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How do you deal with stressful situations in the workplace?

This question has been answered 26 times by professional recruiters and hiring managers. View their answers below.

Advice
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

Admin answer example
"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."
Air Traffic Controllers answer example
"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."
Basic answer example
"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."
Camp Counselor answer example
"The interviewer is really looking for past experiences where you have been in that have been stressful. They want to get to know your background better. Highlight these examples, tell them how you remained calm, and held your composure. Tell the interviewer what you learned from those experiences. A good example, when you have been in stressful situations, you have found its best to remain calm so you can think through any challenges that you are facing. Try to think of these examples before the interviewer, because this is a very common interview question and may likely be asked."
Court Clerk answer example
"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."
Detective answer example
"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."
Economist answer example
"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."
Electrical Technician answer example
"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."
Electrician Apprentice answer example
"When I first started my apprenticeship, I was given a pretty important job to troubleshoot. My supervisor was aware that it was above my abilities but he wanted to see if I would ask for help. I took a critical eye to the situation, a few deep breaths and presented my recommendation to him. The general feedback in my career is that I do handle stressful situations quite well."
Elementary Teacher answer example
"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 go 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 take on everything I need to."
Host or Hostess answer example
"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." As a host, you will need to be able to remain calm and collected during high stress situations. Give an example that shows you can deal with a busy work environment without getting frustrated or overwhelmed. "
Interior Designer answer example
"With ease! The interviewer needs to hear that stressful situations do not get the best of you. Tell the interviewer that it is your responsibility as a professional to mitigate stressful situations ensuring they do not become more stressful than necessary. When you are faced with a stressful situation, you go into action mode assessing what can be done to alleviate the stress while still keeping a positive attitude."
Kitchen Helper answer example
"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."
Laboratory Assistant answer example
"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."
Language Interpreter answer example
"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."
Loan Officer answer example
"The interviewer wants to hear that you work through stressful situations with ease not allowing the situation to get the best of you. Think back to a past stressful situation. Share an overview of what occurred, and explain why it was so stressful. Be sure to mention that even though it was stressful, you maintained your professional, positive attitude and did not allow it to get the best of you. Share what you did to get through that situation, and mention what you learned from that stressful time."
Machinist answer example
"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 to not get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."
Maintenance answer example
"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."
Manager answer example
"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."
Marketing answer example
"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."
Nursing answer example
"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."
Pharmaceutical Sales answer example
"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."
Private Tutor answer example
"The interviewer is really looking for past experiences that you have been in that have been stressful. They want to get to know your background better. Highlight these examples, tell them how you remained calm and held your composure. Tell the interviewer what you learned from those experiences. A good example, when you have been in stressful situations, you have found its best to remain calm so you can think through any challenges that you are facing. Try to think of these examples before the interview because this is a very common interview question and may likely be asked."
Sales answer example
"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."
Stage Manager answer example
"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."
Teacher answer example
"The interviewer is really looking for past experiences where you have been in that have been stressful. They want to get to know your background better. Highlight these examples, tell them how you remained calm, and held your composure. Tell the interviewer what you learned from those experiences. A good example, when you have been in stressful situations, you have found its best to remain calm so you can think through any challenges that you are facing. Try to think of these examples before the interview, because this is a very common interview question and may likely be asked."

