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Asked by Madeline on August 25, 2017

I've read several articles about the value of emotional intelligence in the work place. How do employers measure soft skills (communication, decision making skills) before hiring?

Answered by Brittany, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on August 29, 2017

Hi there, great question. 

There are two ways that they will most likely determine your emotional intelligence: 
1. Through questions where they will ask you for examples on how you handled a situation in the past.
2. Any verbal or nonverbal cues you communicate during the interview process. 

Best of luck in your interviews!

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Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on August 30, 2017

Often employers are moving to, and have been using for a long time, behavior based interview models.  In this interview format, they ask you to describe examples from your own personal and/or professional history that illustrate a response to their question.  The premise is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.  They may also give you a hypothetical situation and have you walk them through how you would address it, juding your EQ based on your questions around the situation, responses and ultimate solution.  Depending on the scope of the role you could also be asked to take some tests that will also provide insight into your problem solving skills, people skills, and EQ.

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Answered by Traci, Hiring Expert at Accenture, on September 6, 2017

Soft skills are SO very important and not often enough addressed in preparation for the full time of intern search process. Each employer may have a specific way to measure this, but in general, we measure this by meeting you! The job of a Recruiter is not only to post applications and manage the end to end hiring process, but also to be the person meeting candidates face to face to evaluate things like soft skills. In addition to meeting candidates face to face, employers also build their interview processes specifically to measure things like communication skills and critical thinking. For example – you may notice that a great deal of client facing firms require a case interview. This is a way for employers to measure these skills during your interview as you temporarily step into the shoes of someone meant to solve and convey your solution/results to a client. In closing – do not ignore the soft skills! Practice, practice, and practice!

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