With competition increasing by leaps and bounds, stress and pressure naturally come uninvited. It is extremely important to understand what causes stress and how to tackle it for a flawless performance.
No wonder interviewers nowadays are keen on learning how working professionals handle stress and pressure, making it one of the most frequently asked interview question.
In this blog we shall find out how to answer the ultimate question, "How do you handle stress and pressure?"
Sample Answer #1
“In my last organization, I was assigned a very important project at the last minute. And, since my seniors were busy in their respective projects I was left to handle the project all on my own.
Although it seemed very daunting initially, but later I calmed down and chalked out a plan, which helped me to tackle the project and efficiently meet my deadline.
With focus and perseverance, I managed to complete the task and that too on time. The boss was also much pleased with the results.”
Sample Answer #2
“During any kind of stressful situation, I prefer to stay calm. Now, take for example, one of my clients do not approve of a product that I had sent.
So, in this case what I will do is, communicate with my client and take detailed feedback about the product. Then, I will chalk out a plan to get my work done without wasting time.
Based on the feedback received, I will once again start working on the project and ensure that all the loopholes have been covered and the client's concerns have been addressed.
So, instead of panicking, I relied on my communication skills to talk to my client. This not only helped me save time but also the client's feedback helped me to create a better product of his/her desire."
"There was one time when a chance arose of our production getting delayed due to last minute glitches. And, delay in hitting the market would directly indicate a fall in sales of the product.
So, instead of panicking and scrambling, we decided to work a few extra hours and get the job done on the said date. With proper communication skill and team effort, we managed to pull off the task.
One thing I totally believe in is that panicking during stressful situations will never solve the problem. So, it is best to remain calm and handle it accordingly."
Sample Answer #3
“I believe that stress can be of 2 types, good and bad. I think it can be universally accepted that too much stress has never been of much benefit to anyone. However, a good amount of stress can actually help to push our limits and produce better results.
As for me, I believe a healthy amount of stress provides me with enough challenge to stay focused and to get out of my comfort zone. This, in turn, helps me to achieve better results.
Over the years, I have developed this habit of assigning deadlines to myself, which has helped me to consistently submit assignments on time.”
Sample Answer #4
“While handling a team, it is really important to be observant of the it's dynamics. I understand the difference between good and bad stress.
So, whenever I feel that the team's dynamics are changing under excessive stress, I communicate with my teammates about it. I believe when in stress, you have to maintain your calm in order to get your work done.
So, I prefer to listen to their concerns and also check in on them. After all, a team is known for its group efforts. So, a happy and stress-free team will produce better work.”
Sample Answer #5
“Given the extreme competition nowadays, I understand that stress will come uninvited.
Therefore, I engage in some of the other exercises to keep refresh myself and do away with the negative energy that stress brings in.
I think exercise plays a very important role in handling stress as it helps to lift up one’s mood and also helps to handle the problems better with better reflexes.”
Sample Answer #6
“I believe your lifestyle has a deep impact on how you react in workplace stress. Therefore, I have made it a habit to engage in outdoor sports and yoga to keep stress at bay.
On the work front, I like to keep myself organized. My deadlines are always marked on a calendar and put on my desk. This helps me to remember the deadlines of the projects and produce better results.”
Important interview tips
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while answering 'How do you handle stress and pressure?'and how to formulate your answers accordingly.
1) Understand the importance of the question
‘How do you handle stress and pressure?’ is a classic behavioral question. Through this question, the interviewer basically wants to understand the interviewee as a person and how he/she responds to workplace stress.
In this case, it is best to highlight your skills and use real-life examples while answering. Only then can the interviewer utilize the information to consider whether or not you will be a good fit for the position.
2) List down your soft skills
To answer such a question, make it a point to jot down your soft skills, such as adaptability, communication, time management, organization, leadership and problem-solving.
The reason for listing these inter-personal skills is because when in stress, these traits are the ones you will rely on majorly. Also, your interviewer will be interested in learning about how your soft skills can benefit the organization.
3) Provide with relevant examples
Now, with your soft skills listed down, ensure that you can cite examples which will highlight your soft skills in times of stress.
4) Focus on the positive actions
Avoid blaming others for your stress, instead, highlight the way you overcame the situation. Answer the question highlighting the soft skills you used to get over the situation.
5) Do not deny your stress
Feeling stressed is only human. So, do not deny your stress. Instead, try to answer it in a positive manner. However, if you cannot recall a specific time where you have faced workplace stress, then focus on how you manage stress on a daily basis.
It is best to avoid citing negative examples, such as the time you forgot that a project was due the next day. Such examples will leave a negative impression about you, and trust me that is not something you would want.
Tips to manage workplace stress
Apart from these, here are a few habits to inculcate in your daily life to keep away from workplace stress in general.
1) Identify what causes you stress
Try to maintain a record of the most minute of the details related to the episode of stress.
2) Develop healthy response
It is common human psychology to find solace in food at the slightest trace of stress. Instead, opt for healthier lifestyle choices to deal with stress.
Take, for example, exercising. It is considered that exercising daily is a very good way to keep stress away.
3) Learn to draw a boundary
It is understandable that in today's time the pressure of work will force you to be available 24x7. Trust me, this is not healthy, neither professionally nor personally.
It is very important to draw a line between work and personal life, and that too as per your convenience.
4) Learn to relax
Although this might sound like preaching, a few minutes of meditation can actually help to focus on a single activity without entertaining distractions.
With small steps, your focus will improve and you will be able to apply it to many different aspects of your life.
5) Talk to your supervisor
Employee health plays a crucial role in the modern-day workplace. Therefore, your boss has an incentive to remove workplace stress from within his/her team.
But, do note that the purpose is not to lay out a list of complaints. The objective is to find a solution to the problems and help you perform better.
6) Get support from family and friends
More often than not, millennials are away from their home in a different city for work. Now, add to it workplace stress! Not a good combination, right?
Therefore, it is extremely important that one takes the time out to talk to trusted friends or family members about what's causing them stress. This can help to improve your ability to manage stress.
With these tips and tricks, you will surely crack your next big interview.
All the best!