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What was the most stressful situation you have been in at work before?
The interviewer wants to hear that you handle stress with ease and do not allow yourself to get worked up during stressful times. Start off by telling the interviewer a high-level overview of a situation that was very stressful. Next, share how you did not allow the situation to change your attitude or demeanor, and mention that you handled the situation as a professional. Finally, be sure to mention that stressful times are going to happen at work, and you recognize that your job is to remain calm, professional, and positive during these times.

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User-Submitted Answers

What was the most stressful situation you have been in at work before?
A manager was demoted and I was promoted so adjusting to that period was a little stressful.
The most stressful situation that I have faced is being given a job that requires attention to detail and having less than the usual time to get it done. However, I worked hard and achieved the goal within the deadline.
My most stressful situation was when I worked at Toys R us I had to work for 2 people because they called in sick and the store was packed that day so I was on the floor and in the back, dealing with phone calls, holds, and delivering to cars. But by the end of the day my manager said I did good and she was thankful.
My time in bakery business offered many stressful times when the transport truck was extremely late providing our product to our routes. We had to prioritize which customers would need to be served first and which ones would have wait until later in the day, As a manager, I would many times load up my van with product for restaurants that depended on the product being on time and deliver myself. This usually resulted in me having to work on my day off to stay caught up on my duties.
I think during our closing was the most stressful, assisting people who were concerned about finding other jobs after working in the same role for in some cases 20 years.
We were short staffed during our lunch rush and we all worked as a group and combined our forces and were able to succeed and get all of the orders out to our customers.
Being on a conference call, getting called out and not being prepared for the question. Knowing your about to stumble on your words with 15-20 people listening.
Having a long line up and running out of the advertised item.
Having to expose a fellow worker who was stealing.
Well once a lady physically threatened to harm me because it was against the store policy to buy cigarettes on a gift card.
Fixing a product that a customer needed, or helping someone complete a task they have never done before. Although it may seem stressful these things are exciting and offer opportunities to learn new ways to solve problems.
The most stressful situation was probably black friday. Black Friday there was 9x more people. Having a long line that went around the whole store and out to mcsports.
The closing down of zellers, because at that time there were outside consultants that pretty much controlled the prices in the store because it was liquidation and it was hard to provide customer satisfaction because there was little to no room for negotiation.
Mcdonalds during a busy lunch rush when a bus carrying a sports team showed up.
Customer was extremely upset at another assosiate and I was fearful for her welbeing. Manager came and defussed the situation.
When our office is short handed it can make for a stressful time.
Never happen ever I do my job the right way as directed.
When someone is irate, screaming, I just remain calm, let it pass, and try to seek another to assist me with that person or situation.
Out of stocks, short handed, line of customers needing a manager and missed lunch for starters.
The most stressful situation is working in the bank as a personal financial associate is when the winter season starts it is very difficult to get customers to drive to the bank for investment so knowing that instead of having 12 months to meet investment goals I always work hard to reach my goals by October that is 10 months instead of 12
When there not enough help to help out the customers.
Getting close to deadlines, but always kept customer in the loop ,
Getting ready for Inventory and then getting moved to other stores and getting them ready for inventory.
When the stores are busy its a long line up and running out of advertise item.
Having to many customers and only me to serve. But I still do my best.
Had a lot of customers at one time which was quite stressful but with team effort and staying on task we handled it very well.
Dealing with a customer who was belligerent. I calmed him down by expressing my sincere apologies for the mistake and helped him resolve the causing issue.
When working at the golf club, a customer had requested that we set their function up a certain way then changed their mind last minute.
Having too many customers come to me for help and I couldnt help them all at once.
I was threatned to be killed as well as my family for nothing I did. When the problem was taken to my supervisor, not much was don on their part.
Being Second in command at a Daycare with 10 Children during activity time. The Children are excitable and need to be calmed but in a way that is kind and gentle.
I have never been in a stressful situation at work.
Having many tasks to complete in a short period of time.
I was in charge of an operations center in Afghanistan that dealt with passing time sensitive information to military units that might be in danger. Our effectiveness (or ineffectiveness)could mean life or death for US military personnel, so pretty much every day was filled with stressful situations.
When the teacher said if you need help ask the tutor, and everyone wanted me to help them and they were like 35 student and each one had a different question.
Working in a busy holiday when the store was overly busy and I am trying to serve each and every customer as quickly as possible.
When they told me I was getting fired.
The most stressful situation I have been in was when all the speakers in the theater stopped working and I was already slammed with task. But I took it one step at a time resolved the issue and everyone was happy.
I am not sure what stress is. I enjoy coming to work and challenge myself to improve everyday. There are challenging days but I work through them and learn from them.
Two co workers got into a fist fight. I had to break them apart and suspend them for three days. Something no one really likes to do.