More Interview Questions

View user-submitted Answers

How do you deal with stressful situations in the workplace?
1.
I look at the situation from every angle and analyze it to find the most affective way to get through it.
2.
I handle stressful situations by taking a step back, Breath and stay calm and then analize the situation to figure out the best solution to resolve the stress or problem.
3.
I believe in taking my time to understand the nature of my stress, where its coming from and why it has come and what would be my possible solutions to the challenge .Then I work out the practical implementation of the solution considering also the opinion of others .
4.
I sing a song in my head.
5.
For pray and listen music.
6.
I will try to divert mind from the stressful situation and will be sitting alone and will fetch the memories with friends.
7.
Take a deep breaths and try to relay and think things through.
8.
I thrive on stress. I sometimes pull my hair a little, but other than that I can remain calm and collected.
9.
Debreif about the situation. How I can inprove next time and what I would have done differentl.
10.
I sit back and take a breather or I speak to someone about the situation.
11.
When work becomes stressful this is where I prioritize my responsibilities so that everything gets done I do my best to deal with the matter at hand that is causing the stress the faster its solved the less stress for the day.
12.
Calmly. Tactfully. Professionally. Ask questions. Find a solution to solve the problem at hand.
13.
Calmly, break it down, talk a breather, breather.
14.
I usually listen to music to stay calm, I walk my dogs and get some fresh air.
15.
By making the atmosphere around me lighter if it needs I will crack a joke or two on myself.
16.
I always try to be positive and calm when working with people. This is also in the case of being polite towards the person who you're working with.
17.
With a cool, calm head. I am not easily shaken. Deep breath, then tackle the problem one step at a time.
18.
I handle them very calmly, trying to understand and evaluate the situation precisely to aid as much as I can.
19.
I may call friends and talk them my situation right now.Sometimes I may do exercise and listen music.
20.
I remain calm which will also calm the students. I then try to find the cause for it and a good solution.
21.
Take a deep breath and think of all possible responses and choose best one.
22.
Real life examples while teaching, asking questions, giving practise questions.
23.
Normally there is no chance of stress in my lecture, if it occurs I handle it with calmly and comfy.
24.
I have such a character that I can deal with problems easily.
25.
By praying and taking things one step at a time.
26.
I think that stressful situations in this industry need to be avoided at all costs. Personally I would try my absolute best to not appear stressed because the first stage of effectively teaching is to be that person that your student looks to and not the person who is stressed in front of them, this causes more mistakes from the teacher and more un-comfort for the student.
27.
I breakdown a large project into manageable chunks and prioritise accordingly. Also remain focus /not get distracted.
28.
I think that in stressful situations it is always important to maintain a sense of calm. People pick up on negative emotions and panic is incredibly contagious. I grew up in a busy and often hectic household and my university experience has definitely been stressful. However, I have learned to take a moment to regain perspective in order to avoid escalating the situation, whatever it may be.
29.
I am a yoga practitioner, always believe in staying positive and calm under all situation and finding a solution for the problems.
30.
Deep breathing! Always having a calm answer ready.
31.
I would remain calm and try to figure out the root of the problem and keeping the student calm as well.
32.
I handle stressful situations by prioritizing and handling one task at a time.
33.
Gauge the capapbility of the student and give the studying.
34.
I take a break and refocus on the positives.
35.
It is important to take a step back and think about what is really going on. For example, a stressful situation for me is when a lot of clients are calling me, the sales team needs training, and my boss is asking me to do something. At my last position I made lists and timeframes and, essentially, made sure that I was being realistic in terms of what I can accomplish in that time. Taking a step back and making a to-do list also shows that most things are accomplishable and that I will be able to do one task at a time.
36.
Take a deep breath, offer a short break for the student and afterwards when everybody is calm come back to it and talk it through.
37.
Clam myself down and try to find solution.
38.
Once the student can draw similarities between the complex concept and teh easy, everyday concept, I would then relate other concept onto this complex concept that the student now understands. Eventually, it will create a network of concept that is easy to remember and understand.
39.
Think about what is the biggest priority, and focus on a small aspect of it a time and get as much done as I can.
40.
I try hard enough not to allow stress to put a lot of pressure on me. Stress is good but you need to know how to handle. For me it has helped me to remain calm, stay focused and not compromising on the quality of my work.
41.
Take a deep breath and work through the problem.
42.
Relax the student and take them away for the area. Make sure the rest of the student are safe and are not getting involved.
43.
I do a lot of meditation which has helped me a lot in my life I try to use my stress productively when I cannot control that feeling.
44.
I would handle the situation by finding a solution calmly without taking stress.
45.
Most important thing I would'nt add to the stress, I would try to defuse the situation and keep calm the whole time.
46.
I usually remain calm and then I try to find a solution.
47.
I train Brazilian Jiu-jitsu 6 days a week, which to me is almost a meditative experience. BJJ gets me through the most stressful of times. If you are talking about stressful situations in the moment, I clear my head, breathe, and think clearly through the situation and tackle it from many angles until I solve the problem at hand.
48.
Stress has a positive side for me. I work better under pressure. I double my efforts and make sure that there are no time for mistakes.
49.
I handle them pretty well. I worked retail for 3 years and 1 and a half as a manager, so I know how to lower the tension of the situation.
50.
I take a deep breathe and take the situation at a step at a time.
51.
After explaining the concept to my student, I then question her and I will give her the chance to practise, practise, practise. I aslo ask the student to teach the concept to me.
52.
I try to handle stressful situations as calmly as possible. If necessary, I will come to someone for help that knows more about the issue I am having.
