How to answer "What are your thoughts on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace?" (with sample answers)

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This post is part of our series on behavioral interview questions.

Why Employers Ask This

The question "What are your thoughts on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace?" is often asked during job interviews to gauge a candidate's level of emotional intelligence and how they view its significance in the workplace. Emotional intelligence is vital since it can affect morale, productivity, and the working environment. Employers recognize that a lack of emotional intelligence amongst employees may cause interpersonal problems, leading to a toxic workplace culture, decreased productivity, and high turnover rates.

Employers aim to hire candidates who are emotionally intelligent because it demonstrates leadership skills and shows them that the candidate has the capability to interact positively with coworkers and customers and handle challenging situations efficiently. The ability to empathize with colleagues, listen actively, and communicate effectively, among other emotional intelligence traits, is an essential asset that can help them grow in their career and contribute to workplace success.

How To Answer the Question

When answering the "What are your thoughts on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace?" question, it is critical to demonstrate that you understand emotional intelligence and how it relates to successful teamwork. To answer the question, you may follow these tips:

  • Highlight your understanding of emotional intelligence: Start by stating how you define emotional intelligence and its significance in the workplace. You may use examples to showcase how it affects teamwork, productivity, and corporate culture.
  • Gauge the employer's perspective: Try to understand the employer's view on emotional intelligence during the interview. You could ask them about the importance they place on EQ in the workplace and how their organization upholds and identifies it.
  • Showcase your experience: Share how you have applied emotional intelligence skills in past work experiences and its impact on colleagues, customers, and the company's growth. You can also discuss how you continuously learn and upskill yourself on emotional intelligence traits to develop your career further.

Overall, the key to answering this question is to demonstrate how you understand and value emotional intelligence in the workplace and how it has helped you succeed in past experiences.

Sample answers

Good answer: Emotional intelligence is extremely important in the workplace because it allows us to communicate effectively and understand the needs and motivations of our colleagues. It helps to build strong relationships based on trust and mutual respect, both of which are essential for a productive work environment.

Why it's good: This answer provides a strong overview of the importance of emotional intelligence, and emphasizes key points such as communication, relationship-building, and productivity.

Bad answer: I don't really think emotional intelligence is that important in the workplace. What matters most is getting the job done and meeting our targets.

Why it's bad: This answer completely disregards the value of emotional intelligence in the workplace, and comes across as dismissive or even callous. It also fails to recognize that emotional intelligence can actually contribute to better job performance and goal attainment.

Good answer: Emotional intelligence is important in any workplace because it allows us to work effectively with others, whether we're collaborating on a project or trying to resolve a conflict. By understanding our own emotions and the emotions of those around us, we can build strong relationships and foster a positive work environment.

Why it's good: This answer speaks to the versatility of emotional intelligence and its ability to facilitate various aspects of the work environment, including teamwork, conflict resolution, and overall morale.

Bad answer: I think emotional intelligence is important, but it's not something I really prioritize in my own work. I think my technical skills are more valuable to the company.

Why it's bad: This answer shows a lack of understanding about how emotional intelligence can complement and even enhance technical skills. It also suggests that the interviewee may not be able to work effectively with others or prioritize team dynamics.

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