Competency Interview Questions

25 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Competency was updated on May 4th, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

How do you deal with stressful situations in the workplace?

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Competency Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    How do you deal with stressful situations in the workplace?

      How to Answer

      Ah, the challenge of stress management! Your ability to manage stress will directly influence your ability to do your job successfully. Before answering this question, think of some ways you have learned to deal with stress at work. You can't always take a break when you need it, so what will you do?

      Some workplace stress management strategies are:

      - Track your primary stress factors and make a plan for overcoming those
      - Establish boundaries with distracting coworkers
      - Breathing exercises, or meditation
      - Be sure to recharge your emotional batteries throughout the day
      - Express your stress to your manager/supervisor
      - Ask for help

      Rachelle's Answer

      "I've learned some helpful breathing techniques that I can do while I'm at work. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a situation, I can slow down my breathing and remain calm. Once I understood that it was okay for me to take a minute for myself, I learned to handle workplace stressors in a whole new way."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "I tend to work best under stressful situations. For example, the pressure of deadlines from my boss often drive me to work faster and better. I am resistant to stress and able to focus on the work that needs to get accomplished."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "When stressed, I try to take a break, re-focus, and then get back to work. I also like listening to music in my office when it's appropriate. Not all businesses are OK with that, and I understand."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "Stressful situations are bound to happen, and I typically take them as they come and they don't ruffle me too much. I know it's part of the creative process and it's going to pass soon enough."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "Retail can be very stressful, especially during the holiday season, Black Friday, and other major sales. I resist the stress by being prepared, taking one task at a time, and encouraging teamwork."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "I do well under pressure or stress, within reason. I obviously need to balance myself and my workload out, as much as possible, or it can become an overwhelming workplace vibe. I know myself and my triggers pretty well, so when I feel like there's too much on my plate, I know how to center myself and just dig in and get through it, knowing I'll come out better on the other side."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I take stressful situations in stride, as much as possible. I'm a mom, a teacher... not a whole lot can phase me at this point, honestly."

      Darby's Answer for a Surgical First Assistant Interview

      "I suppose all health care providers could tell one thing or another that makes us feel like the area we work in is unique. That is because we all do have unique responsibilities, but one main goal, which is to give our patients a better quality of life."

      Clara's Answer for a Wedding Photographer Interview

      "I always come prepared with my own lighting equipment, even when aiming for primarily natural light shots. If the couple has specific requests for certain equipment, such as lighting for a selfie station, then I coordinate with them in advance to ensure that we bring everything needed and then some."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Home Health Aide Interview

      "As a home health aide, I fully expect to be put into stressful situations and can professionally handle a broad scope of pressure. In my current role, I work in stressful situations every day. I have been working with children recovering from cancer treatment, and it is very stressful working with them and their families. I practice yoga every day before my shift, and that helps keep my stress levels down. My current supervisor, if you call for a reference, will also be able to attest to my coping strategies when under stress and pressure."

      Clara's Answer for a Wedding Planner Interview

      "I often have couples comparing their events to other weddings and comparing their relationship to other couples. The best advice I can give to those couples is to not compare because no two couples are the same. It can be easy for us to lose sight of what we want when comparing to others, so I always try to bring it back to the two most important people in the relationship - the newlyweds themselves!"

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Associate Interview

      "As a Sales Associate, I fully expect to be put into stressful situations and can professionally handle a broad scope of pressure. I remain calm when facing a stressful situation and look for ways to solve the issue swiftly. For instance, if there is an unexpected customer dispute, I will determine what can be done to ensure the customer is cared for. I am always ready to adjust my day because stressful situations are bound to occur when working in sales. My current manager, when you call for a reference, will also attest to my coping strategies when under stress and pressure."

      Heather's Answer for an Ultrasound Technician Interview

      "I have learned to stay relaxed and try not to react. For example, I prioritize tasks that need to get done each day working towards that final deadline to make sure I use my time wisely and have realistic expectations. This helps me to feel less stressed."

