What’s a stress interview? How to prepare for it?

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What’s a stress interview? How to prepare for it?

stress interviewYou must be wondering why the title of the blog is ‘What’s a Stress Interview?’, when the truth is every interview is full of stress….you are right. Stress seems to be a natural consequence of every interview, but there is a kind of interview that can be explicitly classified as a ‘Stress Interview’. This is a sort of interview employed by recruiting companies to gauge the capacity of a potential employee, in facing difficult situations.

Your instinctive reactions to mental pressure are what they would be interested in comprehending; it seems this helps them discern how strong you are as a professional to handle such a tough condition. Now, that you know there is a certain kind of interview that is designed to apply stress on the interviewed person, you never can be sure when you may be faced with one of this. You, therefore, need to be prepared well by knowing what all you should be expecting in an interview and how you can handle them.

Some of the chief characteristics of this interview type include –

  1. Uncomfortable questions – you have to be prepared to reply to the most commonly asked intimidating question – “Why were you fired from your last job?”; often, to put you on the spot, an interviewer may ask questions that would aggravate you and cause you to lose your patience immediately. Another probable question that could be thrown at you is “Was the previous job too much for you to handle?”. This again instantaneously seems to be a strike at your efficiency and could throw you off your guard.
  2. Multiple interviewers – more often than not, you are mentally prepared to be interviewed by only one person, but imagine if you have a whole team of impolite people throwing questions at you incessantly? Scary! Isn’t it? The way you can beat this, prepare yourself mentally, don’t think of them as a team against you, but take one at a time. Stay calm and composed, take deep breaths (that is not visible) and begin answering one by one. Remember that no one can take your confidence away unless you let them; and that this is the one thing they are intently watching. Hence, there is no way you can afford to lower the level of confidence at any point in time during a stress interview
  3. Rude behaviour – in life’s journey everyone is a, and there are innumerable co-travellers you will find who is not as amiable as you would expect them to be, so, don’t get worked up if you happen to find one in your interview room. Even if the manner of their talking and behaving is not up to the mark, according to you, never stoop to the same grade. Uphold your dignity and respect by showing them the respect that ought to be given at any such formal event.
  4. Waiting time – sometimes, you may be asked to wait for a long time, without much information as to what is about to happen. You may feel clueless and not know what to do, as everyone may seem to be non-approachable, stay calm. Repeat to yourself the rhyme you learnt in kindergarten: “Patience is a virtue, virtue is a grace, both put together, make a very pretty face.”
  5. Absurd responses – you have already answered a question, and suddenly find the interviewer asking you the same question again. You get all confused and then the response comes that he/she forgot what answer you had given. Be prepared to be faced such weirdness as well, but again swallow it all with a smile. Try answering it again as carefully as possible to the same answer you made last.
  6. Out of the box questions – you may be asked about things which are vaguely associated with your job profile and expected to answer them as well. Don’t be bowled over, use your intelligence and try explaining to them the answer.

Handling a stress interview adeptly requires some tactics and smartness that is very subtle; in case, you do not understand a question clearly, don’t be afraid to clarify your doubts. This will also help you buy some time to think of the answer. If you need some more details related to the asked question, feel free to inquire, the recruiter will see your willingness to gather data accurately before attempting to solve any problem. It puts you in a good light, hence, let the hesitations stay away for the moment. And as I pointed out earlier, confidence is the answer to all your nervous jitters and inhibitions. Therefore, that is something you simply forget to sharpen in your preparation for a stress interview.

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