One of the biggest challenges when you interview candidates is to get insights into the “real” person and their ability to successfully fit into an organization’s culture, work effectively with others, and perform their responsibilities well. I have found that the first two are the most challenging to assess. The last has to do with a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and experience, but the other two have to do with a person’s personality, preferences, work style, personal drive to succeed, and emotional intelligence.
Having been a student and teacher of the Enneagram for over 20 years, I’ve trained managers to ask a variety of questions that uncover a candidate’s personality, motivation, preferences and work style, but often that isn’t enough. Gaining insights into their emotional intelligence (EQ) – that is, their ability to recognize, understand, and manage themselves and work effectively with others – is one of the best ways to gauge a potential new hire’s ability to fit into your culture and work effectively with others.
A recent article, How to Assess Emotional Intelligence During an Interview, on LinkedIn, states that “among employees who fail to meet expectations during their first 18 months on the job, 23% fail due to low emotional intelligence.” If you want to reduce the failure rate in new hires, adding some interviewing questions that help you assess emotional intelligence may just be the extra tool in your tool bag to increase your hiring success rate. The blog had five questions that I thought were solid, but then I couldn’t help myself, I had to add a few of my own.
- Can you tell me about a time you tried to do something and failed?
- Tell me about a time you got negative feedback from your boss? How did you feel? TG: What did you do with/about that feedback?
- Can you tell me about a conflict at work that made you feel frustrated?
- Tell me about a hobby you do outside of work? Can you teach me about it? TG: What is it about the hobby that excites you? What qualities does it bring out in you that are not typically brought out in your work?
- Can you tell me about a time you needed to ask for help on a project?
- TG: What makes a successful relationship? Share with me an example of a challenging relationship you have had to work to sustain. What has been most challenging about it? Where does it stand today?
- TG: What situations or types of people create stress for you? What does it feel like inside? What would we see/experience when you are stressed? Give me an example of a situation where you were stressed? How did you manage yourself? What would others tell me about your ability to manage stress?
When asking these questions, the key is to know what answers you are looking for. Take some time to read the article and send me an email if you want to know what I’d be looking for in response to the questions I added.
At the end of the day, increasing your hiring success rate is in everyone’s best interest. Give some of these questions a try, and let us know how your hiring results are impacted.
By Theresa Gale,
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM, INC.