      Ryan's Answer for a Ramp Agent Interview

      "Knowing a member of your team here, I am confident that I would thrive in the fast-paced setting of a Ramp Agent. During my career, I've worked both in a large call center and in restaurants, and both of these settings were very fast-paced. As a waiter for a popular restaurant, I was on the move for an entire shift with no time to sit down. Whether taking orders, filling beverages, or cashing out customers, I had to be flexible in my duties and ready to shift on a moment's notice. If hired here, I foresee myself handling the pace of the work really well."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Technical Support Specialist Interview

      "As a Technical Support Specialist, I fully expect to be put into stressful situations and am able to professionally handle a broad scope of pressure. My current supervisor, if you call for a reference, will also be able to attest to my coping strategies when under stress and pressure."

      Krista's Answer for a Psychiatric Aides Interview

      "I do yoga every morning before work which reduces my stress and helps me in stressful situations. I always remain calm and help diffuse the situation. I have found when I remain calm and in charge of the situation, others follow my lead."

      Lisa's Answer for a Petroleum Engineer Interview

      "I find that being under stress motivates me to accomplish my tasks quickly and efficiently. I have always enjoyed working in an environment that challenges me. Stress motivates me in a way to keep my focus and stay on top of the tasks at hand."

      Audra's Answer for an Elementary Teacher Interview

      "When I get stressed, I know that I tend to get tunnel vision, and I bury myself in my work. So I set timers to keep myself on track, and when I set alarms to take a break and take a breather. When I get home, I cook because it focuses me on a task in the present moment. Then I write in my journal if I need to get anything out of my system. That way, the next morning, I'm refreshed and ready to meet the day."

      Shane's Answer for a Student Teacher Interview

      "When I started some classroom collaboration last semester, the teacher wanted me to work with a young man with A.D.D. Though his attention span was short, I had to try to keep him on track and vary the lessons taught to help him personally. One way the young man had success was through repetition, so we continued to press ahead in that manner."

      Ryan's Answer for a Social Studies Teacher Interview

      "I have learned to stay relaxed and try not to react. I know what situations make me stressed, and I know how to respond. Typically if I am overwhelmed with too much work on a tight deadline, I prioritize tasks that need to get done each day working towards that final deadline to make sure I use my time wisely and have realistic expectations. This helps me to feel less stressed."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Treasurer Interview

      "Yes, I'm motivated by pressure. Sometimes it helps give me that extra push to complete projects. I stay motivated by setting deadlines on my calendar and milestones for goals I want to achieve, so that I can maintain my momentum each step of the way."

      Krista's Answer for an Optician Interview

      "I am leaving my current job because I am undergoing a career change. Currently I am working as a retail clerk, and after a friend went to school to become an Optician, I decided to do the same. Once I am hired as an Optician, I will be putting in my notice at my current job."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Zookeeper Interview

      "I do work well under stressful situations. In my current position the most stressful situations are when an animal needs to be quarantined. During that time, I remain calm by strictly following the guidelines I am given. This keeps me focused and alleviates a lot of pressure."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Warehouse Clerk Interview

      "I always remain calm and look for ways to swiftly solve the problem. For instance, if there is an unexpected deadline, I will determine what can be done to ensure the deadline is met. I will do a mindmap of steps to ensure successful completion and will delegate a few tasks if necessary. In brief, I am always ready to adjust my approach because stressful situations are bound to occur in a warehouse environment."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Medical Transcriptionist Interview

      "I know how frustrating it can be waiting on test results. However, my job as a transcriptionist is not direct patient care. I would tell my family member that I am not allowed to discuss any information in any reports that I may see and that she has to either call her doctor's office or make an appointment to go in to get her results."

      Audra's Answer for a Librarian Interview

      "I've seen the library get busy and hectic, so I know there is not often downtime. There are always things to be done, and I enjoy keeping busy. When I begin to feel any kind of pressure, I take a moment to step back and prioritize. The experience of people who visit the library should always be top of mind, but so should maintaining a clean and safe space. I would be sure to consider all that needed to be done, prioritize the highest need items, and delegate amongst the entire team to tackle tasks during busy times. Once busy times pass, I would reflect on my performance to ensure I got it right, and readjust next time, if necessary."

