Emotional maturity is an essential quality for a person. When you can understand others’ feelings and can resolve others’ situations like yours, then you are an empathetic person. When it comes to professionalism, if you can be empathetic towards a problem, then the solution will come to you easily. Today, we’ll know some of the Empathy Interview Questions.
As the world moves forward, employers are keener in identifying candidates with high moral standards as the customer-employee interaction itself can influence business outcomes among other things. Hence, preparing for possible interview questions that might test your empathy is an essential thing to do.
Some Empathy Interview Questions and their Answers
The question “please introduce yourself” is the first step your interviewer takes to have a basic relationship with you. It tells about your basic details and academic and professional qualifications.
For freshers: Hi, I am Aleesha John. I was born and brought up in Canada. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Waterloo. My parents are doctors and I have a brother pursuing his degree in Sociology.
I have participated in various hackathons during college and won many national and international recognitions. Coding is my passion and I wish to pursue it as my career option. I was also an active member of debate and cultural clubs in my college.
For experienced professionals: Hi, I am William Jones. I am from Texas and I completed my MBA from Columbia Business School.
I was appointed to a top company through campus placements. Through my work experience as a manager, I have grown from a fresher to a professional. I wish to learn new skills and gain more work experience from your company.
- What or who inspires you?
This question is mainly intended to understand the emotional level of a candidate. When you explain about a person or a thing that inspires you, the interviewer finds out how you are inspired. It is a direct assessment of your personality rather than a seeking of an answer.
- My father is my greatest inspiration in life. He taught me to understand others rather than pretending that you do, and extend your complete support to them. I think that is a motto that still keeps me going while at work or in life.
- I am inspired when I lead a team successfully and I watch them learn and grow. I believe it is the best I can do for the community by creating a sense of togetherness. In my previous work, I could assemble my team for collective goals without any failure.
- What is your greatest fear?
Here is where your employer requires you to be completely honest with him/her. The greatest fear you have might affect your workflow or emotional stability while doing assigned tasks. The company has the right to know that whatever your fear is, it will not affect how you undertake tasks.
- I always fear making mistakes. In my old job, I was afraid to make any huge decisions as I was afraid of doing something wrong. But I have learned to overcome that and create my ideas into decisions useful for others.
- How was your relationship with your colleagues from last work?
This question can also be asked as “explain your relationship with your teammates in your previous project” if you don’t have job experience. The answer to this question emphasizes how much you invest in those who are around you. Your answer must reflect the importance of teamwork and how you can handle a workplace conflict between your colleagues.
- Manager: As a manager, I always try to keep the balance in my attitude between being a leader and a friend. I guide my team in the best interest of our company while being open to their suggestions.
- Programmer: Being in a group project was a new experience for me as I always used to work alone. But the experience was an eye-opener on how to be cooperative and helpful while being in a group of people working towards a common goal. Mutual respect and a helping mentality among the team members certainly improved our individual as well as group productivity.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is one of the best questions that the interviewer asks to test your empathetic qualities. Answering the question genuinely might guarantee you the job.
My greatest strength is writing. I can work even under pressure and get the work done as required. In my previous work, I once did my colleague’s work when he had an emergency even when my schedule was already packed. I am confident when it comes to writing.
My weakness is public speaking. Even when I have ideas to present, I am hesitant to speak up in a crowd. I am working on this issue but there is still a long way to go for me.
- Why did you leave your previous job?
This is a tricky question that must be answered very carefully. The employer expects you to spit out all the negative opinions you have about your previous employer. Make sure you never do that and your answer can reflect the respect you had at your old job.
I enjoyed working at my previous job but the work structure didn’t allow me to take up new responsibilities. I was good at what I do but I wanted to learn more about the marketing and sales side of the product. That is why I left there to be somewhere I can expand my skill set.
- Describe a time when you had a positive impact on someone.
This question is positive and it is your chance to impress the interviewer. A person with high emotional intelligence can answer this question effectively, preferably citing an incident from his/her life.
Back in college, I had a friend who was a brilliant musician. But he had extreme stage fear and social anxiety due to which he was unable to perform in front of others. I tried to talk to him about this but my efforts were most effective when I showed everything to him. I performed in front of others even though I was bad at it. I encouraged him thoroughly for his work and with his skills and willingness to work on social problems, he overcame his issues. I don’t think I deserve any credit here but I played my part in this story.
- Are you ambitious?
This question is not an obligation for anything. You can say no if you are comfortable where you are and don’t want to try anything further. If you are saying yes, then explain your answer and prepare yourself for follow-up questions like “when did you realize this about yourself?”.
I am very much ambitious in accomplishing my tasks at the right time and supporting everyone around me in doing so. When I set myself an objective, I tend to give my complete effort to it. I intend to complete my work in the most accurate way possible. Through this, I believe I can build trust among the people who work with me and create a positive working environment.
- How do you take criticism?
An employer may have to criticize his/her employees so that they perform to their maximum capability. But if a person does not take these criticisms well, it can affect the company and his/her relationship with the employer. Hence, the employer asks this question to understand the personality of the candidate.
In our company where I was working as the sales manager, our team accidentally prepared a wrong slogan for a client’s advertisement. He was really upset and instructed us to read the requirements carefully before work. We apologized to him and worked overtime to create a new slogan for his product in a very short time without any additional cost.
- What should people think about you?
This question aims at understanding the candidate’s self-awareness and general personality qualities. The way you want others to perceive you is the same as what you want to become or are trying to become.
I would like others to think that I am approachable. They are free to come to me at any time, hence my qualities must certainly reflect my helping mentality and cooperation.
An interview not only contains technical and professional questions. Your resume is the way the interviewer uses to understand your professional capabilities. In an interview, assessment of personality is given priority. Hence, it is important to prepare for personality assessment questions and identify a strategy to present the answers.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the major components of empathetic thinking?
There are many components for empathetic thinking which must be understood to be a person with high emotional thinking. It includes understanding the situation, identifying the needs of people around you, patience, and confidence to take appropriate action.
- What is the best way to describe yourself in an interview?
It is not easy to summarise everything about you and your complete achievements in a short period. But it is a necessary thing to do. Hence, you must consolidate necessary points and prepare your answer beforehand. Be confident and put pressure on the achievements and qualities specifically beneficial for the job you are applying for.