Every company needs smart and experienced people at their helm. But a business’ success also greatly depends on the emotional intelligence (EI) of its leaders. And while knowledge, education and past successes are relatively easy to decipher during an interview, a potential hire’s EI isn’t.
So how do you change that? How do you get to the heart of a potential job candidates’ values, ethics and character traits? How do you reveal if they can adapt to change? If they understand others, and if they can motivate a team? How do you know if they can manage their emotions?
Here are four great questions that reveal genuine and meaningful information about a potential job candidate’s EI. Of course, how you frame these questions depends a lot on the job criteria and your job description.
At Fitzii, we know the right questions to ask to get to the heart of a candidate’s emotional intelligence. These questions can mean the difference between a great hire and a disappointing one. Try them at your next interview!
Here they are:
- Tell me about 3-5 people whom you admire and why? How a candidate answers here will reveal several important things. Perhaps most importantly, it says a lot about a person’s values. Do they admire a person’s character traits, their material success, or their legacy? Did they name only celebrities, or pop culture figures? Did some of their choices include personal acquaintances, suggesting they have important mentors and role models in their life. Are politicians in their choices, which suggest they are informed about what is happening in their community or the world? Did they stumble to answer the question? Are their choices too plentiful or too narrow?
- Have you ever witnessed someone being mistreated in the workplace and what did you do? This question is multi-layered and is rooted in trying to get to the person’s ethics. Firstly, it judges their capacity to feel empathy and compassion for a fellow co-worker. Have they been aware enough and involved enough in a company’s environment to understand when such a situation was present? Also, did they take action to stop the mistreatment or did they turn a blind eye for fear of rocking the boat? Did they have the courage to do what was right? Courage is an important character trait great leaders possess.
- Tell me about a really bad day you had recently and why it was bad? How did you deal with the stress? Everyone’s idea of what constitutes a bad day is different. Some individuals thrive on routine and normalcy while others like change and multi-tasking. The former may get easily rattled and stress. Their answers also reveal a lot about how they cope with stress, how resourceful they are at finding solutions, their emotional stability, and how dramatic they see their lives. When their answer includes phrases like “had a major meltdown,” “so upsetting,” “thought I would die,” then they may be living their life like it is a soap opera, or they may have extreme reactions during stressful situations. Their answer around how they dealt with the stress can show a lot about their problem-solving skills and their independence. Were they able to find a way out of a horrible day? Did they seek help?
- Can you explain a new concept or idea to me? This question is all about their oral communication skills, which is an important skill for any company leader. Their answer will reveal how in-depth their thinking can be, their communication style, and if they are an “expert.” Are they quick thinking to come up with a topic, are their thoughts organized and fluid, and how do they handle your interruptions when you ask for clarifications?
At Ian Martin, we know it’s crucial to ask the right questions to get the right hire. Come talk to one of our Hiring Advisors! We can help you ensure your next great hire.