During a job interview, emotional intelligence or compassion is one of the critical traits that recruiters hunt for in employees, by asking a variety of questions. Here are few expert tips on how to best face job interview questions on emotional intelligence or compassion.
Any resonant relationships require the individual to be familiar with each other or know each other. Being aware of what is in their hearts and minds is an advantage. For being resonant and compassionate at work, one has to be in tune with them. Along with analytical thinking and intellectual insight, it requires curiosity, respect, and real empathy.
Emotionally intelligent or simply put, compassionate employees are those who genuinely cares about people. They are people who are concerned about their work and non- work problems. Such individuals are available and ready to help and are sympathetic to the plight of others not as fortunate. They are individuals who have demonstrated real empathy with the joys and pains of others.
Describe a time when you were responsible for eliminating jobs or letting something go. How did you deal with it? What was the outcome? Would you change something if you had to do it again?
Professionalism often requires handling difficult tasks like eliminating jobs or letting go of some people. Though these situations are never easy, one has to deal with it.
Through this question on emotional intelligence, the interviewer would like to know if you had to face such a situation and if you did, how did you deal with it. For example, if you had to go ask someone to leave the company — someone who you were friends with, is not going to be easy. If you had undergone such a situation, then do mention that while this was not easy, you had to do what was needed.
While responding to this HR job interview question that tests your emotional intelligence, mention that when letting go of people, you tried to be compassionate and empathetic. It would not ease the pain, but it would help the individual deal with the situation with a little more confidence. Do state that when distressed employees received acts of compassion, they are able to generate positive emotions. This emotional support reflects your greater commitment toward the workplace organization.
How did you go about letting go — you can add that you prefer to do it personally rather than emailing because it was a more humane approach. Do state what the outcome was. Were the employees able to handle the situation with more courage thanks to your support? Did they find it easier to manage the situation? Also, the recruiter might ask you if there was a situation where you may want to change things — perhaps a time when you wish you could have done things differently. Don’t be shy or worry about sharing this because it reflects that you can identify your flaws and want to redeem yourself. It also shows your compassionate side.
Tell me about a time when you helped a close friend who was going through very tough times. How did you approach the situation? What kept you involved?
Even at a senior post, there are juniors who could be good friends. Then, colleagues also become close friends over time. There is a chance that one of your peers could be going through a tough time. And since you work together, they might need your help. The interviewer would ask you this question to see how you tackle personal relationships at work and help out friends.
While responding to this HR job interview question that tests your emotional intelligence, you should put a little thought because though you want to come across as helpful but not compromise on professionalism.
You can mention that you tried to hear the version of the your friend and what was causing the issue. Was it some hindrance in the completion of a project or a lack of some skill or something related to office politics. Then say that you tried to solve the problem by empathizing with them and helping them with measures to overcome the issue. It could be a suggestion to learn new skills or try to mend bridges with an antagonized colleague.
While responding to this HR job interview question that tests your emotional intelligence, do say that while you were involved through the process, you were not in the forefront of matters but encouraged your friend to take the lead. Your task was to be compassionate and guide them through a crisis — but not be directly involved because you want to strike a balance of professionalism and friendship at work.
Describe a time when you gave up something important to you to help someone else. How did you decide to approach it this way? What have you learned from this situation that you might use again in the future?
The interview would like to know if you are willing to compromise for your friends and colleagues. Though they want you to put organizational growth and the welfare of the company first, they also want to see if you can go that extra mile to help others. You can answer this question by describing an instance when you had to give up something for a colleague. It could be that your colleague was having a bad few days, and you let them use your idea o presentation so that they would get credit, which in turn could help them save their job. It could be that while the presentation was a team effort, you let them take the lead because they lacked confidence.
While responding to this HR job interview question that tests your emotional intelligence, mention that while this meant you are not getting any credit, it also implied that you showed compassion towards a friend. It also means that your colleague would consider you as an ally and friend, which in turn helps you get some goodwill. Of course, the most important aspect here is that you will be contributing to the welfare of the entire organization.
You can say that learning is always a two-way process. So while you were happy to help your colleague, it also helped you feel good about the same. In turn, you can also add that your colleague reciprocated the favor by helping you with some additional projects or they tried to go out of the way to help out where possible.
Tell me about a time when you learned to get along with someone you found to be a very difficult person. What changed? What do you now know about this person that you perhaps did not know at the outset of your relationship?
This question is often asked by recruiters because they want to see if you can understand your colleague’s point of view. There is a time when you find out that in spite of good efforts, there are some people who are rather difficult. Dealing with them is not easy and it meant that the particular individual did not demonstrate flexibility and an ability to compromise.
While responding to this HR job interview question that tests your emotional intelligence, the interviewer wants to see if you have the sense of how to handle conflict. You can describe a situation where you were working together with someone on a project. It could be that your colleague handled follow-up and communication differently than you did. He/ she possibly didn’t see the purpose of communicating with the client so frequently.
Over time you realized that you needed to reach truce on this. So you had a talk with them, and both of you compromised and agreed to follow up with the client more regularly. This, in turn, helped to make collaboration smoother. Discuss what other traits of your colleague did you discover through the course. It could be they had strong analytical insights, or they had the ability to understand and appreciate a different work approach. Mention that through the course of this project, you were able to strike a friendlier note with them as time evolved. Finally, give your college a note of thanks or mention to the recruiter how you appreciated their efforts.