5 Emotional intelligence interview questions

Emonics LLC
3 min readMar 19, 2020


Throughout the recruiting process, emotional intelligence interview questions are becoming more common but how much weight do they carry?

Hiring managers tend to fill a vacancy to keep production up and achieve their targets as early as possible. When writing a work description they sometimes forget the soft skills. Emotional intelligence, combined with communication, problem-solving, teamwork, adaptability and work ethic, is a vital soft skill.

Including EQ questions in the recruiting process is important for collective recruiting to avoid personal prejudices from creeping in. A winning recruiting team must ensure the questions are honest and there is no personal judgment, no matter what the answers.

Interviews are intimidating to candidates and you might offend them if questions make them feel uncomfortable or cornered. Poorly chosen or phrased questions on the EQ could cost you your best candidate unintentionally.

Here are some of our favorite questions and answers about emotional intelligence. Remember to ask questions before you get a full image.

1. Have you ever been confronted by a co-worker and how have you treated that?

People who are emotionally intelligent can show reflection and empathy towards themselves and their challenges. There is always a backstory but people who are low on EQ might not be aware of it. Someone high on EQ can describe the emotions that played a part, or the high stakes. They should have tried to settle the matter in a friendly manner or allowed a third party to participate. People who are emotionally smart don’t shy away from recognizing and acknowledging their position.

2. Will a situation at work cause you to change your behavior? If so, then why, and how have you changed?

You try circumstances such as learning new programs, changing conditions, new roles or even new management. What you want to know is that the applicant will carry on the transition without negatively harming them or reducing profitability.

3. How do you react when your work is criticized by a manager?

It is likely that everybody makes mistakes, and to be called out at some point. Highly emotionally intelligent candidates will open up and offer examples. They will even admit mistakes and inform you what steps they have taken to prevent happening again. Unless they lay any of the blame elsewhere, then that would generally be accepted. I didn’t know about this, for starters, but I probably should have asked first.

4. What kind of workplace behavior makes you frustrated or annoyed?

Remember we are not selecting our coworkers, our boss is putting us together. We have traditions that we may not even know may be irritating. One individual in a team, for example, might be especially neat while another might be more comfortable in their workplace. To order to reach a healthy medium, High EQ must understand the disparity to goals and promote collaboration.

5. How do you enjoy success?

When asking this question you have to consider the position, the age of the candidate and also their stage of life. When you are interviewing for mid-management and more senior positions, it is best used to get to know the individual better.


Keep a close eye on body language interview when posing questions about emotional intelligence. Drill down to get the truth before putting some weight into answers. When you are not sure how important the question was in the interview, discard it absolutely and make no use of it when assessing the applicant.



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