Question forms part of
Other interview questions that are similar
- “How do you stay organized and prioritize tasks during busy times?”
- “Can you describe a high-pressure situation you’ve experienced and how you managed it?”
- “How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance under tight deadlines?”
- “What are your go-to strategies for coping with challenging situations at work?”
- “How do you keep your team motivated and productive during stressful periods?”
- “What techniques do you use to stay focused and calm under pressure?”
- “Tell us about a time you had to handle multiple responsibilities simultaneously. How did you ensure success?”
- “How do you assess and manage your workload when faced with conflicting priorities?”
- “Share an instance where you had to meet a tight deadline. How did you ensure timely completion?”
- “How have you handled a difficult or stressful situation with a coworker or supervisor?”
What the interviewer is looking for by asking this question
There are probably an infinite number of questions that the interviewer could ask you on the day. Some questions are incredibly common appearing in almost every interview you will have, while other questions you might hear once and never again regardless of how many jobs you apply for.
Fundamentally though all interview questions are really trying to find out one of 3 things:
1 – Can you do the job? (Do you have the skills/experience needed?)
2 – Will you do the job? (Do you have the drive/motivation to get the job done?)
3 – Will you fit in? (Does your personality match the workplace culture? Are you likeable?)
That’s it. Those are the 3 things that the interviewer is trying to ascertain. Every question that is asked of you will fundamentally be trying to resolve one (or more) of these 3 things.
For instance, the interview question, “How do you handle stress and pressure?” aims to assess multiple aspects of your suitability for the job. Primarily, it falls under the first category, i.e., “Can you do the job?” as it seeks to evaluate your ability to perform under challenging circumstances that are often encountered in the workplace. Handling stress and pressure effectively is a crucial skill, as it ensures that you can maintain productivity and deliver results even when faced with tight deadlines or high-stakes situations.
Additionally, this question can also touch upon the second aspect, “Will you do the job?” By gauging your motivation and resilience in the face of adversity, the interviewer can determine whether you possess the necessary drive to push through tough times and remain committed to your responsibilities.
Finally, the way you respond to this question may also provide insights into the third aspect, “Will you fit in?” Your approach to managing stress and pressure can reveal your emotional intelligence, adaptability, and interpersonal skills, all of which contribute to your compatibility with the company culture and your potential to thrive within the team dynamic.
How Best To Answer ‘How do you handle stress and pressure?’
Unless the question you are asked is a straight ‘up or down / yes or no’ style question then you are going to need to learn to describe, expand and elaborate on your answers. The best way of doing this is to follow the B-STAR technique for answering interview questions.
Using the B-STAR technique, you can effectively answer the interview question, “How do you handle stress and pressure?” while providing a well-rounded response. Here’s how you can apply the B-STAR method to address this specific question:
B – Belief: Express your belief in the importance of managing stress and pressure in the workplace, and how it contributes to overall productivity and personal well-being.
S – Situation: Briefly describe a scenario where you faced a stressful and high-pressure situation at work. Keep the description simple and focused, allowing you to emphasize your role and actions.
T – Task: Explain your role in this particular situation and how you were responsible for handling the stress and pressure to ensure successful outcomes.
A – Activity (or action): Describe the specific steps you took to manage the stress and pressure in this situation. Explain your thought process, the strategies you employed, and how you adapted to overcome challenges. This part of your answer should be the most detailed and informative, showcasing your problem-solving abilities and resilience.
R – Result: Conclude by sharing the outcome of your actions, highlighting any quantifiable results or improvements (e.g., meeting a tight deadline, improving team morale, or increasing productivity). This demonstrates the effectiveness of your stress and pressure management skills and how they positively impacted the situation.
By utilizing the B-STAR method, you can create a comprehensive and engaging response to the interview question, “How do you handle stress and pressure?” This approach allows you to showcase your experience, skills, and adaptability while conveying your ability to succeed in challenging situations.
Remember though that the B-STAR technique is descriptive not prescriptive. You do not need to follow this flow strictly, go with what is best for your answers and that will allow you to put your point across and show your experience the best.
What You Should NOT Do When Answering Questions
Do not avoid the question.
Do not describe a failure (unless specifically asked).
Do not downplay the situation.
Do not overhype the situation.
Do not say you have no experience with the subject matter.
Do not reject the premise of the question.
Do not have a passive role in the situation.
Do not give a one-sentence answer.
Do not overly describe the scenario and miss the action
How do you handle stress and pressure? – Example answers
Project Lead Example
B – Belief: I firmly believe that managing stress and pressure is crucial for maintaining productivity, ensuring quality work, and promoting personal well-being in any work environment.
S – Situation: At my previous job, I was part of a team responsible for launching a new product within a very tight deadline. We faced multiple unexpected setbacks, and the pressure was mounting as the deadline approached.
T – Task: As the project lead, it was my responsibility to ensure the team stayed on track, met the deadline, and delivered a high-quality product while managing the stress and pressure we were all experiencing.
A – Activity (or action): To handle the stress and pressure, I implemented a few strategies. First, I prioritized tasks and delegated them based on each team member’s strengths and availability, ensuring a more efficient workflow. Second, I conducted daily check-ins with the team to monitor progress, address any challenges, and provide support. Additionally, I encouraged open communication and fostered a positive atmosphere, where everyone felt comfortable sharing their concerns and ideas. Lastly, I practiced stress management techniques myself, such as taking breaks and practicing mindfulness, to maintain a clear and focused mindset.
R – Result: By effectively managing stress and pressure, our team was able to meet the tight deadline and successfully launch the new product. As a result, the product received positive feedback from both internal stakeholders and customers, leading to a 20% increase in sales during the first quarter. Furthermore, the team’s morale remained high, and the experience strengthened our ability to collaborate and tackle future challenges.
Customer Service Representative Example
As a customer service representative, I believe that managing stress and pressure is essential to provide excellent service and maintain a positive attitude, even when faced with challenging customer interactions or high call volumes.
There was a situation where our company faced a significant system outage that affected a large number of customers. Due to this issue, our call center was inundated with calls from frustrated customers seeking assistance and resolution.
In this challenging scenario, my role was to handle incoming calls, provide empathetic support, and find solutions to customer issues, all while managing the stress and pressure of the increased call volume and difficult interactions.
To effectively handle the situation, I first made sure to stay organized and focused by keeping a detailed log of each call and the customer’s concerns. I also practiced active listening, ensuring that each customer felt heard and understood. To maintain a calm demeanor, I took deep breaths and reminded myself to stay patient and solution-oriented. Additionally, during breaks, I practiced brief relaxation techniques to re-energize and refocus.
As a result of these efforts, I was able to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction during this challenging time, with positive feedback from customers appreciating the empathetic support and effective solutions provided. Moreover, the experience allowed me to further develop my resilience and adaptability, ultimately improving my overall performance as a customer service representative.
Software Engineer Example
Other Interview Question and Answers
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94 Project Manager Interview Questions (And Example Answers)
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