In the current age, where competition is inevitable, work pressure is surmounting, in almost every industry. And it is not surprising that employers want to know if their candidates can handle work pressure and ensure smooth running of operations. Companies do not want to employ people who cannot handle pressure and who might buckle down when hit with it. They look for someone who can handle it in the same fervor as any other working day.
The question on whether you can work under pressure is a pretty simple close ended question, meaning that you can simply answer with a yes or a no. But is that the expectation? Well, partially yes. The interviewer will definitely look forward to an affirmative answer, but they will also be looking at you to elaborate on why you think you can handle pressure. They cannot judge based on a simple yes from everyone who takes the interview. You would benefit more if you add onto an experience in your previous job or a project where you had to handle a pressure situation and you came out unscathed and delivered the results. For instance,
Sample Answer: “I find myself delivering my best when I am under pressure. In fact, there were two projects due for completion on the same date once and I was able to handle it easily by planning well in advance and scheduling the activities accordingly.”
When you are asked this question, you are given an opening to speak about your accomplishments at your previous job.
While the question might seem simple, it also has the ability to throw the interviewing candidates off balance causing them to make some common mistakes like,
A good answer would insist that you do feel stressful but you handle it in a better manner. For instance,
Sample Answer: “I try not to let the stress get to me and work on the situation causing the stress. For example, when there is an unsatisfied customer who is causing the stress, rather than panicking, I focus my energy on resolving the issue to make the customer happy. The fact that I have good communication skills also helps in building a good rapport and in lessening the stress in such situations.”
In the above answer, while you agree that there are situations where you feel stressful, you also confirm that you know how to overcome and you focus on the customers. This makes you an ideal choice for any company as you prioritize your customer first.
You need to understand why you are being asked this question to help you to answer it effectively. The question is to gauge whether you will continue working better in stressful situations or you will shut down completely. An employee is considered perfect if he/she can handle anything thrown at them at any point of time.