Answering Interview Questions With EQ

Answering Interview Questions With EQ

Emotional Intelligence(EQ) is an intangible trait based on feelings and emotions that employers look for in prospective candidates.

It is the ability to tune in with the way others feel and is one of the most sought-after skills on Linkedin jobs.

It is good to know what kind of behavioural questions and case studies can be asked by employers to check our EQ.

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  1. Understand that the need for emotional quotient(EQ) is hidden in every question the employer asks.
  2. Ask good questions yourself.
  3. Be confident but not cocky.
  4. Instead of trying to be perfect, just be real.
  5. Provide examples that are specific and solutions-oriented.
  6. Do not badmouth former bosses or colleagues.
  7. Pay attention to the body language and other social cues of the recruiter during an interview.

As mental health at the workplace gets more press, employers look for new people who can enhance their company culture by:

  1. Having the quality to understand themselves and their emotions.
  2. Understand others emotions.
  3. Display social awareness.
  4. Keep emotions under control.
  5. Staying upbeat in adverse situations.

Question: Tell me about a time when you handled a conflict with a coworker, client or boss.

Answer: Describe a past conflict that may have happened at office by using the STAR methodology:

  1. S: Describe The Situation.
  2. T: Explain the Task expected from you.
  3. A: What specific Actions were taken by you.
  4. R: The Results of the action taken.

Don’t be too clinical and emphasize on your patience, listening skills, or any misunderstanding cleared by you.

Question: When onboarding, how do you adapt to a new work environment?

Answer: A fresh recruit with a high emotional quotient(EQ) would start to build relationships with colleagues, coworkers and bosses from day one.

Relationship building is crucial as any project does not happen in isolation, and your employer will like your social awareness and the ability to read your surroundings in a new environment.

Question: What inspires you?

Answer: Showcase your authenticity instead of blurting out buzzwords to impress the recruiter. If you are emotionally intelligent and honest, your answer will be holistic and passionate, but will not be boastful or egocentric.

If possible, connect your passion with the job profile, and prove that you are in fact acting on what inspires you.

Question: How do you keep a work-life balance?

Answer: You can describe the ways you unwind yourself, like by doing a morning run, meditation, or a hobby that acts as a destresser and a creative outlet.

Mental health issues and work-related burnout are hot topics in recent times. It really does help if you take care of yourself and are not grumpy, overworked and on the edge all the time.

Question: What do you do when a coworker challenges you in a meeting?

Answer: The employer is looking to find if you react or have a thoughtful response to sudden situations that can provoke or irritate you. It reveals your ability to regulate your emotions and feelings.

Don’t be that guy who is easily frustrated and is forcing his own opinion down their coworker's throats.

Question: What have you done in the last year to grow professionally?

Answer: This question checks the learning orientation and growth mindset of the candidate. A high EQ also leads to candidates being able to identify what they lack professionally and personally and work towards self-learning.

Instead of talking about mandatory learning, focus on the self-initiated projects and personal activities that lead to professional growth, like social campaigning, data analysis, or even reading something specific.

Question: What is your greatest weakness? (and other variations of the same theme).

Answer: This question asks about your strengths and weaknesses, but as a decoy. The hidden question is about your honesty, self-awareness, ability to accept feedback and to unlearn things that are not relevant.

You can tell a story(short stories work great at interviews!) about how you utilized your strength/skillset at the office or how your weakness created a mess. 

Be honest and don’t forget to showcase your learning.

Question: What action would you take if you saw your coworker struggling with work?

Answer: EQ makes us understand the feelings and emotions of others, and we can use that awareness to identify and help co-workers who are having difficulties coping up with their work and personal life.

Tell your story making use of the STAR methodology:

  1. S: Describe The Situation.
  2. T: Explain the Task expected from you.
  3. A: What specific Actions were taken by you.
  4. R: The Results of the action taken.

Questions: How do people misunderstand you?

Answer: Perceptions and the image being created is now as relevant as reality itself. What we are is not what others see at once. If we are passionate, co-workers can be overwhelmed by us. If we are quiet most of the time, bosses can see it as being unassertive.

You can talk about how you have diffused wrong perceptions or handled misunderstandings of your colleagues.

Question: Tell me about a time when you experienced a setback at the office and how you handled it.

Answer: Showcase that you are resilient, mature and stable, instead of whining about your former bosses and colleagues. 

Understand your own mistakes and emphasize the lessons learned. Show how gracefully the problem was handled and how it resulted in an ideal outcome.

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Use assertive communication

Assertive communication allows us to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions without judging or blaming other people.

Emotionally intelligent people know how to communicate their opinions and needs in a direct way while still respecting others.

Emotional Intelligence (EI)

EI means the mastery of emotional competencies. 

That includes self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.


To become self-aware, you must be capable of monitoring your own emotions, recognizing different emotional reactions, and then correctly identifying each particular emotion. Self-aware individuals also recognize the relationships between the things they feel and how they behave.

How to improve self-awareness:

  • Ask for constructive feedback
  • Keep a journal
  • Learn new skills
  • Meditate
  • Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions
  • Pursue your passions
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Reflect on your experiences
  • Set goals
  • Use positive self-talk
  • Work on building a growth mindset

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