      Ryan's Answer for a Preschool Teacher Interview

      "I've learned some helpful breathing techniques that I can do while I'm in the classroom. Sometimes my kids will do them with me! Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a situation, I can slow down my breathing and remain calm. Once I understood that it was okay for me to take a minute for myself, I learned to handle workplace stressors in a whole new way."

      Krista's Answer for an Optometrist Interview

      "Working in a busy practice, the work schedule can be quite stressful with back-to-back patients and the occasional emergency patient. The way I manage stressful workdays is by being organized and planning my day in advance. I leave room in the schedule to accommodate the unknown, which keeps the staff from becoming stressed and my patients from having to wait too long to see me."

      Christina's Answer for a Newspaper Delivery Driver Interview

      "I feel that I do some of my best work under stress. I am able to fully concentrate and immerse myself into the job without interruptions."

      Heather's Answer for a Psychiatrist Interview

      "Uncertainty on completing a task sometimes causes me stress, but I typically focus on research and information-gathering to resolve this challenge. I never hesitate to reach out to my leader should I beco"

      Rachelle's Answer for a Laboratory Assistant Interview

      "I have been told by my previous and current supervisor that I manage stress very well. Being a laboratory assistant is a demanding position, and I knew that before I committed to this career path. I stay calm by being an open communicator and keeping the end goal in mind."

      Heather's Answer for a Phlebotomist Interview

      "I have learned not to take words or actions of stressed patients personally. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a deadline and being pulled in too many directions, I can ground myself knowing that I'm providing the best customer service and care for my patients the best way that I can."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Swim Instructor Interview

      "I am very good at managing stressful situations. I have experienced stress on the job many times but one particular experience was just last week when I had a child, untrained, jump into the deep end of the pool without a lifejacket. He wasn't trained and it was certain that he was in over his head. The parents were watching which added a lot of stress to the situation. I was able to get my class to jump out of the pool while I tended to the child. In the end, he was okay. It was very intense."

      Ryan's Answer for a Newspaper Editor Interview

      "Whenever I feel stressed out, I tell myself to slow down and breathe. If I feel myself getting tense, or my heart starts racing, I know immediately that I'm stressed and I discreetly pinch myself in the leg to remind myself that I'm in control.

      There was this one time that a writer was getting very short with me about the edits that I suggested. I could tell from the beginning because he was frowning and staring at the page, I noticed that's what he does when he's stressed out. He started yelling at me, but I didn't yell back. Instead I showed him compassion. In the end, we worked things out much faster that way, and we were able to meet the deadline."

      Heather's Answer for a Critical Care Nurse Interview

      "I remember when I first began my nursing career, I thought I had to do everything for everyone. I ended up taking on too many tasks and falling behind with my assignments. One of my supervisors told me that a patient had complained because I seemed too rushed and asked for a new nurse to be assigned to her. I was so embarrassed because I didn't want anyone to feel like I couldn't do my job. I apologized to the supervisor and to my patient and explained that I had taken on some extra assignments, but that I didn't mean to make her feel neglected. When I apologized, the patient agreed to let me continue caring for her. I learned from that experience that it's ok to want to give more, but that I should not stretch myself too thin and risk
      compromising patient care."

      Cassandra's Answer for a Recreation Workers Interview

      "There will always be different stressful situations at work, but what I like to do is take a deep breathe in that moment and figure out what my next steps are. In really high stress situations I like to follow up afterwards with my supervisor to talk about the situation, how I handled it, and how I can do better next time."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Kitchen Helper Interview

      "I am very good at handling stressful situations. Working in a kitchen for so many years, I am accustomed to pressure situations. My previous chef often complimented me on my ability to manage stress well. I'll take a quick breather throughout the day if needed and other than that, I just let things roll off my shoulders if they get too stressful."

      Nisha's Answer for a Microbiologist Interview

      "I enjoy having some flexibility in my day, either with my location or being able to sit or stand and move around a bit. One thing I love about my career is that I can spend my time working hands-on in a lab and also analyzing data at a desk. I also like to have some predictability, so it helps for me to know what the general cycle of things looks like and how I contribute on a day-to-day basis."

      Cassandra's Answer for a Youth Program Director Interview

      "I haven't hired anyone yet, but from my personal experience I have used job sites and gone to job fairs. Another way I've seen people hired is word of mouth from current employees, when you're employees feel they are respected and treated fair they are more likely to recommend other people to work there."

