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Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and interview questions

7th September 2017 | Interview Tips













Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. As Daniel Goldman’s explains in his book (Emotional Intelligence at work), it is actually a set of skills that anyone can acquire.

While different employers carry various work cultures and values, a successful employee is strongly skilled in emotional intelligence. Hence, many interview questions are shaped around this personal virtue. These questions are asked in different ways, and most probably there are no right or wrong answers to them.

We have listed a few questions here, which might give you an idea how to prepare and conduct your answers.

What makes you angry at work?

Candidates with more emotional intelligence might admit to little frustrations and describe how they overcome their minor irritations.

What type of person inspires you?

Employers ask this question to find out about the candidate’s personality, sets of values and if they fit in the culture of the company. Whatever your reply is, do not give the impression that you are not inspired by anyone or anything ever!

How would you deal with an unorganised manager?

Oddly enough, this question is in fact about your organisational skills. So, you can indicate a few points such as prioritising tasks, clarification before taking actions, archiving and putting things into writing.

Are you still in touch with your ex-colleagues or classmates?

This broad question is to find out about your capability of building strong working relationships with colleagues. Any apathetic reply can leave a negative effect. You don’t have to pretend that you developed an extensive network of people. It would suffice to talk about those colleagues you are still in touch with, where you worked with them and in what capacity, what you liked about them, and how often you might see them or talk to them.


There are other similar questions asked everyday in job interviews, which may not have a straight answer. Candidates with higher EQ learn how to decode these questions in order to construct the most relevant answers.

If you are interested in knowing more, there are many online resources and books available, including the Daniel Goleman’s site, the author of many books about Emotional Intelligence.


Other useful links:

Interview Tips