal with the variety of personalities and challenging situations they encounter at work. When employees take emotions into account, they make better decisions, communicate more diplomatically, and resolve issues faster regardless of who or what comes their way.
"The value of emotional intelligence in the workplace shouldn't be underestimated -- it's vital to companies and teams," said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. "When organizations take EQ into consideration when hiring and also help existing staff improve in this area, the result is more adaptable, collaborative, and empathetic employees."
To better evaluate EQ during the interview process, the report suggests asking these seven questions:
1. If you've previously reported to multiple supervisors at the same time, how did you get to know each person's preferences and juggle conflicting priorities?
2. Tell me about a workplace conflict you were involved in, either with your peers or someone else in the company. How did you manage that conflict, and were you able to resolve it?
3. Describe the most challenging supervisor you've ever worked with. What was the most difficult thing about that relationship from your perspective, and how did you manage it?
4. What would a previous boss say is the area that you need to work on most? Have you taken steps to improve in this area, and if so, what have you tried to change?
5. Tell me about a day when everything went wrong. How did you handle it?
6. What type of working environment brings out your best performance? Your worst?
7. If business priorities change, describe how you would help your team understand and carry out the shifted goals.
The interviewer should pay close attention to how the candidate answers these questions. Do they shift blame? Are they a team player? Do they acknowledge their shortcomings? Does the applicant communicate in terms that are easily understandable and show concessions to others, or do the answers suggest they may be tuned out emotionally and blind to needs and preferences that aren't their own?
In addition to asking the right questions, when reference checking ask:
- How do they handle criticism?
- How do they handle conflict?
- Do they listen to others?
- How do they motivate other team members?
Be sure to look beyond technical skills and look for EQ when hiring. The result will be a more cohesive work environment and increased productivity.
Additional ASE Resources
ASE Pre-Employment Assessment Services – ASE offers several options for pre-employment assessments, some of which can test for emotional intelligence. For more information contact Mike Burns.
Sources: PRNewswire, Inc.com