How To Answer: ‘How Do You Handle Stress?’

Questions about how you handle stress are very common in job interviews. These questions can be nerve-wracking if you have to answer them on the spot without preparing. However, it’s important to realize that you can use tough interview questions to your advantage if you prepare the right way!

In almost every job, you will encounter some sort of stressful aspect. Whether this is caused by meeting a tight deadline, reaching a specific goal or target, or an important presentation. This is also the reason why employers are interested in candidates that have stress management skills.

Stress management questions are usually asked in the form of behavioral interview questions. These questions require you to provide the interviewer with a relevant example situation that you experienced in the past during work. Behavioral job interview questions focus on work situations that you experienced and how you responded to them. The way you respond to these questions tells the interviewer more about your personality, work processes, and ethics.

You can learn more about behavioral interview questions here.

In this blog, we discuss why the interviewer asks how you handle stress, and how you should answer them. Also, read more about frequently asked job interview questions here and check our job interview preparation checklist.

Why Do Interviewers Ask How You Handle Stress?

In a lot of positions, the ability to remain calm under (a healthy dose of) pressure while still being able to perform is essential. If a job requires you to be able to adapt to challenging situations or deal with multiple deadlines simultaneously, you can expect the interviewer to bring stress management up during the interview.

The goal of interviewers is to assess how you respond to stressful situations, and if you do, this is a constructive or destructive way. For them, finding applicants who are able to cope with stress is important. Interviewers specifically look for candidates who get motivated from a healthy amount of stress on the job. These employees are able to use stressful situations to their advantage to be even more products and deliver quality work.

The best way for you to demonstrate that you possess stress management skills is by explaining how you approach complex situations in a systematic way and how you have successfully done so in the past.

The most effective way to demonstrate your stress management skills is by explaining how you plan your workdays ahead and prioritize your tasks. Interviewers look for candidates who focus on constructive communication with their coworkers and supervisors but are also able to set healthy boundaries.

Learn more about stress management questions you can expect and how you should answer them to impress the interviewer.

What Your Answers To Stress Management Questions Should Include

In short, interviewers want to get to know you better and learn more about how you approach your work. Therefore, make sure you prepare for tough interview questions such as those about stress management. By preparing the right way, you should be able to demonstrate your stress management skills by using solid example scenarios in which you used them.

Your interviewers want you to show that you can take on the day-to-day tasks that are required for the job. Furthermore, you need to show that you have the potential to grow. Behavioral questions and situational interview questions are used to get more information about how you deal with stress and challenges in your work. Basically, the interviewers want to get the following questions answered:

  1. Are you able to perform when you encounter stressful situations?
  2. Can you communicate effectively with different personalities?
  3. Are you able to adequately respond to situations that occur during your work?
  4. Are you able to adjust to changing work environments?
  5. Can you assist your colleagues or team when needed?
  6. Are you flexible in your approaches to situations at work?

Example Behavioral Interview Questions About Stress Management

Learn more about frequently asked interview questions here.

Job Interview Topics – Common Job Interview Questions & Answers

Below you can find a list of common job interview topics. Each link will direct you to an article regarding the specific topics that discuss commonly asked interview questions. Furthermore, each article discusses why the interviewer asks these questions and how you answer them!

  1. Accomplishments
  2. Adaptability
  3. Admission
  4. Behavioral
  5. Career Change
  6. Career Goals
  7. Communication
  8. Competency
  9. Conflict Resolution
  10. Creative Thinking
  11. Cultural Fit
  12. Customer Service
  13. Direct
  14. Experience
  15. Government
  16. Graduate
  17. Growth Potential
  18. Honesty & Integrity
  19. Illegal
  20. Inappropriate
  21. Job Satisfaction
  22. Leadership
  23. Management
  24. Entry-Level & No experience
  25. Performance-Based
  26. Personal
  27. Prioritization & Time Management
  28. Problem-solving
  29. Salary
  30. Situational & Scenario-based
  31. Stress Management
  32. Teamwork
  33. Telephone Interview
  34. Tough
  35. Uncomfortable
  36. Work Ethic