EQ Interview Questions

People walk about in Trafalgar Square in London

So, my flight gets cancelled at the Seattle airport and a colleague asks me by email if I know of a resource that provides interview questions according to the 15 EQ Competencies of the BarOn model of EQ. No, I don’t, I say, but here, let me have a crack at it since my flight was just cancelled and I’ve got some time ;-) Let me know what you think.

  • Emotional Self-Awareness: Tell me about a time when your awareness of your own emotions caused you to change your plan of action.
  • Assertiveness: Tell me about a time when you spoke up knowing that by doing so you were taking a risk.
  • Self-Regard: Please tell us what we can expect as a “Return” on our investment (your salary) in you.
  • Independence: Tell us about a time when you took a critical action in the workplace without being directed to do so.
  • Self-Actualization: Tell us about a time when you felt most fulfilled. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment? What are you proud of?
  • Empathy: You notice a co-worker choking back tears throughout a meeting. Nobody else seems to notice because of the way he/she is sitting. The meeting ends. You both get up to leave. What do you do?
  • Social Responsibility: Tell us your thoughts on how you think you can “give back to others/make the world a better place/help others/ be of service” by simply carrying out the duties required by this job.
  • Interpersonal Relationship: What are your thoughts about developing friendships with your coworkers?
  • Problem Solving: Describe a problem you discovered in a previous job and what you did about it. Describe a problem that you solved where you are particularly proud of the solution you came up with. How did you go about solving it?
  • Flexibility: Describe a situation where you had to be extremely flexible.
  • Reality Testing: Are you more of a dreamer or more of a realist? Give me an example of how someone observing might know this about you.
  • Stress Tolerance: Tell me how you deal with stress. What do you do to proactively deal with stress. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a lot of stress and how you handled it.
  • Impulse Control: Tell me about your ability to resist the temptation to do things you may later regret. Have you ever done something you later regretted?
  • Happiness: Tell me about a time in your life when you experienced a great deal of “life satisfaction.” What makes you “happy?” Define “happiiness” for me.
  • Optimism: Describe your general attitude to work and life. What does “good attitude” mean to you? This glass I’m holding, how would you describe it – as half-full or half-empty and what’s the difference – is there a difference – does it matter?

There you go right off the cuff!

I hope this helps – at least you get the idea from my perspective.


  1. Brilliant! You sure know how to get to the heart and head of the issue. Great! Thanks for sharing!
    See you in Calgary.

  2. Hi! Greetings of Peace and All Good! :)

    I would like to use this questionnaire as an interview guide for the study I am currently conducting. I am Abby Gayeta from St. Joseph’s College of Quezon City, Manila, PHILIPPINES.

    Thank you very much.

  3. Yes, please, Abby, be my guest. I would be very interested to see the results of your study if you are able to share. Best Wishes, David

  4. Hi dear
    With my best compliments and regards
    I would like to ask about the validity and reliability for EQ Interview Questions

  5. Hello Fatima, the reliability and validity of the questions rests with the model, which was originally created by Dr. Reuven Bar-On, from 1981-1985 when he coined the term, “EQ”. His assessment for EQ, the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) was originally published in 1997 by MHS Assessments and then up dated in 2011 to the version 2.0. Rest assured the MHS Model of emotional intelligence has been demonstrated to be valid and reliable in dozens of studies all around the world. As for the interview questions themselves, I made them up based on a scientific model. As to whether the questions themselves are valid and reliable, I have not done the research, however, you could. Let me know how it goes! Best Regards, David

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