Finding empathetic candidates is crucial for customer service success.
Whether you’re hiring for a contact center, a retail position, or anything else that’s customer-facing, having employees that possess these skills can help with:
A positive work environment
A person who possesses the ability to manage emotions can boost the confidence of their coworkers, make them feel better if they’re stressed, or help them relax if something has upset them.
Better customer service
Candidates who can properly regulate what they feel are less likely to react poorly when a customer is upset or angry. Furthermore, they’ll be more likely to diffuse the unhappy customer and turn the customer’s experience from negative to positive.
More likely to adapt
Sometimes your employees get thrust into situations they may not have been trained for or interviewed for, and in these cases adaptability is key. This adaptability can be found with candidates who can maintain their emotional status-quo in times of stressful changes/challenges.
These qualities can be summed up in one trait: emotional intelligence, or “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others” according to Psychology Today.
Interviewing a candidate to determine emotional intelligence can be tricky. However, there are some interview techniques you can use both in live interviews and in hiring assessments that help target and measure a candidate’s emotional intelligence. These include:
- Former Relationships: Talk to candidates about their relationships with former coworkers – were they distant from their fellow employees, or did they build friendships and connect with their peers? Being able to connect with people, really connect, demonstrates an ability to be empathetic and value the team around them.
- Previous Successes: Asking a candidate about the success they’ve had in the past can be a good tell if they’re appreciative of others or if they only think of themselves, according to a recent Entrepreneur article. If people talk about the things they’ve done in their previous achievements, are they mentioning those that helped them with those accomplishments and giving credit where credit is do? If they’re thinking of others, they will likely have a higher level of emotional intelligence.
- Handling Difficult Customers/Coworkers: If the job candidate is interviewing for a customer-facing position, ask them how they might handle a difficult customer service experience. If the candidate is able to give examples of how they would diffuse, empathize with, and help the customer – even when the customer is being confrontational, rude, or is angry – demonstrates a high level of emotional intelligence. Likewise for coworkers they may not like working with.
Notice a pattern? All of these types of questions target a “we, not me” attitude in candidates, which can be a strong indicator for emotional intelligence. If candidates are aware of those they work with – be it coworkers, customers, or anyone else – and are able to relate, empathize, and connect with these people, they are more likely to have a level of emotional intelligence that will bode well for their employment at your organization.
Contact us today for more information on how to optimize your hiring process to identify emotional intelligence, or download this e-book below on developing an A+ quality-of-hire report card below:
Topics: Better Interviewing