Emotional Intelligence Testing for Job Candidates

Use emotional quotient test for hiring.

Build an emotionally intelligent team

Determining whether a candidate can perceive, evaluate and manage their own feelings and those of others can lead to better hiring decisions. That is why many companies test candidates' personality, including emotional intelligence skills, early in the hiring process.

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Why test for emotional intelligence?

Testing for emotional intelligence is important, as it helps assess candidates' ability to control their own emotions and their ability to empathetically interact with other workers.

It's not enough to be smart or skilled. You have to get along well with other people, whether contributing to or leading a team. Testing for emotional intelligence characteristics can help companies and hiring managers identify skills in areas of leadership, teamwork, calmness under pressure, conflict resolution and empathy towards others. You can also create your own test to fit your company and culture.

Without figuring out how to measure emotional intelligence, you might risk hiring someone who seems competent, but ends up not being a fit or even being a disruptive force in your company.

Beyond an integrity test for hiring, testing for EQ can help you uncover important information about job candidates, such as their:

  • Communication skills and preferences

  • Ability to express feelings and opinions

  • Strategies for managing stress and job pressure

  • Approach to conflict resolution

  • Level of maturity and responsibility

  • Work ethic and job dedication

Why to test job candidates for emotional intelligence.

Emotionally-intelligent hires benefit company culture

Because of the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace and the ability to increase your chances of adding value to your organization, finding employees with a high EQ can make a big difference.

When you know how to test candidates for emotional intelligence, you can get a bit of insight into the kind of person you're hiring. The people you bring aboard can give and take constructive criticism. They work together to make improvements without friction. They're motivated, resilient and empathetic. Using pre-employment personality tests in your interview process helps you identify emotionally-intelligent candidates, make the right hires and build a collaborative and productive company culture.

Characteristics of emotionally intelligent employees.

Which characteristics can you test for?

Some effective job interview questions will uncover a few elements of a candidate's personality. But one of the problems with your job interview process can be that you may not have a consistent and statistically valid way to measure emotional intelligence. That's where pre-employment testing can help. You'll be able to share reports that are comparable, even if different people conduct the interviews.

By testing for emotional intelligence, you can measure some of the traits most likely to create a great team member or leader:

  • Good communicator

  • Empathetic

  • Self-aware

  • Values progress over perfection

  • Apply other skills into their role

  • More receptive to feedback

  • Adaptable to change

You might be wondering which test measures the emotional ability of a candidate. Try our workplace personality test to help you truly understand your applicants.

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Job roles that benefit from higher levels of emotional intelligence

While employees with a high EQ are an asset in any role, they're particularly suited to certain jobs and positions. Members of your staff who are dealing with people and getting people to work well together towards achieving a goal will be more effective with a high EQ. Some examples of job roles that benefit from higher levels of emotional intelligence include:

  • Healthcare professional

  • Customer service representative

  • Team leader

  • Trainer or coach

  • Marketing analyst

  • Negotiator

How did emotional intelligence become a critical job skill?

The idea of emotional intelligence got its start in the psychology field in the early 1990s and was eventually adopted by high achieving organizations. As companies have grown, they have become more complex, relying on teamwork more than on the efforts of charismatic leaders. For sustained high performance, companies need a healthy culture that outlasts the tenures of individuals and is infused throughout the organization.

Our understanding of intelligence has expanded beyond cognitive abilities and skills to include people-savvy, interpersonal skills and self control. Many companies use EQ tests for hiring because it has become equal, if not more important, to traditional ideas of intelligence. Compare the traits of high versus low EQ people and it becomes clear which ones ⁠— everything else being equal ⁠— you would rather have on your team.

Employees with High EQ

  • Make informed decisions
  • Problem solvers
  • Do well under pressure
  • Better at conflict resolution
  • Have empathy towards co-workers

Employees with Low EQ

  • Avoid taking responsibility
  • Passive-aggressive
  • Bad in team settings
  • Overly critical

Did you know? Assessing emotional intelligence begins with identifying and quantifying personality traits for particular roles. These kinds of hiring profiles are the first critical step in measuring emotional intelligence.

Measuring employee emotional intelligence.

Start hiring people that
don't cause interpersonal conflicts

Testing candidates for emotional intelligence is an effective way to improve the results of your hiring campaigns and preserve your company's culture. The Hire Success® Personality Test will help you assess the EQ of your candidates in a way that's compliant with regulations and reduces risk. The test is easy to administer, quick to complete, and provides consistent, comparable results no matter who is interviewing. Asking your best candidates the right questions allows you to quickly spot potential red flags and superstars for your team. You'll be able to make more confident decisions every time you hire.

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