We’re all starting to understand just how important and valuable emotional intelligence can be both inside about outside of the workplace. The ability to read, identify, and respond to emotions is key to teambuilding, collaboration, and, ultimately, success.

So, it makes sense that emotional intelligence is becoming an increasingly popular trait to search for when adding someone to your organization. Even if you value this quality in a candidate, though, you may not yet be sure how to identify it when you see it.

Here are just some of the signals an emotionally intelligent candidate will display in an interview setting.

They’ll Pause Before Answering

Emotionally intelligent people have learned to pause for a moment to think before they speak or act, which is quite hard to accomplish. This is because they’re aware that impulses or gut reactions are often caused by emotion. So, instead of being led by these feelings, they make it a practice to take a beat before responding to anything – including an interview question.

They Can Speak About Failures Gracefully

No one truly wants to speak about their shortcomings in a job interview. However, many emotionally intelligent people can separate their feelings of regret or embarrassment from a poor experience in order to learn from it. If a candidate can speak confidently of a time when they fell short and discuss how it helped them in the long run, they are likely emotionally intelligent.

They Have a Good Answer to the “Strengths/Weaknesses” Question

For many of the same reasons, emotionally intelligent candidates will have a thoughtful answer when asked about their strengths and weaknesses. Emotionally intelligent candidates can identify these traits because they know doing so will help them to act accordingly. They won’t show shame when talking about their weaknesses, but rather acknowledgement of how they’re working on those qualities. Similarly, they’ll know their strengths well and use them to take full advantage of opportunities for their skillset to shine.

They’ll Include Other Teammates in Their Stories

A candidate with high emotional intelligence will likely bring up collaboration and contributions from colleagues when discussing success. They know that success does not exist in a vacuum and that acknowledging this does not make them less impressive. This shows security and confidence, as well as awareness that others thrive on praise, too.

They Listen Intently

Whether this manifests in a thorough response, bringing up a point you previously made, or just making excellent eye content, emotionally intelligent people listen. Not only do they want to have an authentic back and forth with you, but they also display empathy. What you’re saying to them matters, both in a formal interview and afterwards.

They’ll Ask About Experiences

A candidate with high emotional intelligence will not only ask insightful questions about the job and company, but also about you and your experience. They may ask how you deal with stress in this job, how you got to this point in your career, or how you like the company culture. Emotionally intelligent people are empathetic, and therefore have a natural curiosity about those they meet. That will most certainly come through in your interview.

If you’d like more insights to help you identify the right candidate, please browse our advice section, or get in touch with one of our expert consultants today.

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