IQ is Overrated: the Secret to Driving High Performance. Top 10 EQ Interview Questions Job Seekers Should Know About

Daniel Goleman, the psychologist who introduced the term Emotional Intelligence in 1995, changed the mindset of entrepreneurs when he applied the concept to business. Intelligence, determination, vision, and toughness are the main personal qualities that are traditionally associated to leadership. However, they are not sufficient for success in the business world if the candidate doesn’t have a high degree of emotional intelligence, which is associated with social skills, motivation, self-awareness, and other values.

Many executives with impressive skills and IQ have failed to excel when promoted into leadership position. The most effective leaders have high emotional quotients – a quality that enables them to guide their behavior according to the emotional information they receive.

How Companies are Approaching EI Assessments – Top 10 Interview Questions Job Seekers Should Know About

In addition to the candidate’s professional skills and qualifications, employers also acknowledge the importance of empathy, self-awareness, and other emotional qualities. Human resource departments screen the job candidates’ emotional intelligence during interviews, with the purpose of selecting those who are honest about themselves, attract collaborators with their social skills, and convey confidence through body language and eye contact.

During interviews, employers ask many questions with the purpose of getting insight into the candidate’s EI. Some of them are direct, while others are so subtle that seem irrelevant. Here are the most common interview questions that will measure your ability to perceive, evaluate, and control emotions:

  1. How is this position associated to the goals you want to achieve?
  2. What do you do for fun?
  3. Which three personal qualities have helped you succeed?
  4. Who are you most inspired by?
  5. How will your colleagues benefit from working with you?
  6. Are you willing to accept help from others or you always do things on your own?
  7. Are you mostly focused on people and emotions, or tasks and results?
  8. Which situations irritate you?
  9. When was the last time you felt embarrassed? How did you handle the situation?
  10. What makes you passionate about your profession?

The Components of EI at Work

Emotional intelligence is applied at the workplace through five components: empathy, self-regulation, social skill, motivation, and self-awareness. Large companies employ trained psychologists to help them hire the right candidates for the positions, and train them to become better leaders. This is how these components function in the workplace:

1. Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s situation and treat them in accordance with their emotional reactions. For a successful worker, empathy means thoughtful consideration of other people’s feelings as an inevitable part of the decision-making process. Empathic leaders are capable of managing teams much better than the ones who are mostly worried about their personal success.

2. Self-regulation is the ability to assess certain situations before acting. People who possess this skill are able to control negative moods and impulses. For example, when a team member has low performance, a leader who possesses this emotional quality is able to choose his words carefully and offer constructive criticism. Such leaders, who control their feelings and impulses, are able to analyze the problem and think of well-considered solutions.

3. Social skill is an ability to find build networks and manage professional relationships by developing harmonious connections. During an interview, the evaluation of your social skill won’t be limited to friendliness and good spirit. The employer wants to see how you direct that enthusiasm towards professional goals. Socially-skilled individuals can find common ground with all people – a quality that’s highly-appreciated in the working environment.

4. Motivation is a quality of people who work not just because of money or status, but for personal accomplishment and greater goals as well. These workers can elevate the company’s success through their persistence, energy, and optimism even when they face failure. Motivated individuals can achieve results beyond their own and everyone else’s expectations.

5. Self-awareness is the ability to identify, understand, and analyze your own emotions, urges and moods, as well as the effect your behavior has on other people. When you are self-aware about your own strengths, weaknesses and potential, you are able to focus on the positive aspects of your personality and drive them towards better job performance. Employers prefer self-aware candidates because of their ability to control their emotions, accept criticism, and work with demanding clients.

EQ Is Just As Important As IQ!

The good-old intelligence quotient hasn’t gone out of fashion. However, today’s assessment of a job candidate’s skills is not complete without an evaluation of their emotional intelligence. High performance is predetermined by the person’s ability to multiply the results of intellectual intelligence through empathy, self-regulation, social skill, motivation, and self-awareness.