What is a stressful interview? (And What You Can Do to Prepare for One)
The person in charge of hiring asks a lot of different kinds of questions during an interview. During a stress interview, the candidate is asked a variety of questions that are meant to make them feel uncomfortable or stressed. This lets the employer see how the candidate acts in these kinds of situations. You can prepare for your next job interview by learning more about stress interviews.What is a stressful interview?
In this article, we’ll talk about what a stress interview is, why employers use them, how you can prepare for one, and look at some examples to help you understand how to answer stress questions.
What is a stressful interview?
A stress interview is a way for a company to find out how a candidate acts when under a lot of pressure. The type of stress interview a candidate has to go through depends on the type of job they want. Here are some types of stress interviews that are common:
- Questions that scare people: This kind of interview asks direct questions that might be hard to answer. In this type of interview, you might be asked, “Why did you get fired from your last job?” “Was your last job too hard for you?”
- Aggressive behavior: Candidates can feel uncomfortable when interviewers are rude, uninterested, or aggressive. Some interviewers might ask you to explain why you’re good for the job, or they might criticize what you’ve done in the past.
- Unexpected answers: Interviewers may ask the same question more than once or in a slightly different way. This might make people mad or change their answers.
- Brain teasers: These kinds of questions may seem impossible to answer in an interview, but they can help the hiring manager see how well you can think critically. In this kind of interview, you might be asked questions like, “How many cheeseburgers do Americans eat every day?” or “How many birds fly south for the winter?”
- Problem-solving: Some hiring managers ask candidates about problems they have solved in the past to find out how well they can solve problems. You can give good answers to these kinds of questions in a stressful interview by talking about how you’ve solved problems in the past.
Why do companies do stress interviews?
Employers use these kinds of interviews to learn more about a candidate’s ability to deal with stress. This can help them imagine how a candidate would do in a certain role and see how the candidate can help the company. These types of interviews are common in high-stress fields like:
- Retail and sales
- Law enforcement
- Air travel
How to handle a stressful job interview
Stress interviews are usually set up differently by each hiring manager. In many interviews, there are scary questions, aggressive behavior, surprising answers, questions about solving problems, and questions about critical thinking. Researching company interviews can help you prepare better for a stress interview with that company because many candidates include the questions hiring managers asked them during the interview and often include a general summary of the interview experience.
How to prepare for an interview when time is tight
Here are some things you can do to prepare for your next tough interview:
1. Find out more about the company
Researching the company, including its culture, hiring managers, and the job you’re applying for, can help you prepare better for a stress interview. You can also find out how the company conducts interviews by looking at how other candidates were interviewed. Some past candidates also include information about the questions that hiring managers asked, which can help you think of answers if the hiring manager asks the same kind of question. You could also ask your recruiter or the person you’ll be working with at the company what kind of interview they have planned.
2. Review interview question examples
You can find examples of questions that a company asked at an interview on many job boards. You can also find out what kinds of questions interviewers might ask by doing research on different types of stress questions and looking at examples. This lets you practice or think about how you might answer a certain question at your interview. Practicing how you might answer a question can also help you look more professional during the interview, since you’ll know how to handle a variety of tough questions that the interviewer might ask.
3. Practice stress management techniques
If you practice different ways to deal with stress, you can stay calm and collected during the interview. As you go through the process, this can also help you give better answers. Some stress management techniques to consider include:
- Exercises to help you breathe deeply
- Using your thoughts to calm down
- Progressive muscle relaxation
4. Practice with fake interviews
You can learn how to answer tough questions in real interviews by doing mock interviews. This can also help you feel more ready for the interview, which can make you feel less stressed. Interview coaches are trained professionals who can help you prepare for and feel more comfortable in real interviews. You can also work on your interview skills in the following ways:
- First, try answering questions while looking in a mirror.
- Record yourself practicing on video.
- Ask for help from your family and friends.
- Make question flashcards to help you learn.
5. Find out what people think of your practice interviews.
You can use feedback to make your answers to certain questions better. You can also learn what skills you need to work on before the real interview by getting feedback. This can help you stand out from other applicants and get the attention of the people in charge of hiring at a company.
You might be asked these questions in a “stress interview.”
Here are a few questions about stress and the answers to them. This can help you figure out how to answer questions like this in future interviews. Some questions you might hear include:
During this interview, what do you think is going on?
This kind of question helps the interviewer find out more about you, how honest you are, and how well you know yourself. Interviewers might ask this question to make the interview more stressful, which can help them see how you handle hard questions or situations. Here’s how you could answer such a question:
I like how this interview is going so far. You gave me the chance to talk more about my best skills, which I think can help the company. I’ve learned a lot of hard skills and soft skills that I think will help me do well in this role.
What number of jobs are you looking for?
This kind of question can help you show how honest and trustworthy you are. It’s important to show employers why you want to work for them, even if you’re also looking for jobs with other companies. If you’re talking to more than one company, it’s important to keep the number of interviews and other companies a secret. If you have scheduled interviews with other companies, you could say the following:
I do have a few interviews with other IT companies for jobs as a junior developer. From what I know about this job so far, I can tell you that it has the challenges and work environment I’m looking for in my career. I think this job will help me get better as a developer and provide more value to the company’s customers.
Did your old job make you too stressed out?
Employers can use this question to find out how you’ve handled stressful situations in the past. By answering this question, you can show potential employers how you handle and react to different situations. If you think about how you handled stressful situations in the past, you can give a good answer to this question. One way to answer this question is as follows:
Even though stress and stressful situations were part of my previous jobs, I’ve learned how to deal with them in a number of helpful ways. Before trying to solve a problem, taking a few deep, calm breaths has helped me think about it and come up with a good solution. I’ve also found that meditating and making a list of tasks help me focus on small parts of a bigger project.
How come your last boss let you go?
You can give a good answer to this kind of question by being honest, positive, and brief. Focusing on what you learned at your last job can also help potential employers see what skills you picked up there. Here’s how you might answer such a question:
It was too bad that my skills didn’t match the needs of my previous job. After we got the job, we realized that we needed someone with more experience in the technology field. I didn’t have the experience they wanted for the day-to-day tasks of the job. After six months of taking professional development classes and doing tasks, we decided it would be best to find someone with more experience in the technology field.