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Recruitment 101: 4 Ways To Identify EQ-rich Leaders

Recruitment 101: 4 Ways To Identify EQ-rich Leaders

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to understand and manage feelings, impulses, and moods. People with high EQ are said to be able to perceive their emotions and others’ and appropriately utilize their understanding to direct their thoughts and actions.  

Spotting High EQ Leaders During Recruitment Using Psychometric Testing

If you’re looking to hire leaders in your company, assessing your candidates’ EQ capacity is deemed essential. Doing this will easily tell you how the person is likely to relate with others within the firm. 

Leaders with high EQ are believed to be good communicators and can positively inspire, encourage, and persuade others. This way, they help develop a happier, more engaged, and productive workforce. As a result, they allow an enterprise to reduce employee turnover and realize its goals.     

During the hiring process, firms use different ways to identify an individual suitable for the available position. For instance, some companies use psychometric testing for recruitment. These are various assessments used to evaluate how a candidate fits in the organization. For example, personality tests help identify an individual’s behaviours, character traits, and motivations. Aptitude tests, on the other hand, measure a person’s cognitive abilities.  

In this case, you’ll need to conduct an emotional intelligence test. In this assessment, you give candidates questions that can help you identify their EQ level as the recruiter. EQ evaluations will help you test an individual’s self-control, sociability, integrity, and ability to influence others. This way, you’ll know if the person has the potential to lead and if they’re fit for your company. 

Tips On How To Zero In On Future Company Leaders With High EQ

Besides conducting an EQ test, there several other ways to identify an EQ-rich leader during the hiring process. Some of these are provided and explained below: 

  1. Be Keen On How They Take Feedback And Criticism 

The first way to identify an emotionally intelligent person is to observe how they respond to feedback and criticism. Therefore, consider asking your candidates to describe an event whereby someone gave an opinion about or disapproved of their work and how they handled the situation.  

As the candidate narrates the incident to you, be keen on their response. A person with high EQ is less likely to take feedback or criticism personally and isn’t defensive in such a situation. They first listen, understand, and then consider other people’s opinions. Also, they use the opportunity to improve themselves and their work. 

  1. Examine How Empathic They Are 

Leaders with high EQ are often empathetic. This means that they can envision themselves in other people’s situations and understand how they feel. To identify a compassionate person, ask them how they would respond to subordinates who need help.  

A person with high EQ will first listen to the colleague attentively, aiming to understand their situation. After, they’ll use compassion to guide their actions. Instead of showing indifference or being dismissive and rude, they’ll respond in a caring way to their colleagues’ needs that benefits both the subordinate and the company.  

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Recruitment 101: 4 Ways To Identify EQ-rich Leaders
  1. Evaluate Their Self-awareness 

A self-aware person understands who they are. They know their strengths and limitations and how these affect their decision-making process, relationships with others, and work performance.  

The best way to identify a self-aware leader is by asking your candidates to talk about at least one difficult situation they encountered in their previous position. They should also tell you how they handled that challenge.  

A person with high EQ can operate in a stressful environment. This means they can sufficiently handle work pressures such as tight deadlines, demanding customers, job ambiguities, and organizational changes.  

A candidate who expresses anger about their difficult situation is likely to have low EQ and, therefore, not be fit to lead your company. However, one who can handle their challenge in a calm and controlled manner is an ideal candidate. Their response to the challenge shows that they understand their emotions and know how to manage them, meaning they have a high EQ.

  1. Assess Their Ego 

You can also understand one’s EQ by assessing their ego. A leader with an unhealthy ego will negatively affect other people’s productivity. This is because they see themselves as superior and discredit others’ viewpoints. Also, they’re less concerned about others’ needs and are less likely to teach, motivate, and effectively lead people. As a result, they create an unhealthy work environment that causes decreased job satisfaction and low worker retention

To identify a good leader, consider assessing your candidates’ ego. You can do this by asking them about a situation whereby they were tasked with a job but couldn’t complete it, inconveniencing their colleagues. If an applicant responds by blaming others for their mistakes or characterizing other people’s reactions as unreasonable, they have an unhealthy ego. Therefore, they’re not suitable for the job.  

On the other hand, a person with a healthy ego will show genuine concern about the inconvenience they caused and hold themselves accountable for what they did wrong. These candidates are ideal for leadership positions. They’ll be more attentive to others and interested in helping. As a result, they’ll promote job satisfaction, reduce employee turnover and allow everyone to be more productive in their work. 


Besides checking skills, experiences, and competencies for a leadership position, assessing candidates’ EQ is also essential. This way, it’ll be easy to know how the individuals will relate with others and perform their assigned duties. 

This article offers some helpful tips to identify a leader with high EQ during the recruitment process. As provided above, consider evaluating your candidates’ self-awareness, ego, empathy, and their response to feedback and criticism. 

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Recruitment 101: 4 Ways To Identify EQ-rich Leaders
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