      Ryan's Answer for a Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers Interview

      "When things get stressful at work, I tend to get nervous and fidgety. So I just remind myself to take short breaks periodically. I set a timer and, when it rings, I stand up, take deep breaths, and stretch. I also keep a little notepad next to me to remind me of what I was working on just before the break, so that I can make sure I don't make mistakes or overlook something important."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Legal Assistants Interview

      "Yes, I do work very well under pressure. One example of this is when I worked in my previous firm I was a legal assistant to 2 full time lawyers, and one part time. I heard from them a lot that I always managed the pressure in a very professional and calm way."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Investigator Interview

      "I took a couple of classes including Interview & Interrogation when I was completing my Criminal Justice degree. These courses taught me helpful basics. Over the years, I have further mastered different interrogation techniques, including cognitive interviews, leading and loaded questions, and kinesic interviews. I am very confident in my interviewing skills; however, I am always open to deeper learning."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Language Interpreter Interview

      "I respond well in stressful situations. My previous supervisor often complimented me on this fact as well. When I do find myself in a stressful situation, I am sure to take a step back. I breathe, and then assess before reacting. I am conscious to always react in a way that I would be proud of, no matter how high the stress level is."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Summer Law Clerk Interview

      "In stressful situations, I always remain calm and look for ways to be more efficient. For instance, if there is an unexpected deadline, I will determine what can be done to ensure the deadline can be met, I will write down the steps to take to ensure successful completion and will delegate a few tasks if necessary. In brief, I am always ready to adjust my approach because stressful situations are bound to occur in a professional environment."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Interior Designer Interview

      "There can be a lot of pressure in this job when collaborating with architects and tradespeople. We all have timelines to meet, and some days, it can be a challenge to satisfy all of these deadlines. However, I find that as long as I maintain a professional and courteous attitude, most situations can be figured out before they turn into a conflict. Just last month, a situation became heated between a contractor and myself when he said that my design idea was 'impossible.' Luckily the architect was on-site and disagreed with the contractor. We were able to maintain respect for all opinions, and we verbally worked out the misunderstanding. I believe that every project is about the clients' vision and never about ego. As passionate professionals, it's essential for everyone involved in the project to keep this mantra in mind. Contractors, architects, and tradespeople are critical to every project, and without them, I could not be a successful Interior Designer. For that reason, I am always mindful of working as a positive team player."

      Krista's Answer for an Orthopedic Physician Assistant Interview

      "I handle stressful situations by using my excellent communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills. Recently, I had a patient in the emergency department who had a fractured femur. His mother arrived at the ED, pushed her way into the room, became hysterical, and started hitting the nurses that were treating him. She was very disruptive and combative. I was able to calm her down and escort her out of the room while talking in a soothing voice. She was afraid her son had more serious injuries and was going to die. I told her exactly what his injuries were, reassured her that he was not going to die, and told her if she would wait patiently in the waiting room, I would let her see her son after we had him stabilized. I also had a volunteer working in the emergency department sit with her until a friend or family member could arrive to be with her. I felt that taking a few short minutes helped diffuse the situation, and I was able to get back to work on my patient."

      Krista's Answer for a Rehabilitation Counselors Interview

      "I handle stressful situations by remaining calm and in control of the situation. I maintain my professionalism by listening to what is causing the stress and solving the problem. I recently encountered a stressful situation when a patient's family member called me and said their son had been fired from a job after I had placed him there a week before. Without their son's job, he would not financially support himself, and he lost his healthcare. I met with the employer and found there had been an argument between my patient and a customer. My patient was working on anger issues, and the employer determined he could not work with customers. I asked if there was another position that did not involve customers and if the employer was willing to place him in that position. He did have another administrative position that was a fit for my patient's skillset. The employer agreed to rehire my patient, and the situation was resolved."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Machinist Interview

      "I've learned some helpful breathing techniques that I can do while I'm at work. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a situation, I am able to slow down my breathing and remain calm. Once I understood that it was okay for me to take a minute for myself, I learned to handle workplace stressors in a whole new way."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Millwright Interview

      "I am quite proud of my strong abilities to work well under pressure. High pressure situations force me to try harder, be more critical of my work, and assess my priorities more stringently."

