How to answer "How do you handle stress and pressure in the workplace?" (with sample answers)

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This post is part of our series on behavioral interview questions.

Why Employers Ask This

Asking about how candidates handle stress and pressure in the workplace is a common interview question. Employers want to know that the individual they are hiring can handle the demands of the job and can remain calm and focused under pressure. As business environments become more fast-paced, stressful situations can arise. Employers need to be confident that their employees can handle these situations while still performing their job duties effectively. Answering this question thoughtfully can provide insight into your problem-solving skills, adaptability, and overall ability to work effectively under pressure.

How to Answer the Question

When answering this question, it's important to show that you have skills that will enable you to manage and deal with stressful situations. One excellent strategy is to provide specific examples of how you have successfully handled stressful situations in the past. Be sure to highlight your problem-solving skills, your ability to prioritize tasks, and your communication skills. Doing research into the company and understanding the type of stressors specific to the role you are applying for can help you provide more tailored answers.

Another effective way to answer this question is to outline any specific strategies or techniques that you use to cope with stress. For example, you might discuss how you exercise, meditate, or use time-management techniques to stay grounded and productive. Keep in mind the skills and traits that are most important for success in the role you are applying for, and tailor your answer to demonstrate how you can use these skills to handle stress and pressure effectively.

Sample answers

During a job interview, it is crucial to be able to answer the question of how you handle stress and pressure in the workplace. Here are some sample answers that can help you answer this question:

  1. Bad Answer: "I try to avoid stress as much as possible, and I delegate tasks to others if I feel overwhelmed."
  2. This answer might seem like a good answer, but it can actually be seen as a bad answer. Interviewers want to know that you can handle stress and pressure in the workplace. Avoiding stress and delegating tasks can show a lack of responsibility.

  3. Good Answer: "I take a moment to reflect on the situation, take deep breaths, and prioritize my tasks. I also communicate with my team to ensure we are all on the same page and working towards the same goal."
  4. This answer is good because it shows the interviewer that you have a plan of action when dealing with stress and pressure. It also shows that you are a team player and value communication within the workplace.

  5. Bad Answer: "I usually take a break and go for a walk to clear my head."
  6. While taking a break can be helpful, this answer can be seen as a bad answer because it does not address how you handle the situation. The interviewer wants to know how you handle stress and pressure while still being productive in the workplace.

  7. Good Answer: "I try to stay organized and plan my day to avoid feeling overwhelmed. I also make sure to take breaks when needed and practice mindfulness exercises, such as meditation or yoga."
  8. This answer is good because it demonstrates that you have a proactive approach to preventing stress and pressure. It also shows that you have a healthy work-life balance and prioritize self-care.

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