Series 2 of 3
Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace: 5 Interview Tips

Posted by Jennifer M. Settles, Esq.Mar 29, 20240 Comments

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Part 2:  5 Interviewing Tips and Strategies

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, understand, and manage one's own emotions, as well as to perceive and influence the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is a “soft skill” that plays an important role in the workplace, as it can impact communication, teamwork, and overall productivity.

In this three-part blog series, we discuss emotional intelligence in the workplace.  In Part 1, we discuss the attributes of emotional intelligence and its importance in the workplace.   In this Part 2, we discuss 5 tips on interviewing for emotional intelligence, and in Part 3, we discuss ways in which emotional intelligence in the workplace can be taught and enhanced.  

Individuals with high emotional intelligence are often able to manage their own emotions effectively, remain calm in stressful situations, and empathize with the emotions of others. These skills can be particularly valuable in the workplace, where employees may be faced with difficult customers or co-workers, or have to navigate challenging projects or deadlines.   

By assessing a job candidate's emotional intelligence during the interview process, business owners are more likely to make better hiring decisions.  Better hiring decisions, in turn, lead to a stronger team, better relationships and ultimately better results.

Interviewing For Emotional Intelligence

When interviewing candidates for a job, it can be difficult to assess emotional intelligence solely based on their resume or technical skills.  For more effective interviews, use the following tips and strategies to evaluate a candidate's emotional intelligence during the interview process.

1.  Ask Situational Questions

Instead of asking generic questions, ask candidates about specific situations they have encountered in the past and how they handled them. This will give you an idea of how they handle emotional situations, their empathy level, and how they communicate with others.   A behavioral interview approach can be very effective, and there are numerous sample behavioral job interview questions available online.

2.  Pay Attention To Nonverbal Communication

During the interview, pay attention to the candidate's body language, tone of voice, and overall demeanor. Individuals with high emotional intelligence are often able to control their emotions and remain calm and confident in stressful situations such as an interview.

3.  Observe Their Behavior During Group Activities

If the interview process involves group activities, observe how the candidate interacts with others. Individuals with high emotional intelligence are often able to work well in teams, listen to others' opinions, and communicate effectively.

4.  Ask the Candidate About Their Self-Awareness

Emotional intelligence involves self-awareness, so it can be useful to ask candidates about their own strengths and weaknesses, and how they have addressed areas where they may need to improve. This will give you an idea of their ability to reflect on their own emotions and behavior.

5.  Use Behavioral Assessments

There are several behavioral assessments that can be used to measure emotional intelligence. These assessments can provide insight into a candidate's emotional intelligence and their potential fit for the role.


Emotional intelligence is a valuable asset in the workplace, as it can help individuals to communicate effectively, work well in teams, and navigate challenging situations with grace and empathy.     By planning for interviews and asking questions designed to uncover the  job candidate's emotional intelligence, better hiring decisions may be made. 

Using These Tips and Strategies Will Help You Select The Best Candidate For The Position

Jennifer M. Settles, Esq. is a corporate lawyer with the Law Office of Jenifer M. Settles  She advises clients on M&A transactions, commercial contracts, real estate matters, financing transactions and corporate law.  To schedule a free consultation with Jennifer, please call 602-617-3938, or email us through our Contact Form.

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