Stress Interviews Are Meant to Test You
There are some jobs that are more stressful than most other jobs. Examples might include positions in areas such as law enforcement, sales, and management. The hiring officials for jobs such as these often use stress interviews to see how well or badly job candidates react to stress. Those job candidates who keep their composure well during stress interviews will be more likely to be hired for these types of stressful positions.
All jobs, however, can be subject to stressful conditions such as work overload, multitasking, and employee conflicts. The hiring officials believe that job candidates who do well in stress interviews will keep their composure during these types of stressful conditions.
To be prepared for stress interviews, job candidates should know what types of stresses to expect. Examples of deliberately induced stress from interviewers include:
• Being late for the interviews without apologizing.
• Asking many questions in a row without giving the job candidates much of a chance to answer them.
• Telling the job candidates, verbally or nonverbally, that their answers to the questions are terrible.
• Acting as if they are not interested in interviewing the job candidates.
• Asking the job candidates to explain their answers again and again.
• Asking questions not relevant to the positions.
• Putting the job candidates through long periods when the interviewers lapse into unsmiling silence.
• Talking while walking in a circle around the job candidates.
• Interrupting the job candidates often during the interviews.
The ways that job candidates can successfully meet the challenges of stress interviews include:
• Understanding that stress interviews are evaluation tools and not personal attacks.
• Clarifying the questions, and by doing so, having extra time to formulate their answers.
• Maintaining eye contact with the interviewers.
• Responding professionally in a calm, confident manner.
• Trying to devise creative ways to respond to difficult questions.
• Speaking in a voice of medium tone and speed.
As Gary Mack said, “When you are under stress, deep breathing helps bring your mind and body back into the present.”
If the stress interviews seem to be too outrageous, and if it the positions interviewed for do not seem as if they should be high stress positions, the job candidates might want to reconsider their desires to work for the companies conducting the outrageous stress interviews. The management hierarchies of some companies have needlessly created work atmospheres more stressful than the work atmospheres in other companies.
What has been your experience with stress interviews?