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Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions: What They Are & How to Answer Them

21 September 2022   |   by Explore Careers
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Within an interview, you might be asked a few different types of questions. These questions are designed to explore your skills, competencies and personality to ensure you’re the right candidate for the role.

You can find lots of information out there about the different types of questions you might be asked (and keep your eyes peeled for some resources coming soon on this).

One that can be tricky to learn more about are Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions.

First Things First: Why Do We Have Interviews?

When you’re invited for an interview, the employer wants to ensure you match what’s been presented to them on your application.

They’ll be interested in:

  • Checking there’s a strong alignment between your personality and their team culture.
  • That you’re confident in your skills and able to articulate how they match the role you’re interviewing for.
  • You understand what’s expected of you, and the examples you use to answer questions will help them to achieve this understanding.
  • That what you’ve said on your CV matches what’s presented in person.

What Do We Mean By ‘Emotional Intelligence Questions’?

You might have heard the term emotional intelligence (EQ) but be unsure about what it really means.

Essentially, EQ is our ability to understand our own emotions and how, when, or why they arise in response to different situations. It’s then about using this knowledge to help us better manage how we might respond and can help change our responses when we need to.

For example, you might get frustrated or even angry when something unexpected happens but wonder why you got so annoyed a short while later.

Knowing this is how you might respond means you can make a plan. Instead of reacting in frustration, you could decide to take a short walk or do some deep breathing so you can respond to the situation in a more reasonable way.

Emotional intelligence interview questions seek to uncover your level of EQ in relation to everyday workplace challenges or situations.

These questions ask about work-based scenarios to see how you would handle them.

Practice Emotional Intelligence Interview Questions to Explore

We’ve picked out three common EQ interview questions to help give you a better idea of what these questions might look like, along with some advice on how best to answer them:

How do you value others in the workplace?

This question aims to understand how you operate within a team culture and might also be looking to see what you value most in a team culture (respect, honesty, communication, etc.)

When answering this one, think about:

  • What you value from successful, effective workplace relationships.
  • What makes a team great for you to work within, and what do you feel you offer as a team member.
  • How you communicate with others about a job well done (if you’re not sure, think about how you’d like someone to tell you you’ve done good work).

How do you handle confrontation at work?

Oof, this one can be hard to answer! But really, you want to consider resolution over the confrontation – so focus your answer on:

  • How you recognise and understand confrontation can show up at work.
  • Why confrontation might arrive in respect of the role you’re applying to.
  • What you would consider a positive outcome to be and what you would say/do to achieve this.

How do you recover from failure?

Failure is a part of life, but it can be tricky to talk about it in this way in an interview when you don’t want to highlight times you’ve struggled! When answering this one, think about:

  • An example where you overcame the failure rather than one that just ‘happened’.
  • Talk about what went wrong and why you think it happened.
  • Describe the positive steps you took to correct the failure and what the outcome was instead.

Don’t Wait to Practice

EQ interview questions aren’t trying to catch you out or show you up – they’re designed to help an employer better understand how you might fit within their existing team and culture.

Instead of seeing them as a threat, see them as an exciting opportunity to learn more about yourself and any areas you want to work on.

We highly recommend you spend time practising these questions as a part of your interview preparation – you might be surprised by some of your answers!


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