Trying to make my co-workers happy when they were negative about the job so the customer did not suffer.
When a store has a special sale for a product and there is no more of the product I would ask the customer what was the their project and suggest something else that could work instead or even a better product.
The most stressful situation I have been in, at work before was when we had a grand opening promo going and ran out of the promo product. However I was able to give rain checks which helped make it less stressful.
I worked at Circle K as cashier and I was the only associate in the entore store. We got a five oclock rush on a friday evening. ANd there was a line literally out of the door.
Getting promoted into a job that I was promised training for, although the training never happened. it involved keeping track of continuing medical education for 11 physicians, and scheduling meetings for them (although there was rarely a time when all had the same time available) and some had distinct dietary needs.
Handling an irate customer when there was no free item or substitution available. In the end the store manager handled the customer.
Having many assignments due the same day. So I planned out of when i'd get them done individually to have them ready at the same day.
TOO much to do and not enough time allotted..
Probably having to tell on a friend at work that I had witness stealing while on the job.
As a head cahsier at IGA around Christmas time it would get incredibly busy and you would have 20 cashier working a day and you would have to make sure all breaks were being taking at the aloted time and answer the calls for change, managers and deal with customers too. A lot would be going on at once.
Dealing with an executive who didn't much care for people, didn't trust anyone. It was difficult to continue doing the best work I'm capable of.
That would be having to tell on a coworker for stealing from the company.
A person drove off with a pump still attached to their car and this caused a gas spill. I work on my own, mainly, in the gas station as an attendant. I placed warning cones around the pump, shut off power to that pump, collected the broken part and placed it in a non-hazardous area, and called my manager to let them know what had happened before going out to clean up the gas spill. This was all handled in a timely manner, using caution.
Once while working at subway a student asked for a sandwitch with a chipotle sauce inside a sandwitch as well as aside. I didnt understand him properly and put some extra sauce inside the sandwitch intead of aside. To this he was so grumpy and rude and started using abusive language and he hit the glass so hard that I was about to fall upon me when my manager hold it up and I appologized him.. Made him another sandwitch. My manager was very good and understanding and he let that boy a free drink with that.
I used to volunteer at a preschool, and there was this one time when all of the students were in a bad mood. I just worked with the teachers to calm the kids down when need-be, and tried to keep them on task.
I would let them solve it and not get involved.
It was when many semi trucks arrived at shipping receiving and other employees had to help as a team effort.
I used to volunteer at the YMCA, and there was one day when we had ten kids at once. The majority of them were a bit more rambunctious than normal, so it was a long shift.
Once time when I was bartending, my manager let the other bartender leave because it was so slow. About a half hour later the bar became packed. I had so many people trying to get my attention and getting frustrated, I started to get flustered and make mistakes. I then took a moment to take a few deep breaths, call my manager for help and then did the best I could, thanking everyone for their patience.
When I first began woring as a general contractor I was under funded. I found this very stresful, as there was not always enough money to pay all the bills and have enough left over to pay myself. Very stressful environment.
It's hard to pick just one, mostly being on such a strict time management routine. It's very stressful everyday.
Maybe the holidays all though they are exciting they can also be overwhelming. Big sales items going out of stock having to track down items in other stores for customers all while stocking shelves or working the floor.
Having to deal with 50 patients in one day without any break in order to prepared them for the doctor by doing their vitals.
The most stressful situation would probably be when our system was down so several customers were comming in wanting to pay their phone bill. We were unable to do that so we told them about another near store where they could do their payments.
I use to be a cashier, the fear of losing, or coming short on my till, was really stressful. I wanted to be prefect and some time I came out a few pennies short. In accouting the belief is if your short pennies it could be hundreds. This was stressful.
There was a time one of my coworker accused me for a thing that ain't even do he was broken a tv at the end they saw him on camera.
Not meeting a go-live deadline... Worked overtime until the job was completed.
A customer misread an ad and did not choose the correct sale item. He insisted he was correct and became belligerent. I calmly showed him the ad and then offered to get the correct item. The issue was resolved when he saw that he misread the sign and ad and chose the wrong item. He apologized.
When two associates were involved in a loud and heated argument in front of a customer.
My job as an inventory taker was stressful every shift because there is a lot of pressure to perform at a fast yet accurate pace. How did you handle it? By concentrating on the task I was doing and not letting distractions or pressure slow me down.
Working with my ex husband and his new wife at a catering event where we were all serving food.
The most stressful situation at work is when I have a long line of customers and we do not have enough coverage at work so I have to rush my work but be sure to provide excellent customer service at the same time.
Purchasing deadlines production being stopped due to material shortages.
Working with a client that was pretty demanding which was pretty stressful. But I got the job completed.