MockQuestions

Stress Inducing Interview Questions

Here are 15 interview questions that were created to test how you handle stressful situations at work and also how calmly you can handle difficult interview questions.

Stress was written by and updated on August 22nd, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 15

How do you handle stress on the job?

How to Answer

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.

Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

Next Question

List of 15 Stress Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    How do you handle stress on the job?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      1st 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 a deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Admin

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "I am quite resilient to stress and believe this is because of my eight-plus years' experience being in a management role in a fast-paced environment. Under times of extreme stress, I make sure to give myself a breather whether that be a quick walk around the block or a couple of minutes on the phone with my wife who is great at bringing me back down to earth."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "Stress is often one of my drivers. When facing tight deadlines, I tend to concentrate even better. It's an odd characteristic, I admit, but it works for me!"

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "I have experienced high-stress level many times in a retail environment. These times of stress might be when I have an overly aggressive and angry client to deal with, or during peak times like Black Friday or holiday sales. To keep myself grounded, I ensure that I come to work well-rested. Also, I bring a book to read during my lunch breaks. It's an escape for me, to read a book, versus spending spare time on social media."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "If I am stressed, I will take a look at the situation from the outside and narrow down what component of the situation is problematic. By sourcing the core of the issue, I feel much more equipped to tackle and conquer the situation."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "As a seasoned educator, there are particular brands of stress that I think I am immune to by now! I can keep calm in emergency situations, for instance, and am not one to raise my voice in the classroom is someone is misbehaving. The 'count to 10' rule is simple but also useful for me."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "Whenever I am stressed, I tend to take a few moments to identify what is causing me stress. In sales, we're always going to have stress, but to understand where the stress is coming from allows me to specifically work on making the changes needed to mitigate and minimize the stressful circumstance that is affecting me."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Kevin Downey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Kevin Downey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent start! By exhibiting a high EQ you set yourself as a desirable asset. However, don't forget to communicate what kind of changes have you made in the past to help you mitigate or minimize stress.

      "Stress is instinctual. The trick is having your stress rather than letting your stress having you. It’s a choice, really. What’s that expression? No one can hold over you what you already own? So, I own my stress and it doesn’t have a hold over me. This wasn’t always the case, though. But, a long time ago, I learned to take a few moments to examine the cause of my stress. In understanding the source of my stress, I am better equipped to address it appropriately. Stress is something of a fire that needs to be put out, otherwise it might interfere with your performance. So, once I identify my stress, I seek the appropriate stress reliever. Whether it is taking action, or taking a micro-break and calling my kids on the phone, or listing to that song that always turns me around. But the stress reliever I’ve found has to correlate with the cause."

  • 2.

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

      How to Answer

      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).

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "I currently have a couple of delinquent team members who are on the brink of termination. I have tried to save them a few times, but now the HR department has become involved. I never like to see people leave, but you cannot force others to have a strong work ethic. The turnover in our plant is currently my biggest stressor."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "I am just beginning to take on more enterprise level clients who are a cause of stress, but I would say the good kind of stress - for the most part. I want everything to be perfect, so I work a bit slower on these projects than usual. I do realize that most of the stress and pressure that I feel is coming from within."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "We are having troubles with loss prevention efforts right now, so I would say that biggest stressor for me, at the moment, comes with month-end inventory counts. I cringe at the numbers, and then I have to submit them to our head office. I have asked for additional cameras, and even security at the door, but they won't invest in these efforts."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "My targets are pretty inflated at the moment, despite the bad economic situation. Every year, we have an automatic 15% increase in our targets when in reality, many of my big clients are clawing back on their spending this year. It stresses me out because I have doubled my cold calling numbers and spend 30% more time on the road, but the numbers just aren't adding up yet."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "Budget cuts are stressful for any teacher; however, our district has been hit especially hard this year. I have to be very conscious of my lesson plans and the materials used, and have had to cut back on field trips which is an unfortunate fact for the kids."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

  • 3.

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      1st Answer Example

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Admin

      "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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Manager

      "I would not say that I am looking solely because of something that my current employer is doing wrong. I have outgrown my role, and there is no opportunity for advancement in sight. I am passively seeking at this time and do want to make a move to a much larger organization, like yours, where opportunities for growth are more readily available."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Marketing

      "I am seeking an opportunity with a company that has a specific Content Marketing department, which my current, smaller agency does not have. My core skills are in content and copywriting so I would like to focus my career on those particular areas."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Retail

      "The hours in my current position are no longer working for me. Split shifts were recently introduced now, to save on hiring, and my schedule is all over the place. I do wish that my current employer would have more interest in the work/life balance of its associates."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Sales

      "I travel about 65% of the time in my current role. Also, this travel is primarily overnight travel. My territory is vast. I have asked to split the state of Texas with another territory sales rep, but my request became denied because it meant hiring another person. I am seeking a role with approximately 30% overnight travel."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Teacher

      "Between inflated class sizes and incredibly huge budget cuts, I am not sure what more they could do. It isn't the fault of the Principal or faculty. I truly appreciate all they do for me which is why I want to leave on excellent terms when the time comes."

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Community Answer

      "They could have shown appreciation for the teams involved in making the company great. With a lot of recent turnovers, we find that people love what they do, but leadership, guidance, encouragement, and the "give a shit" factor were not present. This is primarily why I am looking outside of the organization for a role with a company who shows a level of true core values."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      You make some highly valid points; however, depending on your interviewer and the overall vibe, this answer could come across as cynical/disdain. There is a way to position this transition in a more positive light, and that is by focusing on what you did to make your former company a better place to be. I have provided an example below.

      "I am looking for a new role with a company that shares my core values, such as a commitment to continued leadership and employee encouragement. With my current employer, I feel that most days, I output more for my teams than the company leaders, which can become discouraging. I look forward to joining an organization like yours that encourages growth, development, and collaboration (or list the new company's core values and steer your answer in that direction)."

  • 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?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 5.

    Are you applying for any other jobs?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 6.

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 7.

    How long have you been looking for a job?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 8.

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 9.

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 10.

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 11.

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

      How to Answer

      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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 12.

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

      How to Answer

      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."

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

      Community Answers Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 13.

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 14.

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

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view

  • 15.

    How did you prepare for this interview?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Rachelle Enns on August 21st, 2018

      Answer Examples Have Been Hidden

      Please upgrade to view