Job Interview Question – How do you deal with stressful situations?

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How do you deal with stressful situations is a fantastic interview question and one that is used by hiring managers in all industries throughout the world.

While this question is similar to do you work well under pressure, here hiring managers want to know what you do to actually cope with stress in your daily life. You’ll likely encounter stressful situations at least once in a while in most jobs, but especially in customer service or other positions where you deal directly with the public or clients.

If you’re applying for these types of positions, then it’s important for employers to know that you can handle stress in a healthy way without blowing up at customers, taking it out on coworkers or burn out quickly and quit the job. You should always emphasize that you have a high tolerance for stress and give examples of very stressful situation in which you stayed calm, continued in a professional manner and coped with the stress later in a healthy way. It would be great to indicate those qualities in functional resume.

Tips:

  1. Everyone deals with stress differently, and not all ways of dealing with stress are healthy or effective. Only bring up positive things you do to deal with stress.
  2. Keep your answer focused on workplace stress and avoid talking about stress in your personal life.

Don’t Say:

  1. “If it’s a customer being unreasonable then I’ll put him back in his place. I don’t need to deal with rude customers.”

Example:

“I usually handle stress well and have a high tolerance for stressful situations. I try to remain calm in stressful situations, take deep breaths and try not to get emotional but rather act in an appropriate, professional manner. For example, I once had a customer who became irate when he learned the store’s return policy was only valid for 30 days and he had exceeded that time. He was screaming and even insulting me, however I remained calm and explained the policy and why it was in place. I then offered to show him some other products he might be interested in exchanging the item for. I believe the only reason he ended up calming down was because I remained calm and did not give in to a heated argument.”

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