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15 Tips to Answer “How do you handle Stress or Pressure?”


In today’s cut-throat business world, no job is easy. So when you appear for an interview, chances are that right up front an interviewer is going to ask you the question, ‘ how do you handle stress or pressure ’. This is one of the standardized questions asked during most interviews, so instead of shaking in your seat in order to try coming up with things to say on the spot, here is a list of some helpful tips that could really help you to make a good impression as well as the bag the job.

how do you handle stress or pressure

How to answer ‘How can you handle stress or pressure’ in an Interview:

The following mentioned are few tips on how do you handle pressure and stress at work and also coping with stress at work.

1. Do not simply state ‘well’ or ‘badly’, expand on your answer:

Everyone knows that interviewers are very busy people and they prefer to not spend too much time on each candidate. In a bid to try and be brief, you should not sell yourself short by making your answers monosyllabic in nature.

You must remember that during an interview it is very important to create a good impression and make yourself noticed so that the company decides to hire you rather than anyone else. You should not go on and on but giving slipshod answers is more detrimental.

2. You should always put forth your positives rather than your negatives:

When appearing for an interview it is up to you to try and make yourself look good. Do not leave any stone unturned. Make sure that you stress on all your positive qualities and even all the talents you might have which will give you that edge over the other applicants.

At the end of the day, companies do want multi-dimensional and multi-talented people on their team.

3. An example of the stress you had in your previous job:

As mentioned above, it is important to expand on your answer; a great way to expand on your answer would be by stating the kind and degree of pressure which you were used to dealing with in your previous place of work.

When you give concrete examples, then the company really begins to take you seriously. They realise that you are an experienced professional who knows what the business world entails and you are ready to face whatever work pressure comes your way, with gun blazing.

4. Give examples of projects you previously handled:

In addition to stating the kind of working pressure which you have been used handling, you can also give examples of projects which you have previously successfully handled and expedited.

If these projects are famous ones then you are bound to get noticed by the interviewers as someone who really has an impressive CV and is worth employing. If you have a number of successful projects to boast of then, you should remember, that, half of your battle is won.

5. Say that pressure is something that excites you:

Another great thing you can include in your answer is saying that pressure is something that thrills or excites you. A normal nine to five monotonous job is not something which you can see yourself doing day in and day out.

Simply state that pressure is something you know which every job entails and it is for this precise adrenaline rush that you have entered into the business world. An answer like this really shows that you have a passion for the line in which you have chosen to enter.

6. State that pressure brings out the best in you:

In response to the question, you can say that pressure is something that brings out the best in you. Without pressure or a challenge of any sort, you do not feel compelled to really bring out the best in you.

If the pressure is something that is conceived as a negative thing by others, state that when it comes to you it becomes an extremely positive thing as you have delivered some of your best work when you have been under stress and pressure of some kind.

7. You keep yourself one step ahead:

You can expand your answer a little further by stating that since you always keep yourself one step ahead and you continuously leave room for any unforeseen occurrence, very often you are hardly ever under pressure.

You put in your one hundred percent at work and always remain focused on the task at hand. However if by chance a stressful situation does come up, your exceptional organisational and leadership qualities help you get overcome it with flying colours.

8. Say you accept pressure as a part of the job’:

If asked this question you ought to just keep your head on your shoulders and even a simple answer might really impress the judges. You can always say that you accept that pressure as an integral part of the business world and you openly acknowledge the fact that without pressure the business world would not be the same at all.

You should not be afraid to take a minute or two in order to think of what you are going to say and formulate your answer.

9. Meditation and Yoga are something which you regularly do:

In this day and age, most people turn to yoga and meditation to control work stress. If you are someone who does so, then you can state that these forms of meditation has really taught you dealing with stress and pressure in a good way.

Say that previously a stressful situation might have shaken you, but now thanks to mediation you have been able to get better control over both your body and your mind and there is no situation too daunting for you.

10. Stress on the fact that you are a quick thinker:

Once asked this question a great way to tackle it is by saying that since you are a quick thinker you are able to handle pressure and stress in the workplace when it does happen to come your way. Companies are always eager to hire those individuals that are able to put their practical knowledge into use as well as those who are able to think out of the box, as per what the situation demands. So in addition to answering the question effectively, what you do is also put out an additional skill which you have!

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when answering a question like this is by stating that you are unable to handle the pressure. Even faced with a tough situation everyone feels butterflies in their stomach, but once you have gained some experience then this feeling naturally begins to fade. So, you must have self-belief and conviction. No matter what, you should never second guess yourself as then you are doing nothing but feeding your own insecurities.

12. Your answer and behaviour should match:

One of the biggest mistakes that people make during interviews is saying loud and clear they have the ability to work under pressure but their body language suggests something which is entirely different.

Remember that interviews too are situations of stress and pressure so make sure that your answer is perfectly in keeping with your behaviour. So you must sit straight, answer well and look the interviewer straight in the eye while speaking.

13. Make sure you think of what to say beforehand:

Since this is one of the most common questions asked during an interview it would benefit you to think of what you are going to say beforehand. Thinking of appropriate things to say during an interview is something that does not come easily to all.

So rather than missing out on a good job opportunity because of lack of preparations, it will really help you to spend a few quiet moments skimming overall you can say in response to probable questions that are likely to be asked.

14. Your qualifications make you equipped to handle pressure:

A really good response you can give in response to these questions that all your experience, as well as qualifications, has really made you equipped to handle any pressure that comes your way in the workplace.

