Personality & Emotional Intelligence
The link between personality and emotional intelligence to job performance is compelling.
 Though there is strong evidence that cognitive measurement tools are good predictors of job success, one important reason that they are not perfect predictors is that human personality is an important factor in job success. But not all are convinced that assessing workers’ cognitive abilities is worthwhile.
As the name implies, emotional intelligence (“EQ”) is not a personality trait but a type of intelligence. Beginning in the 20th century, society has viewed intelligence almost exclusively through the lens of intelligence quotient (“IQ”) tests. IQ tests have the advantage of being very reliable, but they are limited in that they measure abstract reasoning and verbal fluency. In 1990 Peter Salovey and John Mayer proposed an additional intelligence: emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is comprised of four components: First, people need to be able to accurately perceive emotions in themselves and others and have the ability to express their own emotions effectively. Second, people need to be aware of how their emotions shape their thinking, decisions, and coping mechanisms
. Third, people need to be able to understand and analyze their emotions, which may often be complex and contradictory. Fourth, people need to be able to regulate their emotions
so that they can dampen negative emotions
and make effective use of positive emotions.
When these same employers were asked to identify specific behaviors and qualities that demonstrate EQ, they responded that employees who demonstrate high EQ:
Admit and learn from their mistakes
Can keep their emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues
Listen as much, or more than, they talk
Take criticism well
Show grace under pressure
The opinions given by the surveyed employers are also echoed in academic literature on the subject. Research indicates that emotional intelligence has predictive validity “in domains such as academic performance, job performance, negotiation, leadership, emotional labor, trust, work-family conflict, and stress.”
 While some contend that emotional intelligence and personality are the same, other studies reveal that emotional intelligence is measuring something apart from personality. Specifically, when measuring emotional intelligence as a separate construct, it can be measured separately from intelligence and personality.” In one 1995 study, it was claimed that emotional intelligence was the most significant job performance predictor. However, as in many areas of research, the keynote finding of one study does not even make the footnote of a similar study. Such was the case in 2011 when a study, relying on much more data than the 1995 sample, could not support the earlier claim that EQ predicts job performance.
 Although the exact role EQ plays in the workplace is still up for debate, it is reasonable to assume from the multitude of studies linking EQ to various performance factors that a valid and reliable emotional intelligence test used in selection process should result in useful data.