      Ryan's Answer for a Ticket Agent Interview

      "My current workload can be very stressful at times, and I handle this flawlessly by staying focused on one task at a time and maintaining a positive attitude at all times. There have been countless times that I have watched my colleagues become too stressed out and quit by trying to juggle too many tasks at one time and become frustrated. This drives them to the point of no return. I also am a firm believer that work stress can be greatly reduced by what a person does outside of work. For me, the ability to handle a high stress work day starts in the morning with personal hygiene, a good breakfast, and some motivational music on the commute. After work, working out and spending quality time with family help me feel refreshed and settle in to get a good night's sleep."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sound Engineering Technicians Interview

      "I always remain calm and look for ways to be more efficient. For instance, if there is an unexpected deadline, I will determine what can be done to ensure the deadline can be met, I will write down the steps to take to ensure successful completion and will delegate a few tasks if necessary. In brief, I am always ready to adjust my approach because stressful situations are bound to occur in a professional environment."

      Krista's Answer for an Orthopedic Technician Interview

      "Yes, I work very well under pressure. When faced with a high-pressure situation, I find that I need to take a deep breath to calm myself and focus on the situation in front of me. I realize the importance of working under pressure in this profession and have proven that I respond well. While I was completing my internship, I was assisting a surgeon who was performing a hip replacement. Suddenly, the patient started hemorrhaging from a nick in their artery, and their blood pressure dropped. Without being told what to do, I grabbed some sterile sheets and applied pressure to the patient's artery to slow the bleeding. The surgeon was able to suture the artery and stop the bleeding quickly. He said I was very helpful and quick-thinking to apply pressure and that it helped save the patient's life."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sous Chef Interview

      "I handle stressful situations by taking the time to step aside, take a deep breath, and assess the situation at hand before reacting. I will ask for help when needed and am not afraid of learning something new."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Host or Hostess Interview

      "I know that working in a restaurant can be fast-paced and stressful, but I am comfortable working in that type of environment. I have worked retail during the holidays and learned to stay calm, take breaks when I can, and not to take anything personally."

      Heather's Answer for a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Interview

      "Pressure is very important to me. Good pressure, such as having interesting clients, or a client with what seems to have an impossible case, helps me to stay motivated and productive."

      Clara's Answer for an Airline Steward Interview

      "If I am in the middle of a stressful situation, I try to pause and focus on my breathing. I'll either count breaths or count seconds, and it's usually able to ground me surprisingly quickly. If I find that I need more of an opportunity to decompress, then I'll get some exercise in, either with a walk, run, or quick visit to the gym. Getting that stressful energy out of my system helps me hit the reset button and keep moving."

      Christine's Answer for a Line Cook Interview

      "As a line cook, working in a fast-paced environment under pressure comes with the territory. It is the only environment I know! In all of my roles as a line cook, I have continued to contribute high performance during high-pressure meal servings when it pays greatly to hustle!"

      Rachelle's Answer for an Urban and Regional Planners Interview

      "Last week our client made some pretty significant changes to our plans just 2 days before the submittal deadline. Everyone was really stressed. I agreed to work many hours of overtime for those 2 days so that we could hit the deadline our client required. It's easy to freeze up in times like that so I was sure to create a milestones schedule and stick to that. I also made sure to utilize our technical staff and junior planners more than usual. We hit our deadline and our client was thrilled!"

      Heather's Answer for an Addiction Counselor Interview

      "I am pretty open with regard to what kind of schedule I can work. I do have children and would like to spend some after school time with them. However, my spouse and I work well together to make sure that one of us is home when the other is not. Also, we have additional family resources if the children need to be supervised and neither of us is able to be home at a specific time."

