How Do You Handle Stress?


Job Interview Question & Answer: What Kind of Situation Do You Find Stressful?

Why Employers Ask About Stress

To get a clearer idea of the work ethic and personality of each candidate, hiring personnel might ask interview questions about stress. Some jobs allow small margins of error, so interviewers looking to fill a high-stress position want to make sure workers can handle expectations.

Answers To Avoid

The most important thing when answering questions like “What do you find stressful?” is honesty. Everyone feels pressure under the right conditions, so claims that no situation gets you stressed will seem arrogant. Awareness of what triggers stress and how to manage it is vital to performing well at work.

How To Answer “How Do You Handle Stress?”

Interviewers want to know that job hopefuls have a system to identify and deal with pressure. Responding to this question means admitting you feel stressed sometimes. The key to a good answer is turning a weakness into a strength. Pick a stressful past experience, then frame it as an example of reacting to difficulty positively.

Example Responses

Answering the question “What kind of situation do you find stressful?” is a simple process of breaking your response into parts:

  • Choose an example of a time from work, school, or a volunteer position when you felt overwhelmed but dealt with these emotions positively.
  • Separate your response to stress into steps: what caused you to feel pressure, how you overcame it, and the result of your self-control.
  • Apply these lessons from the past to the job you want now. How can controlling stress help in this new position?
Sample Answer 1 – Delivery Driver Job

“When I worked in a grocery store, the holidays were always stressful because they meant tight deadlines to keep shelves full. To avoid getting overwhelmed, I came up with a system to stock nearby shelves at the same time, cutting down on trips to the stock room. As a delivery driver, creating systems to limit time between deliveries helps me manage stress and meet deadlines.”

Sample Answer 2 – Fast Food Employment

“Handling too much work at once can put me under a lot of pressure, but the difficulty of school this year has helped me learn to multitask. When I feel buried under homework, I review which assignments are due soon and tackle those first, which helps me get work done on time. Prioritizing the most urgent tasks could also help me stay on top of orders and stress during lunch rushes.”

Sample Answer 3 – Pharmacy Position

“Being accurate with medicine means accepting a healthy amount of stress. I’ve learned pressure can motivate me to excel rather than paralyze me.

“As a hospital records volunteer, I was nervous at first about making a mistake. But, remembering that the test results I filed mattered to someone also helped me give full attention to even repetitive jobs. Keeping the people behind the work in mind would help me treat this job as a pharmacy tech seriously while keeping stress in check.”

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