Sensitivity: Experiencing emotional content in the workplace
The sensitivity trait measures the degree of emotional content individuals experience in a situation. More specifically, the trait assesses the degree of perceiving and interpreting the world focusing on sentiment, intuition and aesthetics or on logic and realistic facts. The trait has two opposite poles, namely Objective and Sensitive. Let’s look into both poles to better understand how we assess the Sensitivity trait.
Objective: An objective person is someone who is concerned about the facts and is not influenced by personal feelings or biases. Part of being objective is being fair in your work. They try to consider both sides of an argument and avoid making value judgments. Being objective makes your work more professional and credible.
Common Descriptors: utilitarian, objective, unsentimental, tough-minded, self-reliant, no-nonsense, rough
Sensitive: People who are sensitive often make decisions on aesthetic and personal values. They usually rely on empathy and sensitivity when considering what to do. Sensitive types tend to have more refined tastes and interests and are more likely to be sentimental. These individuals strive to be well-respected in the workplace.
Common Descriptors: sensitive, aesthetic, sentimental, tender-minded, intuitive, refined
Sensitivity Interview Guide
The interview questions listed below can draw revealing answers and get you on your way to finding whether employees are able to. These interview questions will allow you to assess the degree of how objective or sensitive a candidate is.
Note: There is no right or wrong answer, the answer you are seeking is based on what best fits the role and your company culture.
Top 2 questions and expected answers
1. Occasionally our work is judged or criticized unfairly or our intent is misunderstood. Can you tell me about a recent situation that fits this description? How did you react?
Objective: Individuals who score closer towards the objective end of the scale are most likely to answer that since they cannot do anything to change the criticism they received there is no reason to allow this to affect their rest of the day. They won’t let their feelings interfere with their subsequent performance or complain about the feedback to feel better.
Sensitive: Individuals who score closer towards the sensitive end of the scale are most likely to answer that they felt profoundly misunderstood or mistreated and they were heavily influenced by the harsh judgment they received. They are likely to thoroughly explain the reasons why they felt this way as well as the feelings of others about the situation. These individuals are likely to imply that their performance was affected by this incident.
2. Describe how you would handle a situation if you were required to finish multiple tasks by the end of the day, and there was no conceivable way that you could finish them.
Objective: Individuals who score closer towards the objective end of the scale are most likely to answer that after realistically assessing the amount of workload they concluded that they would need either to ask for help or for an extension to be able to successfully complete the tasks at hand.
Sensitive: Individuals who score closer towards the sensitive end of the scale are most likely to answer that they would prefer to avoid the unpleasantness of asking for more time or help from their manager as they would not like to be seen as incompetent. They are likely to propose that they did their best to achieve the most but they felt overwhelmed.
3. Can you describe the situation when you had a different opinion than your boss or colleague and your opinion proved correct at the end?
4. Describe a situation where you were worried about the result of a project you were handling with a team member. How did you go about expressing your opinion to change direction?
5. Describe a project or idea that was implemented primarily because of your efforts. What was your role? What was the outcome?
6. Tell me about a time when your initiative caused a change to occur.