Stress Interviews: What to Expect and How to Handle Them

If you ever attend a stress interview, going in with your fingers crossed will never get you the job. Indeed, the intense and erratic nature of these types of interviews means that luck alone won’t help. What you need is preparation, patience, and confidence. Going into a stress interview oozing these qualities will give you every chance.

What you need is preparation, patience, and confidence. Going into a stress interview oozing these qualities will give you every chance.

One thing you can say for stress interviews is that they are aptly named. The purpose of this recruitment technique is to deliberately create a stress-inducing situation by throwing the candidate off balance, and observe how they will react to everything going “wrong” at once. During a stress interview, you’ll be chastised and rudely spoken to, perhaps even by a panel of several people. You’ll probably be kept waiting a long time, staff may barge in during the interview without explanation, and the phone might ring repeatedly in the background. It’s all designed to purposely get you worked up.

During a stress interview, you’ll be chastised and rudely spoken to, perhaps even by a panel of several people. You’ll probably be kept waiting a long time, staff may barge in during the interview without explanation, and the phone might ring repeatedly in the background. It’s all designed to purposely get you worked up.

Stress Interview Tips

The important thing to remember is that stress interviews involve a high degree of risk on your part, but any company who adopts this hiring technique will want their ideal candidate to be willing to take chances and think on their feet when the going gets tough.

When it comes to stress interviews, you’ll need to be prepared, patient and confident for a chance of success:

Preparation

Before the big day, ask plenty of questions about your upcoming interview in order to readily prepare yourself. Who will be there? Who’s in charge of recruitment? How long will it last? This will allow you to manage your expectations accordingly to minimize shock value, and also get a grip on the interview before you’ve even walked into the room.

A lot of stress interviews also involve provocative questions like “What would you do if you saw your boss stealing from the company?”. Prepare yourself to give some confident answers to these questions, and expect them so that you’re not visibly taken aback and shocked.

During the interview, the interviewer(s) will often treat you with the same lack of warmth that so many homeowners show to door-to-door sales people. However, don’t go into a stress interview thinking that what you say doesn’t matter. The interviewer will actually be hanging on your every word.

Patience

Patience is a vital trait in stress interviews, and the interviewer will do everything in their power to wear yours out. Make a conscious effort to develop a more patient stance and demeanor before you attend the interview, and then use your patience to calmly assert control of the interview.

Ask them to repeat the question if you’re not entirely sure what they mean (and even if you do, it buys you a little more time).

Also, when you’re giving answers, the interviewer might react as if they don’t know what you’re talking about. Calmly repeat and rephrase if need be.

Confidence

One method that can be useful is getting up and walking around the room during the interview whilst you reel off your points. Not only will the pacing help to calm you down and ease your mind, it’ll also make you feel and appear like the most confident, dominant individual in the room. Flip things around by transforming yourself into the controller of the interview.

For further information about stress interviews, consult the ISC Professionl Free Information, or call 0203 507 0002 today.

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