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When they ask "How do you handle stress and pressure" for the job

At, we work with clients to prepare you for a job interview. Over the years, we've developed the capability to think like a recruiter, and analyze like a hiring manager. There are many questions that pop up in this interaction, but one above all is ubiquitous, and notorious for its penetrating nature. The answer you provide to this question is a vital component of your candidacy for that position. We will use this article to review and deconstruct the components of the question in order to understand it in both a pragmatic and theoretical sense. By doing this, you'll be better prepared to stand out.

Deconstructing the "how do you handle stress and pressure" answers

What makes for a good response to this inquiry? To find out, we have to analyze the hiring manager's motivation for asking it in the first place. Depending on your industry and the position, your future responsibility might deal directly in high pressure projects, time management, and people management. The HR person has seen your resume, and they've perhaps contacted your references. They are trying to construct a story about you, and your response to this question helps fill in the content. What you say and how you say it will reveal much about the processes you've internalized in your professional experience.

Coming up with the best answer

The best response varies across industries. We can go deeper and explain through examples. Sample answers for, say, a marketing manager job, should focus on how you elaborate a project and streamline client communication. Responses for a position in executive management of a software company should demonstrate your cool head under the pressure of glitches in development. If you're applying for a job in general labor, you need to talk about your personal strategies for staying calm and collected when the going gets rough. The very best response, then, is variable. But there are elements of a good response that are shared throughout.

Elements that stand out for "how do you handle stress and pressure" responses

The interview question is itself stressful, so one element of a successful rebuttal is your own composure. Articulate, especially when it comes to “tell me about yourself” answers. Think about the words before they flow forth. Structure your response so that it demonstrate a thorough process that's objective, becalming, and pertinent. Another element of a good response to this job interview question is illustrating your experience via storytelling. Tell about a time in a past job where something occurred that would normally raise the stress levels of the whole team. Discuss how you defused the stress for yourself, and how you interacted with others to do the same for them. This gives a clear picture, and helps the HR person see your potential.

By the end of the interview, you will have responded to many questions. This one, however, is paramount, and you should dedicate extra time to studying how you'd respond. There's nothing worse than too much empty space between you and the hiring manager. In the same breath, however, we can say that it is also detrimental to talk too much. Blabbering is a sign of nervousness. Treat your words like you would a product inspection. Approve them for release. Finally, consider using the words "make a plan," "positive thinking," "decisive action", and "put things into perspective." These are catch words that might sound cliché, but which are in fact precise strategies for relieving pressure in any situation. We have more insight to give you, so if you need help preparing for the big day, write us.

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