      Ryan's Answer for a Respiratory Therapists Interview

      "When I start to feel stressed, I take a step back and remind myself to stay calm. I also take time to think through any challenges I'm facing to troubleshoot or problem-solve. By removing myself just for a moment and thinking from a 10,000-foot overview, I can assess situations and find the best way to manage them."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Security Guard Interview

      "In my current job I work by myself about 75% of the time, with absolutely no issue. My supervisor often comments on how he appreciates my ability to stay alert and motivated, even on quieter night shifts where I am working alone. I am not one to twiddle my thumbs or be bored. There is always something to check out, watch, and look after. You can rest assured that I would work very hard no matter the level of supervision."

      Heather's Answer for a Substance Abuse Counselor Interview

      "I can cope with stressful situations very well. Not only my situations, but I advise patients on how to handle their stressful situations. When handling stressful situations, I stay motivated by thinking about the end result. I've found that during a challenging situation, I remind myself of my goals, and it helps me take a step back and stay positive."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Preschool Director Interview

      "One thing I have learned, over my years of being an educator is that kids learn much better when they have the opportunity to move around and express themselves in a safe and welcoming environment. When I was teaching, I created learning stations in my classroom, where students would have 'free time' during the day to explore various stations. The stations they each choose showed me a great deal about their learning preferences. Some enjoy tactile-based tasks; some like to read - others, to practice writing their name. Now, as a Preschool Director, I help my teaching staff to develop a wide range of learning opportunities for their students. There are eight primary learning styles, all of which our school works hard to accommodate. These learning styles include visual, verbal, and aural learners. Also, we have logical, solitary, and naturalist learners. In addition to these, we have students who identify as social and physical learners. For visual learners, I ask my teachers to provide visual metaphors when storytelling or introducing a new concept. For verbal learners, we make sure there is time for the teacher to read aloud to the class. For aural learners, we provide access to audiobooks, and we introduce activities where students can problem-solve out loud. When it comes to logical learners, we present age-appropriate facts that they can memorize. Solitary learners receive independent problem-solving tasks throughout the day, and naturalist learners receive exercises where they can find patterns and perform experiments. Lastly, for our social and physical learners, we teach through group work, physical activity, and hands-on experiments."

      Audra's Answer for a Private Tutor Interview

      "I try to be proactive in my strategies to manage stress. I use an online calendar to keep track of appointments and deadlines and I schedule time for paperwork and reports so that I can make the most of my day while I'm at work. I really try to limit the amount of work I bring home. I also commit to daily exercise to clear my mind and stay healthy. When I do feel stressed, I try to do some breathing exercises and carefully manage my time to ensure I work diligently, meeting deadlines to the best of my ability."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Purchasing Manager Interview

      "The important thing to do during any stressful situation is to maintain professionalism and be as transparent as possible. By making everyone aware of all the facts, assuring that we all can solve the problem, stressful situations can be energizing and opportunities to be creative to solve problems.
      Few years back one of our main suppliers decided to stop working with us during the peak season. This was a real stressful situation as none of us were prepared for anything like this. We tried to talk him into continuing the supplies for at least that season but he refused as he was getting higher prices from some other company. We could not outmatch those prices. It was tough as we could not find any big supplier during that time of the year. So I contacted several small suppliers that were working with us and asked them to increase the supplies as much as they could. Also introduces some new suppliers. For quality checks we didn't have a separate team so I appointed some of the most experienced workers for this task and we were able to get over the crisis within a week's time."

      Darby's Answer for an Urologists Interview

      "The diversity of specialty areas is something I love about the healthcare field. I like the idea of being in a career that challenges me to learn and grow. I believe we all have something that we can contribute to others and I like to embrace the diversity among those that I work with."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Security Manager Interview

      "I react well in high-pressure situations. I tend to remain calm, and I can jump into action with a clear mind. For instance, when I was working as a Security Officer, one evening, I was walking the perimeter of a building and doing a security check. It was a relatively uneventful evening. It was quiet, and all I could hear was the buzzing of the street lights. There was a road adjacent to where I was standing. Out of nowhere, a vehicle started speeding towards me. I waved the car down to stop, but the car kept approaching. The car then crashed into an electric pole. I ran over to the crash and looked in the car, where I saw a group of teenagers with alcohol bottles. I called the situation in through my radio and immediately dispatched the police and paramedics. I remained calm and checked to ensure there were no serious injuries of anyone in the vehicle. I kept control of the situation until the paramedics and police arrived."

