Not just IQ and OPQ but EQ too


Along with Personality Profiles, assessments of verbal and numerical applied intelligence have long been included in the armoury of those making decisions about who to choose when filling key vacancies. Although the subject prompts hearty debate amongst both supporters and detractors of such techniques, there is plenty of research based evidence which supports the inclusion of these practices. At CFR UK, we have found that an assessment of personality and critical reasoning i.e. the speed and accuracy of problem-solving in both numerical and verbal contexts, are valuable additions to other recruitment techniques.

A relatively new kid on the block and attracting more interest is EQ or Emotional Intelligence. This is perhaps the missing link which explains the strange anomaly that people with average critical reasoning scores outperform those with the highest scores 70% of the time. EQ has been described as “the something” in each of us which is intangible.

The rules for work are changing. We are being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”.

(Goleman 1999)


How we handle ourselves and how well we handle other people is at the heart of the EQ concept of. There is heightened awareness for this measure, which is particularly relevant to the modern working environment and it has a profound impact on the judged effectiveness of our work performance. The main emphasis is no longer on what we know, our specialist skills or how well we can solve complex critical problems. These are still important but they count for little in many organisations if the individual has difficulty adjusting to the pace of change and can’t interact effectively with others in the organisation.

EQ has various applications e.g. in performance development and coaching as well as in team development however, its value in selection should not be underestimated. Using trained practitioners, CFR UK is able to assess and compare candidates’ EQ as part of the selection process. It is intended as a “value add” rather than a “stand alone” measure, particularly given that selection decisions should always be taken in the context of the broader job demands. Also, the more techniques included in a selection process, the greater the likelihood of an excellent selection decision.

Like IQ, personality can’t be used to predict EQ and like IQ, personality really doesn’t change much through life although of course learnt behaviour can. Personality, IQ and EQ each cover unique ground and help to explain what “makes a person tick”. Although some people are more emotionally intelligent than others, it is possible to develop higher EQ even if you aren’t born with it.

By offering our clients detail under all three categories, we can provide vital knowledge about a shortlist – not to make a decision for the client but to provide excellent information which the hiring manager can use in making the best choice.


Angus Keiller



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