How to Interview for Soft Skills and High Emotional intelligence

When evaluating candidates, hard skills matter.  Now more than ever, soft skills and emotional intelligence (EQ) are overtaking hard skills as a key indicator of success. Job-related technical skills can be learned over time, but you can’t teach someone how to be a team player, how to think creatively, how to be confident, and how to read other people. All the technical acumen in the world means nothing if a team can’t collaborate or communicate effectively.

“CSS recognizes the importance of vetting candidates beyond interview questions.  We take it to the next step by utilization of predictive culture data and analytics to help make a better match which helps companies increase employee engagement, performance, and reduce turnover.”

Talent Smart has a website with emotional intelligence assessments and another innovative solution is being offered by Pomello!  If you’re ready to focus more on soft skills, use these actionable tips to help you make strong hiring decisions.

When Evaluating Soft Skills and EQ, Behavioral Interviews Are Critical

It can be difficult – if not impossible –  to assess a person’s soft skills and emotional intelligence in a traditional interview. Behavioral questions that force candidates to describe how they have acted in the past are critical in order to gauge these factors. The right questions can provide important insight into a candidate’s personality, soft skills and emotional intelligence level.

Questions should always be tailored to the position you are hiring for and your unique company culture, but here are some examples to help you develop your list:

  • Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation Questions
    • Describe the way in which your mood impacts your productivity.
    • Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a frazzled, stressed-out coworker in order to meet a deadline.
    • Talk about a difficult professional decision you had to make and how you arrived at your end result.
  • Self-Motivation Questions
    • Describe a time when you were feeling unsatisfied on the job. How did you stay motivated despite your circumstances?
    • Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was required of you.
    • Talk about a situation in which you had to motivate others.
  • Empathy Questions
    • Tell me how you build rapport with new coworkers.
    • Describe a time when hearing someone else’s perspective on a problem helped you arrive at a solution.
    • Talk about a time you had to deliver difficult news to a coworker/boss/customer.
    • What do you do when you’re extremely busy, but a coworker comes to you with a problem?
  • Social Skills Questions
    • Tell me about your preferred communication methods at work. Why do you prefer those methods?
    • Describe your current relationship with your boss.
    • Describe your current relationship with your coworkers.
    • What are some personality traits of people you typically clash with?
    • What are some personality traits of people you typically work well with?
    • Describe a recent conflict you experienced at work and how you resolved it.

Questions like these force candidates to draw from actual experiences so you can assess how they will behave on the job and how they will interact with and get along with the existing team.  If you are looking for new ways to improve your recruiting processes, or if you are looking for HR professionals who will help propel your business forward, contact the experts at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today.