      Ronda's Answer for a Department Manager Interview

      "I have been a manager since 2011 after graduating with my degree in business. I enjoy working in retail and providing the highest level of customer service. Outside of work, I enjoy training for triathlons. Getting outside and training helps me release stress and stay focused while at work. I am married with three children, and they motivate me to do my very best in all that I do. I'm excited for the potential to learn and grow with your organization."

      Krista's Answer for a Respiratory Therapy Technicians Interview

      "I work in stressful situations every day. The way that I handle stressful situations is by remaining calm and professional. Patients and their families are looking to me for help, and I cannot do my job effectively if I do not remain calm. Sometimes that takes me having to take a few deep breaths and focusing on the situation that is before me."

      Heather's Answer for an Alcohol and Drug Counselor Interview


      Rachelle's Answer for a Customer Service Manager Interview

      "The most common customer service issue I have come across in my current role is customers waiting too long in line. Due to budget cuts, we have been understaffed for quite some time now, which often means longer wait times. To help resolve this, I jump in during peak times. I help at the tills to bag items, chat with people, and create an overall collaborative vibe. My efforts have alleviated the situation significantly, and customer complaints have dropped approximately 15%."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Daycare Worker Interview

      "I currently have a couple of delinquent team members who are on the brink of termination. I never like to see people leave, but you cannot force others to have a strong work ethic. The turnover in our daycare center and the uncertainty of people showing up to work is currently my biggest stressor."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Machinist Mechanic Interview

      "I've learned some helpful breathing techniques that I can do while I'm at work. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a patient situation, I am able to slow down my breath and remain calm. Patient care will always be my top priority, and that's why I've learned to manage my stress effectively."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Maintenance Interview

      "I am well trained when it comes to effectively managing stressful situations. Before losing my cool, I am sure to review the situation, break the issue down to the simplest factor, and work my way through the problem from there. When you look at most problems for what they are you can see that the majority of situations are simple to solve."

      Krista's Answer for a Music Therapist Interview

      "I handle stressful situations by remaining calm and focused on the situation. I realize stress is part of my job, and instead of letting stress negatively affect me, I reflect and try to figure out what is causing the situation to be stressful. Once I identify what is making the situation stressful, I can then find a remedy. For example, I had a patient who started having a seizure in a group therapy session. The other patients became very agitated, making the situation more stressful than it would have been. After I called 911, I explained to the other patients what was happening and asked them to remain calm until help arrived. I made sure the patient having the seizure didn't hurt themself, and the other patients calmed down when they realized the situation was under control."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Electrician Apprentice Interview

      "When I first started my apprenticeship, I was given a pretty important job to troubleshoot. My supervisor was aware that it was above my skill level, but he wanted to see if I would ask for help. I looked at the situation with a critical eye, took a few deep breaths, and presented my recommendation to him. In my previous roles, I've been told that I handle stressful situations well."

      Christina's Answer for a Field Producer Interview

      "I find that I do some of my best work under stress. I like being given a deadline or a time crunch so I can work fast and not have time to second guess my decisions."

      Christina's Answer for a Voice Writing Reporter Interview

      "I am confident that my work does not suffer as a result of stress. While stressful situations can weigh on a voice writing reporter, I find that I have handled these situations well in the past and will continue to do so in the future."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Pastry Chef Interview

      "I am experienced in keeping up with the fast pace of the kitchen and working with my staff to prepare the best quality baked goods."

      Ronda's Answer for a Senior Account Manager Interview

      "I always remain calm and look for ways to be more efficient. For instance, if there is an unexpected deadline, I will determine what can be done to ensure the deadline can be met. I will write down the steps to ensure successful completion and delegate a few tasks if necessary. In brief, I am always ready to adjust my approach because stressful situations are bound to occur in a professional environment."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Electrical Technician Interview

      "I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."

      Heather's Answer for a Pharmaceutical Sales Interview

      "I have learned the differences between negative stress and positive pressure and react accordingly. I reduce negative stress by dealing with the situation and perform under positive pressure by doing my best work."

      Heather's Answer for a Patient Services Coordinator Interview

      "I work very well under pressure, if not better. For me, the added stress of a tight deadline or a big challenge is really exciting for me. My previous manager often complimented me on my ability to successfully manage pressure in the workplace."

