When you apply for a job, you will most likely be asked the classic question: how do you handle stress. When you give an answer, it is best to give a positive reply. If you insinuate that you are not good at dealing with pressure, then there is a likelihood that the interviewer will believe that you are not capable of handling the job.

Part 1: Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?

Basis of asking the how do you handle stress

It is important to be able to deal with stress and pressure in almost everything in our lives, be it the head of a large company or a simple worker in the supermarket. In the world as it is, it is almost impossible to avoid stress and pressure. The interviewer is interested in knowing:

  • If you acknowledge that stress and pressure are elements of life

  • If you know how stress and pressure affect you

  • If you are capable of taking up the challenge

Other question forms of how do you handle stress

Site an incident when you were under a lot of pressure and how you went about it?

How well do you perform under pressure?

Are you able to deal with many conflicting activities within a limited amount of time?

Give examples and reasons of things that make you stressed at work

Part 2: How to Answer This Question in Job Interviews

How candidates deal with stress in their own private endeavors will be among the questions that an interviewer will ask his candidates as well as how extra work will affect them when they are feeling overworked or tied up by pending work.

Here are some tactics on how to answer "how do you handle stress" :

  • Show that stressful conditions will be a motivator for you to thrive

  • Let them know that you are capable of prioritizing your work referring to past experiences

  • Prove you have problem solving capabilities

  • Discuss your ability to manage different projects at the same time

  • Explain that you are be able to detect a problem when it is minor and manageable before it becomes major and unmanageable

Here is a video demonstrating how to answer "how do you handle stress" in a job interview:

Part 3: Sample Answers

Answering Basics

To prove to your potential employer that you are good with dealing with pressure, you can answer in two ways. One is by quoting a past experience in your previous job. Here you can say:

    “Yes, I can manage pressure quite well. In my previous job, I was entrusted with finishing jobs with short deadlines and I was also in charge of the staff and funds management. What is a job without any pressure?...”

The alternative answer would be phrasing your reply in a way that will show you are capable and braced for the pressure and stress that might come with the job. In this you can say:

    “Yes, I manage pressure very well. Actually, I prefer it in several ways. When you work under pressure, you tend to be focused and motivated. This will ensure that you are alert and complete your tasks on time and effectively. I must say this kind of motivation maintains my focus and keeps me going…”

More Samples

  • I respond to situations and not to the stress attached to them. This way the situation is solved and there is no accrued stress.

  • I love challenges and for this reason I perform best under pressure.

  • Personally, after a stressful day I head out to the gym and release the stress on the exercises. It offers great relief to stress.

  • I have learnt the art of prioritizing my work such that I do not end up with clashing activities, which helps me to control the pressure at its minimum.

  • If stress is coming from those I am managing, I discuss a better way of dealing with issues that bring about complications with them.

  • When there is a deadline pressuring me, I also happen to bring out the best of results.

  • Dealing with stress is easy, I first identify what task is stressing me then I deal with it there and then.

  • Working in an environment with pressure gets my adrenaline pumping and excited. This way, I get my work done in time.

  • When things are moving fast, I get re-energized and succeed at my assignments under pressure.

  • Most of the achievements I have made so far come from working under very stressful environments, a lot of pressure and tight deadlines.

  • I have mastered the art of staying calm when faced with stress and pressure, and that way I am able to manage my work with a calm attitude and without a lot of difficulty.


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