A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology confirmed that emotional intelligence can be a highly effective gauge for measuring an employee’s suitability. To meet that need, the researchers at the Universities of Geneva and Berne, Switzerland, developed assessments for employers to use during the hiring process to determine a candidate’s levels of sensitivity to and recognition of emotions.
To create these tests, the researchers interviewed over 40 managers of Swiss-based firms to determine the attributes managers thought most important. The tests use video clips featuring actors in work-related situations and pose accompanying questions that ask how candidates would handle anger, sadness, fear, inappropriate happiness and other emotions in the workplace.
Before the assessments were released, they were tested on 800+ participants between the ages of 20 and 60, which confirmed what other research shows, that people scoring high in the ability to regulate their emotions tend to earn a slightly higher salary, that women generally score higher than men, particularly on interpreting nonverbal expressions of emotion, and that “emotional intelligence increases with age and experience, meaning it’s a faculty that can be improved and developed.” Some of the assessments are awaiting further development before being made public, but several are already available online.