Responding to Interview Question about Handling Stress


Faye writes:
I have problems when an interviewer asks me how I handle stress.
Any ideas on a response for this?


The Career Doctor responds:
If you’re applying for jobs that naturally include a great deal of stress — multitasking tight deadlines aggressive competitors — you need to be able to not only answer this
question but do so convincingly.
So first you need to know whether you can handle stress or not. I am assuming you can
otherwise you are applying for the wrong types of jobs. So if you can handle it and are
expecting the question you should not let a moment skip before you respond with a
strong “I work extremely well in all situations and am a master at dealing with stressful
circumstances.”
But don’t stop there. Anyone can say those words. The next step is to demonstrate how
you are a master at dealing with stress by having a anecdote — a story — that shows your
competence and ease with managing stress. Provide details so that the interviewer gets
the whole picture.
And that’s a good lesson for most interview questions — don’t just respond to the answer
but tell a story that relates to the question.
Finally one other way employers test the stress quotient of job-seekers is through the use
of a stress interview where there are often multiple interruptions and tough questions that
are designed to see how well you can handle stress (especially when you may already be
nervous about the interview).
Read more about stress interviews in this article published on Quintessential Careers:
Situational Interviews
and Stress Interviews: What to Make of Them and How to Succeed in Them
.


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