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Stress Interview
Questions

15 Questions and Answers by
| Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.

Question 1 of 15

How do you handle stress on the job?

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Stress Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    How do you handle stress on the job?

      The interviewer would like to know if you can appropriately handle the stress related to this job. Discuss how you can thrive, even during the most stressful times. You can keep your answer brief. If you can, provide an example of a time when you implemented a stress-management technique in your current role.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "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 a deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Stress is part of any demanding job, and I embrace it to the fullest. I take good care of myself and prioritize my workload to maintain a healthy balance in my stress levels."

      View answer examples for this question >

  2. 2.

    Which parts of your current position brings you the most stress?

      Stress can often be a regular part of the day to day work experience. Talk to the interviewer about which areas of your career are the most stressful. Ensure that your answer does not include a factor that would make you appear unfit for the position. (IE: a bus driver should not find driving to be the most stressful part of the job).

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "The part of my career that brings me the most stress is when the schedule is running behind due to lack of hustle on my teams part. I like to be on time with my schedule to ensure that my clients are taken care of."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am currently taking a technical writing course in the evenings and weekends so, taking these classes around my current hours is tough and causing me a bit of stress; hence, why I am seeking a new position with more workable hours."

      View answer examples for this question >

  3. 3.

    What could your current employer do for you that would have prevented you from looking for a job?

      The interviewer would like to know what you would like to change about your current position. There is a multitude of reasons why an employee would want to leave their current job, and the interviewer wants to know that they will not be the next place of employment that you quit. Can they meet your expectations? Talk to the interviewer about your reasons for moving on and what could have prevented you from starting your employment search. Be sure to avoid speaking negatively about your current employer.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "What prompted my search was a reduction in hours and a pending lay off in the fall due to lack of business. I am satisfied with the majority of aspects when it comes to my current position, but it just isn't providing for me financially."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "My current employer is relocating to another state, and I am not interested in making a move. I could do my job remote; however, my boss is not offering that option at this time."

      View answer examples for this question >

  4. 4.

    Looking at your resume, you've had a number of job changes, what would make me think that you will stay with our company?

      Most hiring managers will consider more than two jobs in the past five years to be frequent movement. Take some time to explain your career progression to the interviewer. Be sure to avoid speaking poorly of any of your previous employers. This question is not the time to ramble on about how your former company did you wrong. Short and sweet is most appropriate here.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "Leaving Company X was due to a merger, and my role eliminated. Company Y was a seasonal role, and I am now looking for a new position because my contract with Company Z is complete this March."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "In my career, I have made moves to advance in my field of expertise. I am looking for a company that I can grow with long-term, and contribute value to, for many years to come."

      View answer examples for this question >

  5. 5.

    Are you applying for any other jobs?

      The interviewer would like to know if they will need to compete with other companies when it comes to hiring you. It always puts a little bit of fire under the hiring manager if they are aware that you are actively looking for a new position. Tell the interviewer about your search so far without disclosing every single detail.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am keeping an eye out for viable positions. Although I am not in the final stages with any other company, I am actively seeking a new position."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am in the process of exploring opportunities at companies that appeal to me; however, I am choosy about where my applications go. I am very excited about this particular opportunity and look forward to the next round of interviews."

      View answer examples for this question >

  6. 6.

    Looking at your resume, I see multiple gaps between employments, what were you doing during those gaps?

      The interviewer would like an explanation for the gaps in your resume. There are many reasons for having a gap in your resume, and it's best, to be honest about what you were doing. Keep your answer short and sweet, and ensure the interviewer that you did not allow your industry knowledge to become stale, or redundant, during that time.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I had a gap from 2009-2010 while I was on maternity leave and then another for six months in 2015 while I cared for an ailing parent. During that time I was vigilant in keeping up to date on the market so that my knowledge did not become redundant."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Thank you for addressing this with me. There is a gap where I took some time to further my education. During that time, I completed my Bachelor of Business Administration."

      View answer examples for this question >

  7. 7.

    How long have you been looking for a job?

      The interviewer would like to know if you have been looking for a job for quite some time or if you are new to the market. Talk to the interviewer about your job search. Have you been on the lookout for a long time? How successful has your search been? You can also ask the interviewer how quickly they are hoping to hire.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I have been on the search for perhaps a month or so. I am now just beginning to become more aggressive in my job search. How quickly are you looking to make a decision?"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am a passive job seeker who is keeping abreast of opportunities that are right for me. I think it's best to look for a new position while currently working. It prevents rash decisions made out of desperation."

      View answer examples for this question >

  8. 8.

    What is the worst thing you have heard about our company?

      The interviewer would like to know if you have any reservations about joining their organization. Discuss with the interviewer the impression you have had in regards to their company. Do you have any red flags or hesitations? If you do, it is a great idea to express this to the interviewer so that they have a chance to clarify. Be respectful and non-accusatory. Keep your question as light as possible while still getting the answer you need to make yourself comfortable.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "For the most part, I have had a great impression of your company. After researching your organization online, I did read a couple of reviews from previous employees claiming that it was difficult to move up in the organization. Can you clarify that for me?"

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "In reading some of the online reviews about your organization, there was some feedback around high turnover within your company. What is your company doing to improve in this area?"

      View answer examples for this question >

  9. 9.

