EI Romania

Measuring Emotional Intelligence in Recruitment

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Emotional intelligence skills are as critical as intellect and technical skills in determining success at work. Our levels of emotional intelligence influence our behavior and correlate with our performance, resilience, and our level of occupational stress. In other words, people with high EI feel less stressed and are more resilient at work – which, ideally,  allows us to do better in the office.


With this in mind, a significant number of companies all around the world are now looking at their candidate’s EI competencies while recruiting (a 2019 survey shows that 71% of employers are prioritizing EQ over IQ in employees). 


How to integrate EI in recruitment and talent management initiatives

While many employers understand why EI is a must-have skill, they have trouble making it part of their hiring interview.

So how do we actually get to measure emotional intelligence in recruitment?


Here are some really effective ideas for you to maximise the recruitment process within your company:


Ask relevant questions during the interview


The best way to determine someone’s level of emotional intelligence during the hiring process is by getting them to explain things they have done in their past that displayed emotional intelligence (such as leading a team through a rough patch or the time when they had to lead a difficult conversation) or asking interview questions that put them in stressful situations.

Try out the next questions to draw out some emotional responses:


Can you describe a time when you had a difficult conversation?

Can you describe one negative feedback you have received and how you dealt with it?

Tell us about a time when you had to come up with a creative solution under pressure.

Describe a time when you made a mistake.


Consider whether their answers demonstrate abilities such as taking ownership, conflict management, active listening, and stepping into pressure situations.

Furthermore, try going beyond words – body language and how they articulate themselves during the interview can also be good indicators of their EI levels.


Identify candidates with high EI via Psychometric Tests


Psychometric tests are assessment tools, widely used in career guidance and employment, designed to measure personality traits, intelligence, abilities, and behavioral style, in order to indicate the potential of a job candidate to excel in a specific position or career.


The tests will assess and identify key personality traits (negative and positive) that can influence job performance and fitment in the organizational culture and will help you understand what drives and motivates the candidate to perform at work by measuring motivation, values, and preferences.


Engage in role-play-based simulations


Nothing can help you directly pinpoint the skills of a person like a role-play situation.

Interviews and tests take time while observing someone perform a specific task is fast and oftentimes more revealing: taking the candidate out of their comfort zone is an excellent way to evaluate their natural reactions and not their automatic responses


The principle is simple: through experiential simulations, the candidate has to achieve an operational objective while following certain instructions. In other words, you get to see them “in action”.


It can all sound like a lot of work, but – happily – there are tools to help you navigate this process with grace and efficiency.

Based on the Genos Selection model that assesses 7 emotionally intelligent competencies, our Emotional Intelligence Performace Report offers a unique interview guide, a meaningful report of the candidate’s EI performance, and a spot-on summary to help you combine assessment and interview results and present a recommendation to your candidate.

Combined with other selection best practices and processes, candidates are interviewed and can complete role-play-based simulations.

And finally, EI talk does not have to stop at the recruitment phase. It is our responsibility as employers to help our people grow and develop into EI-skilled workers.

After recruiting, shift your focus towards onboarding and ongoing development with an EI focus to introduce the successful candidates to expected behaviors. The good news is that there is a wide suite of EI Enhancement Programs you can apply throughout the employee lifecycle. Also available in subscription form with GENOS ALL ACCESS plans.


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