Response to Questions About Handling Stress

John Krautzel
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A job interview gives potential employers an opportunity to explore your skills and experience and evaluate how you handle stress. Interview questions related to on-the-job stress can be tricky to answer, but if you are prepared and armed with responses for these questions, you can impress hiring managers and keep your cool.

How Do You Balance Heavy Workloads?

Employees in deadline-driven industries are required to juggle multiple responsibilities on the job. Potential employers want to know how you manage stress when balancing heavy workloads and cater interview questions to determine qualities you possess to thrive in a busy work environment. Focus your response during the job interview toward strategies you utilize to solve problems, eliminating or decreasing stress levels. Hiring managers are seeking a scenario or real-life example that illustrates how you approach stressful workloads, use critical thinking and delegate. Providing answers to interview questions that simply state you finish all your projects doesn't show the employer your strategies and creative skills.

How Do You Cope With Criticism?

Criticism can lead to on-the-job stress, but your ability to use it to your advantage sets you apart as a viable candidate for the job. When answering interview questions about criticism and feedback, detail how you were able to improve your work in the past with the aid of feedback from a supervisor, co-worker or client. Show that you value all opinions and seek to use this information to improve your skills. You don't have to reveal your weaknesses or bash a former employer for unfair criticism. Instead, focus on how you minimized your stress by seeking out professional development opportunities to improve yourself personally and professionally.

How Do You Cope With Stress?

All employees deal with stress at some point while working with clients, team members or supervisors. When asked questions about stress, focus on positive traits that emerged because of the stressful situation. For example, if you learned how to prioritize your tasks and duties due to the pressure of a deadline-oriented work environment, describe this to the hiring manager. Be specific when pointing out your strategies. Reveal any self-help strategies as well, such as using your breaks to exercise and refocus your mind and body to enable you to perform your job better. Hiring managers are well aware that stress can be debilitating, which is why they ask interview questions to ensure you can handle the pressures of the open position without showing obvious signs that the work is diminishing your quality of life.

On-the-job stress is to be expected when working in high-demand positions. Show potential employers that you can handle the pressure by answering interview questions with specific examples and scenarios that display your professionalism and your eagerness to succeed.

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