By saying something like this not only do you put forth the fact that you are a skilled professional but you also say that you are someone with a great deal of experience to back you up.

15. Keep it simple:

Lastly when it comes to answering a question like this, do not try too hard to impress the interviewers rather, sometimes even the simplest of answers could go a long way in creating a good impression.

How NOT to Answer “How Do You Handle Stress?

Have you ever thought why the employer asks such a question?

Is it wrong on the employers part to ask such a question ?

Absolutely, No. Being the hiring manager the recruiter can ask any type of question in an interview to the applicant. The employer not only looks for subjective skills but also looks for other abilities to analyze whether he is a good fit for the company or not.

How do you handle stress is a tricky question but not a typical one. A proper answer with a convincing example can not only aid you to get pass this question but also helps you impress the recruiter.

Stress or nervousness is very common when attending an interview, be it for a fresher or experienced candidate. Overcoming them and answering the question confidently is the key to get a job.

So now let us see how not to answer this question. To make your answer little more easier to understand, let us take a few examples and the types of people who answer so.

Types of Answers to Avoid:

  • “Stress? whats that”- the robot
  • “Stress triggers me to act and work smarter”- the lone wolf
  • “I usually take a step back when I feel stressed and plan an effective and best plan of action “- Over planning employee
  • ” Dude, blah blah blah. Just chill as it very common and happens at times”- cool dude

Also, make sure to avoid a few people who handle stress negatively. Some of them are

  • Angry stressor– gets angry when stressed
  • Sad sack– goes into a sad and depressing emotion
  • Shut down– goes into shutdown mode
  • Delegator– passes the task to others

Though We have mentioned 15 points on how to answer this question. Let me sum up the whole thing in a few points

Tips to Answer “How do you handle Stress or Pressure?: 

  • Begin with an example
  • Always use positive and successful examples
  • Brief about your role and action
  • Highlight the skills that helped you
  • Most importantly. your example and answer should match with your job role.

How do you handle Stress or Pressure Answer Samples:

Entry-Level Position:

While I can’t say I enjoy stress, I do have to admit that handling stressful situations has really taught me a lot about prioritization and most importantly about communication. In my most recent job I had to answer to two supervisors who occasionally assigned me conflicting tasks. Rather than trying to tackle both at the same time and ending up overwhelmed and stressed out, I sat down with both my supervisors and discussed which tasks were more urgent and which tasks could be done later. We worked out a game plan that allowed me to organize what needed to get done based on priority. We used that to build a list of assignments. Not only was I able to finish both tasks quickly and efficiently, but it gave me a lot of satisfaction every time I checked things off of the assignment list. Now I’m all about lists and making sure I’m properly prioritizing tasks and as a result, I’ve found I can handle much bigger workloads at a fraction of the stress level I had experienced before.

Management Level Position:

While I personally enjoy a bit of stress in the job as I love a challenge, I know that stress in a team can be a problem as not everyone feels that way. When I know there’s a stressful situation or a task that’s causing my team some anxiety, rather than expect them to deal with it like I do, I prefer to seek them out individually and check in with them about their concerns and how they’re handling the workload. A few months ago, we had a big project come through that meant a lot to the company. We divided up the project and I assigned parts to each of my team members. At first things were going well, but then I noticed a serious slow down in productivity. This meant things were piling up and I started to get stressed about the fact that we were falling behind, and I was afraid we wouldn’t reach our deadline. I went to each team member and spoke with them individually, trying to see where the slowdown was happening. I found that one person on the team had accepted a task they were struggling with. The team member and I put in some extra hours working on that task together and managed to bring the whole project back on schedule. Not only were we able to meet our deadline, but the team member who was struggling got some valuable training during our one on one time and we’ll be able to avoid future slowdowns if we find ourselves in a similar situation again. I’ve also made sure to let all my members know that I have an open door policy and to always come to me when they’re struggling. A good team is one where everything is well balanced, and that includes stress levels.

Executive Level Position:

As the head of a large corporation, I can’t afford to let stress affect my ability to do my job. I have a lot of people answering to me and stress from my level can filter down through the entire company and cause a lot of issues. I’ve learned that prioritization and organization are the best ways for me to help minimize stress. Of course, things still come up unexpectedly and I’ve found the best way to manage that stress is to step back and look at the big picture and see why this issue is causing stress. I also find that crowd sourcing solutions is one of the most effective ways for me to alleviate stress when it comes to a problem I’m trying to solve. A few years ago, we lost one of our major suppliers. We had a massive order to fill and our supplier was a key part of making sure that order was correct. Millions of dollars were at stake. I’m sure you can imagine it was stressful for me. Rather than panic, I brought in my upper-level management team and we sat down for a full day of problem-solving. Everyone had an opportunity to offer solutions and workarounds, and by the end of the day, we had not only found a new supplier but had managed to reduce the overall cost of the final product as a result. It was a huge win for us all and I absolutely could not have done it alone. That roundtable has become a regular part of my problem-solving process and now, any time I start to feel stress from any part of my job, I call in my team of experts to see how we can make things work.

Example Source: theinterviewguys


So this is a list of some helpful tips that could really help you when asked this question during an interview. Remember that all employers are looking to hire those individuals who have the ability to remain cool under pressure. If you are someone who does not work well under pressure then do not worry as this skill is something that can be acquired by anyone, just with a little experience.