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How To Hire Emotionally Intelligent Candidates
Emotional Intelligence is one of those intangible qualities about a person that hold so much weight. People with strong emotional intelligence are able to recognize and assess their own feelings and use them to direct their behavior for the best possible results.
Typically, employees with high emotional intelligence are motivated, bright, ingenious, and tireless. They solve problems and find solutions where other employees struggle. It’s no surprise then, that finding candidates with a high degree of emotional intelligence is one of the keys to hiring success. Identifying emotional intelligence in candidates can be challenging though. We often don’t spend all that much time with candidates before hiring them, aside from traditional interviews and assessments. Here are some ways to make sure that you’re thoroughly vetting your candidates for emotional intelligence before hiring them:
In-Depth Behavioral Interviews
If you had only one way to find an emotionally intelligent needle in a haystack, using behavioral interviews would be that way. In speaking to candidates, do they demonstrate a sense of self-awareness? In discussing their previous roles and activities, do they talk about influencing others or their ability to work on a team successfully? You can tell from speaking with someone if they are emotionally intelligent by the way they communicate and in describing themselves and situations.
Behavioral interviews also allow you to dig into past activities and performance to look for clues into how this person might contribute to your organization. If you are able to pinpoint indicators of emotional intelligence in a candidate’s work history, you might conclude that the candidate will behave and contribute similarly in your organization.
Behavioral assessments are another way to determine emotional intelligence in your prospective candidates. These types of pre-employment assessments identify the various aspects of emotional intelligence, including: self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship and self-management in candidates straight from the candidate’s perspective.
When confronted with a question offering a choice between this or that, the candidate selects which is most like them. From these answers, these predictive tools are able to pull together a profile that helps us understand the candidate better and how they might be on the job in various situations and dealings with others.
Evidence of Past Success
Determining whether your candidates are emotionally intelligent can be evident by their past successes, or lack thereof. High degrees of emotional intelligence has been associated with top performance in employees, so it’s no surprise that verifying a candidate’s performance in previous roles will tell you a little about their capabilities.
Two of the most basic ways to determine emotional intelligence by looking at past success is through the candidate’s perspective and the other is by speaking with a candidate’s previous supervisors and other relevant references. Which brings us to the final point…
Finally, checking a candidate’s references to confirm past successes helps employers glean insight into what it was like working with that candidate and can be helpful in determining if the candidate has a high degree of emotional intelligence. What better way to identify these traits than someone who has worked directly with that candidate and can speak to their strengths and weaknesses?
There are several ways to identify emotional intelligence in your candidates, and as we’ve discussed, those with high EQ are more likely to be successful in the way they communicate and interact with others. This success will show through in their accomplishments as well. Ensure that your hiring process makes use of several, if not all, of these techniques we’ve outlined for identifying emotionally intelligent candidates so that the next time you hire, you can be sure you’re considering only the best talent for your business.
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