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  • Dermot Dennehy

Tips on how to find emotionally intelligent employees in the hiring process

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Finding emotionally intelligent (EI) employees during the hiring process can be challenging, but there are several tools and methods that can help. Emotional intelligence is a vital trait for effective leaders and managers, and companies that prioritize EI in their hiring process can reap significant benefits in the form of better communication, problem-solving, and team collaboration.


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One common tool for assessing EI in the hiring process is the use of behavioural-based interview questions. These questions are designed to assess how a candidate has handled situations in the past and can provide insight into their emotional intelligence. For example, an interviewer might ask a candidate to describe a time when they had to deal with a difficult team member or a time when they had to make a difficult decision. Through their answers, the interviewer can assess the candidate's ability to empathize, communicate, and manage emotions.


Another tool to assess EI is through psychological assessments such as the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) and the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). These assessments provide a more in-depth evaluation of a candidate's emotional intelligence and can give employers a more detailed view of a candidate's emotional skills.


Another approach could be to include behavioural-based assessment centres, where candidates are placed in simulated scenarios that test their ability to handle emotions and manage emotions, as well as to interact effectively with others. This method allows for assessing candidates in a more realistic context, simulating their behaviour under pressure or in a team.


In addition, reference checks and previous performance evaluations can also provide valuable insight into a candidate's emotional intelligence. During the reference check, the interviewer can ask questions that allow the reference to describe how the candidate interacts with others, manages their emotions, and handles difficult situations.


In conclusion, companies that prioritize emotional intelligence in the hiring process can use a combination of tools, such as behavioural-based interview questions, psychological assessments, assessment centres, reference checks, and previous performance evaluations to find emotionally intelligent employees. By using these tools, companies can ensure that they are hiring individuals who have the emotional intelligence skills required to create a positive and productive work environment.

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