53.
I first try to remain as calm as possible, and then think through the resolutions that I need to take.
54.
I try to handle stressful situations as calmly as possible. If necessary, I will come to someone for help that knows more about the issue I am having.
55.
Take a deep breath and take a few minutes to calm down and let everything sink in.
56.
I take a deep breath and stay calm.
57.
I like to assess the situation at hand without bias. Usually, I tend to get more opinions as well before I handle anything myself. Once everything is in perfect order, I handle them gracefully and without stressing myself out in the process.
58.
I handle them very well. I remain calm and assess the situation before jumping in. I try to be the calm but effective presence in the room.
59.
I try to take the situation one-step-at-a-time. I try to think about the problem and then I try to see if I can find a solution.
60.
I will handle stressful situations in smooth and peaceful. I would try to solve the problems.
61.
Stress is part of my work profile which my experience built in the last four years has made it easier for me to take on a challenge no matter what the situation may be.
62.
Stressful situations are part of our workprofile,I actually work better under pressure and I've found that I enjoy working in a challenging environment.
63.
I have been in stressful conditions and I love working under pressure staying calm and composed to get to the root cause.
64.
Why you are looking for job change?
65.
I will manage based on situation.
66.
Think of a similar situation before... See how I would had handled that and apply the same here.
67.
Stress is a normal component of work life. It is best to use stress as a motivator to be more efficient and achieve better results.
68.
I do very well in stressful situation. Actually I kind of enjoy stress. I am a very fast paced person. If there is stress it means things are moving fast. And I like that.
69.
Being a Team Leader at the Theatre has taught me how to deal with stress a lot better than I used to. Since I have been given a lot more responsibility I have learned how to control stressful situations by relying on my team members to help me out and not to do everything myself it makes things a lot less stressful. Also working in an environment that is fast-paced for over 6 year has also taught me a thing or two about dealing with stess. Just getting into a routine helps with it.
70.
I work better in stress situations. Take a step back, calm myself and approach the problem step by step.
71.
Well, I keep calm and try my best to come up with a good solution to the problem at hand.
72.
Take a deep breath. Go over all of the options, and try to think outside of the box. See if there is need for compromise, and once I figure out the best avenue, I do my best to stick to it. If a situation arises where I must change my initial plan in order to accomplish the end goal, I do my best to adapt.
73.
Without tension and with more concentration.
74.
Working for Thomson holidayline is a very stressful environment handling high volumes of calls and having to work to kpi targets ensuring we are keeping to the customer promise, answering calls within 5 min answering text within 10 min and turning round and on the case within 24hrs with emails, I work well under pressure and to my best.
75.
I will handle stressful situations in smooth and peaceful. I would try to solve the problems.
76.
Find Source of stress, look for alternative solutions to the issue causing stress, try to implement / suggest alternative solutions to reduce the impact of the issue and thereby the stress.
77.
Most important to stay calm and not to react quickly or through emotion.
78.
I will handle in a positive manner, am intrested on working with stress.
79.
My first step is to always remain calm during stressful times, as I am able so solve problems faster when I am level headed. Then I work to solve the situation as fast and effectively as I can. If it is a situation that I cannot eliminate the source of the stress completely, I attempt to mitigate the problem and accept that the remaining stress is unavoidable. I manage the stress to a level that is at least workable, and avoid letting the stress manage me.
80.
Just close my eyes and breath well..I can manage everything.
81.
Discuss our senior and take decision immediately.
82.
Calmly and listen to both parties frustrations and come up with solutions to them.
83.
Under stressful conditions I always try to calm myself which helps me think of a solution for the problem.Once I become calm I start to deal with it.
84.
Being calm and discussed with my family friends.
85.
Well I think it is important to keep calm and to think on your goal and the big picture when you are on a stressful situation. On the other hand I also think that people are able to give more from themselves in stressful situations as you need to push yourself harder to finish tasks.
86.
Keep calm and listout the reasons behind it then find the way for shortout the problems.
87.
Be calm and composed and think how I handled similar situation that had a positive outcome or result.
88.
Stay calm and deal with the jobs given one by one to ensure the accuracy.
89.
I take a moment to think about the problem no matter how much less time I have. Also, I take the suggestions of my peers before making a decision.
90.
I have to remember that I am only human and can only do so much and stressing over anything only creates more stress. I like to take a breath, think about what is most important and complete what is in front of me. When there are several things needed done, I just put my nose to the grindstone because completing the job correctly is more important than hurting someone or myself by making mistakes.
91.
In stressful situation I take a step back, evaluate the situation and get the job done.
92.
I try to calm myself down and reevaluate the situation. If there are a lot of taks to be done, I try to go down the list and complete them one by one. I make sure if I have a team that everyone is cooperating and working together and not be stressed.
93.
Real well I thrive in fast peace inverments.
94.
Get back, breath three times and think of every posible solution to problems.
95.
I start a this situation with a small smile. So that time I cant feel like stressful.
96.
Remain calm, delegate tasks in order to accomplish assignments by date due, try to complete projects before starting new ones, look for common ground in conflict and try to reach an amicable resolution.
97.
Take deep breaths.
98.
By taking a few deep breaths, figuring out the best way to handle the situation and then taking care of it in a calm and efficient manner.
99.
I shop here all the time and it seems to be a active, family oriented, fun environment that would keep my on my toes.
100.
I can help promote the company with a positive attitude and make sure the customers leave safeway happy and satisfied.
101.
Being a hard dedicated worker.

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