      Elisabeth's Answer for a Court Clerk Interview

      "I've learned not to take words or actions of stressed clients personally. Even when I'm feeling rushed or overwhelmed by a deadline and being pulled in too many directions, I can ground myself to ensure that my work is correct and properly filed."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Quality Control Manager Interview

      "I do work very well under pressure. My previous supervisor at ABC Company commented quite frequently on my ability to remain calm during stressful situations. I can easily look at a problem with a keen eye to see what the root truly is which helps me to stay calm under pressure."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Economist Interview

      "I handle stressful situations very well. Whenever I feel a bit overwhelmed, I will take a step back for a breather. I try to re-assess the situation and look at it in a new light. My current manager comments quite often on my ability to handle high pressure very well."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Mortgage Loan Processor Interview

      "Yes, I am able to remain focused even when working in a pressured situation. Recently, at my current job, a number of my colleagues were forced to take time off because either they or someone in the family fell ill with COVID-19. I had to take on their duties temporarily and meet aggressive deadlines. It was definitely stressful, but because I am experienced and have good organization and prioritizing skills, I was able to remain focused and work through the situation without getting overwhelmed. I organized all the loans that were pending, identified and acted on next steps for each in order of priority, and communicated progress. In the end, all the deadlines were met, customers were satisfied, and when my colleagues came back to work, their workload was manageable."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Detective Interview

      "I am highly trained to withstand a lot of stress and pressure on the job. I manage stressful situations by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable issues and scenarios. From there, I find the situations become less overwhelming and easier to manage."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Air Traffic Controllers Interview

      "I handle stressful situations very well. Throughout my career, I have been consistently complimented by my colleagues on my ability to work well under pressure. In my previous performance review, my supervisor commented on my ability to think clearly in high-pressure situations."

      Heather's Answer for a Physical Therapist Interview

      "Throughout my career, I've taken personal pride in the progress of my patients and I've found myself most stressed when a particular patient is rehabbing according to my plan. Over time, I've learned to analyze the progress of each patient individually and take into account personal pieces from each patient that may be impeding on their progress."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Typist Interview

      "I thrive under pressure and always remain calm in stressful situations. I sincerely believe that exercising on a regular basis significantly helps me stay calm in stressful situations."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Journalist Interview

      "As a journalist, I am much closer to the AP Style, since it helps me to prevent potentially embarrassing errors when it comes to titles, citing sources, or accidental plagiarism. With that said, I am also very familiar with Chicago Style, which I refer to when writing larger pieces such as ebooks or editorials."

      Krista's Answer for a Personal Care Aide Interview

      "I handle stressful situations by remaining calm and focused on the task at hand. I have found that it does nobody any good if I cannot control the situation. For example, I was working with a client who accidentally started a fire in the kitchen while in the restroom. When I came out of the restroom, the kitchen curtains were on fire, and my client was trying to put the fire out by waving a cookie sheet at the curtains, but it was making the fire worse. I grabbed my client and safely got her outside, then I retrieved a fire extinguisher from under the sink and was able to get the fire out. If I hadn't remained calm and focused, the fire could have been much worse."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Film and Video Editor Interview

      "I find that I do my best work under pressure. I am able to concentrate strictly on the job at hand and put all my doubts about the project aside."

      2 Community Answers

      Anonymous Answer

      "I confront the issue head-on. I remain calm, prioritize my time, and focus on what needs to get done."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Excellent! You show a great deal of determination in this response.

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      Anonymous Answer

      "Working in three different teams as part of one role could get overwhelming at times, especially as each team had different focuses and dynamics. In order to deal with this, I ensured I took the time to prioritize at the start of each day, making a list of things that needed to be done and crossing them off once they were finished. This helped me visualize the workload, and it was motivating to see things crossed off. I felt it also helped me keep focused and organized. If my mind started to get frazzled I would take a break, take some fresh air, then come back refreshed."

      Stephanie's Answer

      This is a well-rounded response! You do a great job of illustrating how you navigate workplace stress, while also showing how you take care of yourself when times are stressful.

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