What Is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence or EI is the ability to recognize, evaluate, and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.


How Is Emotional Intelligence Measured?

Emotional intelligence is measured by an assessment test or through interview questions. The questions asked display how a candidate communicates with colleagues, manages staff, deals with customers, and works in a team setting.

Companies use different types of EI assessment tests.

Personality Test – Sometimes EI assessments are similar to personality tests, in that the questions resemble personality test questions. For example:

  • My feelings are clear to me at any given moment.
  • I accept responsibility for my reactions.
  • I consider the impact of my decisions on other people.

For each statement given, a candidate must rate it on a scale of 1–5 (Never–Always).

Situational Judgement – Some companies employ a variety of situational questions on their assessments. These include visual and multiple-choice questions, which are used to determine how competent a person is in specific areas. For example, one question may ask a candidate to rank the importance of displaying emotions—like sadness, anger, and joy—when delivering feedback to a colleague. Another question may show a person’s face and ask the candidate to identify the emotions being expressed.

Interview Questions – When EI is measured through interview questions, employers look for specific traits that the candidate possesses. An example of an interview question is:

"If business priorities change, describe how you would help your team understand and carry out the shifted goals?"

An employer may ask a question like this to see how flexible you are. Your answer also shows the employer how you would carry out certain goals. Companies want to employ people who are self-aware and motivated, as well as who exhibit empathy. Displaying these traits shows you are able to work as part of a team.

A company not only pays attention to your response, but also to your mannerisms and how well you present yourself. Quality, honesty, and the ability to build a rapport can help a candidate stand out during an interview.


Common Emotional Intelligence Test Used for Recruitment

Below are some companies that provide emotional intelligence tests.

  • Sigma Assessment Systems – Multidimensional Emotional Intelligence Assessment – Workplace (MEIA-W) – This test was designed to measure emotional intelligence in work settings. The MEIA-W consists of 144 items that assess 10 distinct facets of emotional intelligence.
  • Revelian – EI assessment – This test consists of 141 items and usually takes 40 minutes to complete.
  • The Hire Talent – Emotional Intelligence Assessment – This test measures seven emotional competencies to help find the right person for a specific job.
  • U.S. Officer of Personnel Management (OPM) also uses emotional intelligence tests during the hiring process.
  • CEB uses the OPQ32 Personality Test to measure emotional intelligence.

Preparing for Emotional Intelligence Questions

When applying for a position at any type of company, your emotional intelligence will most likely be assessed. Becoming familiar with the types of questions on EI assessments gives you an advantage over other applicants. Taking practice tests allows you to see how your EI ranks. Although not 100% similar in content, JobTestPrep's personality practice tests can provide you competitive advantage when approaching emotional intelligence tests - start preparing today.