    How long will it take you to make a meaningful contribution to our team?

      The interviewer would like to know that you are prepared to contribute to their organization right away. If you were to be the successful candidate, when do you expect to make a viable contribution to the organization? Talk to the interviewer about your plan to create a fast impact. If you are interviewing for a sales role, it's a great idea to come to your interview prepared with a 90-day action plan.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am interested in making an impact on your organization right away and have already crafted a plan to make that happen. I am a solid business development professional, and I plan to take the territory and expand it to include additional rural areas. These actions should amount to a strong increase in revenue within the first nine months of my onboarding."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I am here to hit the ground running! I would like to start making meaningful contributions right away and have already begun to brush up on my QuickBooks skills, as you mentioned this program is used quite often in this role."

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  10. 10.

    Why were you fired or let go from your last job?

      This question will only apply to you if you have alluded to being terminated in the past. The interviewer would like to know further details of your termination. Being terminated does not have to be an embarrassing or shameful thing. Many excellent employees have been in a similar situation, in their work history. Be open and honest with the interviewer regarding your dismissal. Be sure to let the interviewer know that you can provide positive references despite a previous termination.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I was terminated from my last position due to my inability to relocate to the new plant that my company was opening. It was unfortunate, but I am confident that I will find the right fit again shortly. Despite my termination, I can provide you with strong work references."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "The company I last worked for merged with another organization, and the entire administration department was laid off. I lost my job, along with 45 other people."

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  11. 11.

    Can you talk to me about your GPA during undergraduate/graduate school?

      The interviewer would like further details on your more significant successes as a post-secondary student. Are you satisfied with your GPA or would you change it if you could? Talk to the interviewer about your post-secondary experience. You can keep your answer brief and to the point.

      If you were satisfied with your post-secondary experience: 'I graduated top of my class and am very proud of my accomplishments during University. The experience taught me to study hard and set goals for myself.'

      If you were not satisfied with your post-secondary experience: "I feel that my GPA could have been higher; however, I was working full time while attending classes. All in all, I did learn a lot about discipline and commitment."

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I feel that my GPA could have been higher; however, I was working full time while attending classes. All in all, I did learn a lot about discipline and commitment."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I would be happy to share with you further details on my post-secondary education. I studied hard in school and averaged a 3.5 GPA in undergraduate and graduate school."

      View answer examples for this question >

  12. 12.

    How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?

      The interviewer would like to know if you are satisfied with your interview performance. If your interview were a flop, you would know, and it's much better to address outright your performance than try to sweep it under the rug.

      If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: 'I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?'

      If you feel that your performance in the interview is not going well: "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I feel confident about our discussion today and am looking forward to the next steps in the interview process."

      View answer examples for this question >

      Anonymous Answer

      "It's gone quite well, I'd say. It's been a pleasure to tell you more about myself and to learn more about the company and the position. Is there anything you would like me to clarify from what's been said so far?"

      Rachelle's Answer

      Perfect response! You sound friendly, open, and enthusiastic. Great question at the end.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  13. 13.

    What advice would you give to a colleague who was stressed out?

      Being able to handle stress is one skill but being able to talk your colleagues off the ledge, during their peak times of stress, is an entirely different skill. Discuss with the interviewer what you would say or do to help a coworker cope with stress.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "If I had a colleague who was stressed out I would recommend that they look at the factors that regularly stress them out, and create some boundaries surrounding those stressors. Perhaps a colleague keeps interrupting them, resulting in missed deadlines. These distractions need boundaries so I would start there."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "I track my stressors and then visit them on a regular basis. I will write them down on a note in my phone and then at the end of the day, or the week; I will try to track the regular offenders. Once I can pinpoint the stressors that occur too regularly, I make a plan to eliminate or at least alleviate them. If I had a colleague, who was stressed out I would share that method with them and help them to implement it if they were interested."

      View answer examples for this question >

  14. 14.

    How do you prevent stress from your personal life entering your professional life?

      One of the most significant problems between employees and employer is that outside influences, and stressors, begin to affect work performance and outcomes. Assure the interviewer that you understand the importance of keeping your cool, and your focus, in the workplace. Discuss the action that you take to ensure professionalism is present at all times.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "When I have a healthy balance in my personal life and responsibilities, I am much better at handling work-related stress. I keep very organized and draw boundaries well. Rest assured, I do not bring my personal life to work with me."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Responsibilities management is the key for me when it comes to preventing stress from creeping into areas where it should not. I use a planning app to track my assignments at work, and my responsibilities at home. I promise to myself that I will not postpone an obligation or an assignment. This method has always worked very well for me."

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  15. 15.

    How did you prepare for this interview?

      The interviewer is putting you on the spot just slightly! They want to hear the steps that you took to prepare for your interview today. The wrong answer is that you are winging it! Even if you did not have a lot of time to prep for the meeting, or it was a last-minute booking, chances are you still took the time to search the company online or read through the job description. You can be brief and quickly touch on the ways that you prepared for the meeting.

      Rachelle's Answer #1

      "I prepared for this interview by researching your company history, and the job description provided to me. I am confident in my candidacy for this role and look forward to showing you my skill set."

      Rachelle's Answer #2

      "Since booking this interview yesterday, I have been researching online, both your company history, your reviews, and the requirements of this role."

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