The emotional stability trait measures to what extent a person is able to cope with daily life and its challenges. Overall, it demonstrates how people are able to balance their feelings. The two values are:
Reactive: When faced with certain circumstances, reactive individuals are affected by feelings. They experience more ups and downs in their moods than most people. In the workplace reactive individuals wait for an incident to happen and then will react.
Descriptors: reactive emotionally, changeable, affected by feelings
Adaptive: People who are able to face reality calmly. They rarely run into a problem they cannot handle and usually recover quickly from a negative event. When confronted with a problem in the workplace adaptive individuals usually bounce back to what needs to get the job done.
Descriptors: emotionally stable, adaptive, mature, faces reality calmly
The interview questions listed below can draw revealing answers and get you on your way to finding whether employees are reactive or adaptive in the workplace. These interview questions will measure the degree of how emotionally stable a candidate is.
Top 2 questions and expected answers (*there is no right or wrong answer, the answer you are seeking is based on what best fits the role and your company culture):
1. We can sometimes recognize a small problem and fix it before it becomes a major problem. Give an example of how you acted to prevent a larger problem from occurring.
How will this question help you: the answer the candidate provides will help you understand what the candidate perceives as a problem. The example the candidate provides will give you an understanding of the severity of the problem and how the candidate reacts to take corrective action in the problem.
2. Tell me about a time when you found yourself on unfamiliar territory: a new situation. How did you adapt to this situation? What was the eventual outcome?
How will this question help you: from the answer the candidate provides you will get an understanding of how quickly the candidate reacts to an unknown situation. For example, if the candidate provides an example that they were in a situation where their manager asked them to take an emergency overseas trip to a customer and expressed that he did not have an issue in travelling, the evaluation is that the candidate is quite flexible and able to adapt to situations.
3. Tell me about a time when you thought through the consequences of a specific action in planning a project. What obstacles or barriers did you discover?
4. Describe a situation in which you forecasted a problem and prepared a strategy for handling it. How did it turn out?
5. Describe a situation where you had to deal with someone who didn't like you (or you didn’t like). How did you handle it?
6. Tell me about a time when you had to use coping strategies when dealing with a high pressure situation?
7. 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?
8. Tell me about a recent threatening or difficult work situation. How did you approach this situation? What was the outcome?
9. Tell me about a time in the past year when your patience was tested with coworkers, customers, or supervisors. How did you handle the situation? What was the result?
10. We all get angry or frustrated from time to time. Give me an example of how you reacted in a recent situation.