Why Hiring Emotionally Intelligent People Will Benefit Your Business

By Robert Stitt

Few things are going to have as big of an impact on your company as the staff that you hire. These are the people that represent you to the community, interact with your customers and suppliers, create your products, and – hopefully – create a workplace culture that is pleasant and conducive to high performance. That said, how do you choose the right employees from a stack of resumes? One crucial indicator is the prospective employee’s emotional intelligence.

A person who has emotional intelligence can

  • identify their emotions and the emotions of other people.
  • use their emotions to better their own situation.
  • regulate their emotions to influence other people.

Entrepreneur.com recently provided a list of suggested questions and interview techniques that reveal a candidate’s emotional intelligence. Here are five of those suggestions.

  1. Who inspires you? Why? When you understand who the person aspires to be, it gives a look into their potential patterns of behavior.
  2. Tell me about some lasting friendships from your last job. If a person is not able to build friendships at their place of work, they may be lacking in emotional intelligence, or perhaps they simply do not care about people.
  3. What skill are you still missing? People who think they know it all and have nothing to learn may be showing red flags. Those who have a desire to learn new things and are curious about improvement show signs of maturity.
  4. Teach me something. Pretend I’ve never heard of it before. If the candidate does not even know where to start, that says a lot. Those who take the time to think before they speak may be showing maturity and wisdom. Check to see if the prospect has the language skills and the technical capacity to explain the concept to you. Most of all, look for signs of empathy. Do they check to see if you are understanding what they are talking about?
  5. What are two things you attribute to your success? This shows how selfish or selfless a candidate is. Listen to how many times they say “I” and “me” instead of “we” and “us.” A team player is often revealed through their words.
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