Interview questions and answers: Coping with stress questions

Stress is a very big issue in the workplace. If you're asked an interview question about stress, you can assume the employer attaches a lot of importance to the answer.

These interview questions relate to the personal element in your work, and should be considered as practical issues. Interviewees are frequently unprepared for this range of interview questions. Interview answers are often poor, because the questions aren't properly understood.

Stress question interview answers

When asking interview questions about stress, the interviewers are looking for a definite level of ability.

These are the main factors in coping with stress:

  • Experience
  • Training
  • Stress Management training

Experience

Experienced people do cope with stress far better than new employees. They develop a better understanding of the things that cause stress.

Training

Training often acts as a guiding principle, and reduces stress because people have more confidence, and are less prone to stress as a result. Thoroughly trained people have far lower stress levels and fewer conflicts on the job.

Stress Management training

Stress management training is a useful credential in dealing with these interview questions. In stressful jobs, this training is often required.

Think about your interview answer

The basic interview question, in whatever form it's given, really is 'How do you cope with stress?'

To give a good interview answer, use the Experience, Training and Stress Management training as a guide.

Ask yourself:

  • What sort of stresses do I have?
  • What do I do in stressful situations?
  • Why does it work for me?
  • How do I describe my way of coping with stress?

This is also how you need to answer the interview question.

  • Explain the stress factors
  • Explain how you deal with them
  • Explain why they work
  • Describe the process of handling stress in stages

Important: Be patient with yourself when working out how to express your interview answer to stress questions. Use simple terms, and you'll find it's a lot easier.

Example

The job is a motor insurance claims position which is considered to be very stressful. The applicant has a good answer to the interview question.

'I have ten years experience in a stressful work environment. I work in a hospital casualty admittance department. We have a lot of very motivated people, like staff, families and patients making demands on us.

The answer is to do the job properly, to beat the stress factors. We're also trained in stress management.

I never get distracted from the work. I stay focused. I make a point of getting my patients and their families back on track, and reduce their stress, which reduces mine.'

Analysis:

The applicant shows:

  • Ability to deal with high stress levels
  • Experience in a high stress environment
  • Good client stress management
  • Trained in stress management
  • Good awareness of stress issues

The interview answer shows a person fully able to cope with stress.