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How To Answer: How Do You Handle Stress?

Stress is a natural response that many of us encounter on a day-to-day basis. Believe it or not, employers know this too and they aren’t asking you this as a trick question, they are asking this to see how well you handle it. 

You may think that there’s no way to answer this question without putting the interviewer completely off you – you’re wrong! Stress can sometimes be unavoidable and it’s the way we deal with it that’s the important part.

HOW TO ANSWER:

An impressive way of answering this question is to think back to a time in work or education when you recall yourself being particularly stressed but thankfully, the end result was a success.

Provide a brief explanation outlining the following:

1. What was the cause of the stress?

2. How did you overcome it?

3. How you can apply this to future situations.

Make sure that the answer you provide them with doesn’t reflect badly on you and most importantly, doesn’t jeopardise your chances of getting the job. The answer you provide should have a positive outcome to show to the interviewer that you can handle stress.

HOW NOT TO ANSWER:

You do want to be truthful with the employer but you don’t want to provide them with your life story.  In order to truly show yourself off try to avoid the following:

1. Don’t pour your heart out about how you cry at every instance of stress. The employer is asking you this question to get a rough idea of how much work you can take on and how you have dealt with stress in the past. They want to know that the person they are hiring can deal with stressful situations in a professional manner rather than irrationally.

2. Avoid trying to convince them that you ‘don’t get stressed’, this will make you look as though you aren’t prepared and that you aren’t taking the interview seriously.

EXAMPLE:

In my previous position, I was given a project with a tight deadline. To overcome the stress, I spent extra-time at work making sure that it would be completed in time. From devoting more time and avoiding any additional problems, I was able to deliver the project on time. Although in the future, I would not choose such a tight deadline, I know that I was able to overcome the initial stress in order to deliver a successful project.

Good luck! For more ‘How To Answer’ advice go to our Youtube channel. 

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