Let us start with the question of the hour- Can you work under pressure?
You may think it is easy to answer such questions with just a yes, or no.
But the truth is it is a lot more than that, and takes some effort and preparation to talk about it like a pro.
It is so because nobody likes pressure, and working in such stressful situations is the absolute opposite of the ideal work environment we all seek.
But how well we perform under stress and pressure helps us stand out from a pool of average employees, and answering this well can land you the next big interview.
If you are a job seeker preparing for the most crucial stress interview questions , do read this blog and find out how to answer “Can you work under pressure?” with sample answers.
Why do interviewers ask “Can you work under pressure?”
"Can you work under pressure?" is a frequently asked interview question, especially if you are interviewing for a dynamic role that demands quick decision-making and logical thinking.
Recruiters ask important questions like “can you work under pressure” to assess your logical thinking, troubleshooting skills that identify your ability to deal with high-pressure situations.
With qualities like quick thinking, dealing with last-minute changes, and handling unexpected situations can make you an ideal candidate for any job in your field.
Through your answer, they also gauge your experience of working under pressure and decide whether you will make a good fit for the available position.
How to answer “Can you work under pressure?”
The main goal to be achieved while answering this question is to showcase flair and confidence towards your ability to perform under pressure from the recruiters.
Here are some things to consider as you prepare to answer "Can you work under pressure?".
1. Use the STAR method
The STAR technique is the most effective way to provide detailed and clear answers to interview questions.
STAR here stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
The idea is to follow the STAR method to answer interview questions, i.e. discuss the Situation, and Task, and describe the Action taken to complete it, followed by the Results derived.
STAR is an effective method of structuring an answer to discuss in brief, the context of your situation, your position in the situation, and the outcome.
To answer this question,
- Choose to talk about a professional hiccup
- Explain the tasks assigned to you
- Outline your actions step-wise to meet the said tasks
- Conclude with the quantifiable results and impact
2. Use real-life experiences to justify your answer
Those working in real-time operations know unexpected situations occur all the time.
This is where quick decision-making and logical thinking save the day.
But the main question is How do you show your interviewer that you possess these skills?
The answer is simple! You share your experiences from previous roles.
Talking about high-pressure situations while answering "Can you work under pressure?" will give them an insight into your work process and help them identify if you are the right fit for their company.
Choose a situation that was hard to deal with and discuss the process in detail to reflect you can work under pressure successfully.
3. Talk about how you manage stress
Constant stress can hamper your productivity and even motivation to an extent.
So, when answering "Can you work under pressure?", talk about stressful experiences you successfully aced with the methods and qualities that help you perform well under pressure.
Doing this will show the recruiter that you are capable of handling constant pressure, and performing well irrespective.
This is why employees aim to hire people that are self-starters and can handle a way to deal with stress.
The quality to stay calm & composed while assessing calculated, effective solutions can prove to be an asset for you in these situations.
Sample answer 1
Working under pressure is a part of what I do. As a social media manager, I have to make critical, last-minute changes quite often, especially when running campaigns for clients.
In my experience of five years, I have realized that it is crucial to not let the stress get the best of you.
So, I make sure that I take a couple of minutes to cool off and gather my thoughts before getting started.
Not too long ago, I found myself in a situation where my team, and I had to make a campaign live in less than a week.
There was so much to do and such little time.
So once I knew how tricky things were about to get, I took 10 minutes for myself and just sipped coffee while going through the ideas in my head.
Post that, I called for a team meeting, and within a team of four people, I assigned tasks to all of them.
We brainstormed and came up with ideas and themes for this campaign. We also got through the deck in 2 days and had it approved in the first go.
With the content deck sorted, we just had to figure out cost allocation, ROIs, analytical metrics, and other nitty-gritty.
Within five days, the campaign went live, and luckily, we got overwhelming responses to the same.
Sample answer 2
I always try to avoid anything that puts me in a position where the pressure adds up.
But seeing how dynamic the work gets, I’m now used to working with the same level of efficiency under pressure.
For instance, about six weeks ago, my boss asked me to prepare a presentation to be presented to the VP of the company within a day.
Since our VP only visits us a few times every year, this presentation needed to go well.
It took me a few hours to figure it out, but once I did, I got excited and ended up making the presentation well before time.
To leave no room for error, I proofread the document and sent it to some of my colleagues to get their opinion.
Finally, when we presented it the next day, our VP appreciated the presentation and was very happy. I received praise from my boss too.
Sample answer 3
Yes, I can work under pressure. Working under pressure is one of the things I had to learn over time. I used to find it uncomfortable when I started.
But in my current position as the Team Lead of Logistics, I’m often faced with a series of high-pressure situations where I’m needed to work under pressure.
After working in this capacity for two years, I can say that I have mastered the art of performing under pressure without a sweat.
Sample answer 4
I perform better under pressure as I enjoy challenging tasks and finding easy, quick solutions for complicated situations. It’s like solving puzzles for me.
In my current position, we often have to work on multiple projects at the same time. I call for several brainstorming meetings, after which I delegate tasks and decide deadlines to avoid overlapping of work.
It helps us get work done quicker, and in the process, we also achieve strong team morale.
Sample answer 5
The pressure does not make anyone happy, but since it is a part of our work life, I have developed the ability to work under pressure effortlessly.
For most of my career, I have been in roles that required me to work under a lot of pressure since real-time escalations are always waiting.
From working on my day-offs to working extra hours, I have done it all to keep work going.
For this, I thank my seniors, who mentored me to handle pressure and stay calm when there is no time to rest.
So the answer is yes! I can work under pressure without compromising on the quality of work.
Through questions like “Can you work under pressure?”, recruiters want to see how you react. The more calm and composed you are while answering, the more it works in your favor.
But make sure you find the fine line that blurs the difference between confidence and overconfidence to seem competent, but not too braggy.
All the best!