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‘How do you handle stress?’ is a very common question asked in interviews, so, I have decided to give you some hints and tips that will help you in the future.

We all get stressed from time to time – and interviewers know that – but it’s how you deal with the stress that is important. Someone who doesn’t cope well in stressful situations are a lot less likely to be successful in a job role, as opposed to someone who has a clear plan to overcome work pressures.

So, if you think about this question and it fills you with dread, look no further. With help from the balance, I have a few tips that will help you answer this interview question:

  • Prepare: If you’ve been up to date with my interview series, I say this every week, and I will keep reminding you. Preparation is so important for interviews because it will make you discuss your points succinctly instead of waffling about unrelated topics.
  • Relate to past experiences: Everyone has experienced stress at some point in their life, and this question is the perfect opportunity to talk about it (obviously only if you handled the stressful situation well). Interviewers don’t want to hear about the times that you’ve brought a stressful situation upon yourself. So, if you’ve left a project until last minute which made you stressed, steer clear of mentioning that when you answer this question. You want to sound calm and collected when handling pressure, not all over the place and disorganised.
  • Admit you aren’t perfect: None of us are perfect, and interviewers don’t want you to pretend that you are. It’s okay to admit that when you are stressed you ask for help (when you feel it is needed). Saying something like that highlights that you are confident enough to voice your concerns in order to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Although it doesn’t sound like many tips, I believe they will really help you out in your future interviews. Keep them in mind and I’m sure you’ll be ready to take on those interviews.

Well, I have given you the advice, but, what do you actually say to that interviewer? You’ve come to the right place. If you take a look at these example answers, it will be possible to tailor them to become relevant to the job you have applied for:

  • “I am very good at handling pressure. Of course, there are times when too much pressure can lead to stress; however, I am very skilled at balancing multiple projects and meeting deadlines, which prevents me from feeling stressed often. For example, I once had three large projects due in the same week, which was a lot of pressure. However, because I created a schedule that detailed how I would break down each project into small assignments, I completed all three projects ahead of time and avoided unnecessary stress.”
  • “I actually work better under pressure, and I’ve found that I enjoy working in a challenging environment. As a writer and editor, I thrive under quick deadlines and multiple projects. I find that when I’m under the pressure of a deadline, I can do some of my most creative work.”

Although these answers may not be relevant to every job you apply for, you will be able to alter them to suit your needs. I hope you found this week’s hints and tips helpful and I hope they put your mind at ease for future interviews.

Do you have any more tips that would be helpful to answer this question? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below!

Also, don’t forget to look out for the next blog in the series where I will provide answers for another common interview question.


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