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

Revealing What Stresses You In The Workplace

Why Employers Ask About Stress
Hiring personnel often pose interview questions related to stress in the workplace. Some of the most common questions regarding workplace stress include direct inquiries into what candidates personally feel constitute stressful situations. While answers may vary from person to person, the overarching goal of the question and questions related attempt to gain a clearer picture of the work ethics and personalities of each candidate. Depending on the field, certain jobs may not allow for large margins of error, which employees sometimes breach when stressed beyond professional capacities. Using interview questions like, “What kind of situations do you find stressful?” clues recruitment personnel into the types of workers potential associates may become if hired.

Dos And Do Nots

Everyone Gets Stressed
Applicants should not, under any circumstances, claim to possess unflappable personalities. Under the right conditions, everyone experiences stress, good or bad. When asked about stressful situations in the workplace or what causes stress personally, avoid boasting about impervious resistance to stress. Most hiring managers consider the answer overconfident, foolhardy, and unbelievable. Applicants who respond as such may lose serious consideration for available jobs.

Reframing Weaknesses
The interview question primarily serves as a way for hiring managers to see how applicants react to stress and whether candidates possess the skills and awareness to accurately identify stress. Responding to interview questions about stress requires applicants to admit weaknesses, in most cases. One way to admit weakness to a potential employer while maintaining strong candidacy includes framing the response with specific steps taken to react to stress in positive manners.

For Example
Some workers enjoy deadlines, while others dread the idea. Applicants who stress over deadlines should reveal apprehension in the face of meeting deadlines but immediately follow up the confession with steps taken to avoid feeling stressed in similar situations. Professionals who dislike or experience stress in relation to deadlines may outline organizational skills or plans of action used to combat the anxious feelings associated with negative stress. Interviewees may talk about starting projects immediately and completing a little bit at a time over a long period to ensure the work receives adequate attention and meets any deadlines put in place, or any other methods eliminating potential drops in work performance.

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