How Can Science-Backed Testing Measure Emotional Intelligence in Candidates

Emotional intelligence (EI) has become an increasingly important factor in the workplace. It encompasses the ability to understand, manage, and utilise emotions effectively in oneself and others. As businesses strive to build resilient, empathetic, and collaborative teams, the demand for scientifically backed methods to measure emotional intelligence in candidates has surged. In this blog, we’ll explore how science-backed testing can measure emotional intelligence in candidates, the importance of EI in the workplace, and the most effective tools and strategies for assessing this crucial skill.


Emotional intelligence consists of several core components:

  • Self-Awareness: Recognising and understanding one’s emotions.
  • Self-Regulation: Managing and controlling one’s emotions.
  • Motivation: Harnessing emotions to pursue goals.
  • Empathy: Understanding and considering others’ emotions.
  • Social Skills: Building and maintaining healthy relationships.

These components contribute significantly to an individual’s ability to navigate social complexities, lead effectively, and foster a positive work environment.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence is vital for several reasons:

  • Leadership: Effective leaders often exhibit high emotional intelligence, enabling them to inspire and motivate their teams.
  • Team Collaboration: High EI promotes better communication, conflict resolution, and collaboration among team members.
  • Customer Service: Employees with high EI are better equipped to understand and respond to customer needs, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Employee Well-being: EI contributes to a healthier workplace culture, reducing stress and promoting mental well-being.


Several scientifically validated methods and tools can be used to measure emotional intelligence in candidates:

1. Genos Emotional Intelligence Inventory (Genos EI)

The Genos EI Inventory is a popular tool used to assess emotional intelligence in the workplace. It measures several dimensions of EI, including self-awareness, emotional expression, emotional reasoning, emotional self-management, emotional management of others, and emotional self-control. The Genos EI Inventory is widely respected for its rigorous scientific validation and practical relevance.

  • How It Works: Candidates complete a series of self-assessment questionnaires. The results provide insights into their emotional competencies and areas for development.
  • Benefits: Provides a comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s EI and actionable insights for development.

2. Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT)

The MSCEIT is a performance-based measure of emotional intelligence. It evaluates a candidate’s ability to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions through a series of tasks.

  • How It Works: Candidates are presented with scenarios and asked to identify emotions, solve emotion-related problems, and regulate emotions effectively.
  • Benefits: Offers objective, performance-based insights into a candidate’s EI.

Emotional Aperture Measure (EAM)

The Emotional Aperture Measure (EAM) focuses on assessing an individual’s ability to perceive and interpret the collective emotions of a group. This tool is particularly useful for roles requiring strong team leadership and collaboration.

  • How It Works: Candidates are shown a series of group images and asked to identify the emotions being expressed. The results indicate their ability to recogniSe and respond to the emotional dynamics within a group.
  • Benefits: Offers insights into a candidate’s ability to navigate group emotions, which is crucial for leadership and team-based roles.


To effectively measure emotional intelligence in candidates, businesses should integrate EI assessments into their recruitment process. Here are some steps to consider:

1. Define the Role Requirements

Identify the emotional intelligence competencies that are critical for success in the role. For example, roles that require frequent interaction with customers may prioritise empathy and social skills, while leadership positions may emphasise self-regulation and motivation.

2. Choose the Right Assessment Tool

Select an assessment tool that aligns with the defined role requirements and provides scientifically validated insights. Ensure that the tool is reliable, valid, and free from bias.

3. Integrate Assessments into the Hiring Process

Incorporate EI assessments at relevant stages of the recruitment process, such as during initial screening or as part of the final evaluation. Ensure that candidates understand the purpose of the assessments and how they will be used.

4. Combine EI Assessments with Other Selection Methods

Use EI assessments alongside other selection methods, such as interviews, psychometric tests, and skills assessments, to gain a holistic view of a candidate’s capabilities.

5. Provide Feedback and Development Opportunities

Offer constructive feedback to candidates based on their assessment results. Use the insights to create personalised development plans that enhance their emotional intelligence and overall performance.

Investing in the measurement and development of emotional intelligence not only enhances individual performance but also contributes to the overall success of the organisation. As the importance of emotional intelligence continues to grow, leveraging science-backed testing methods will be essential for businesses seeking to attract, retain, and develop top talent.


If you want to talk to one of our experts about how you can incorporate emotional intelligence assessments into your recruitment process, get in touch with our team here, or call 03 9040 1700 to learn more.


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