How to Pass a Stressful Interview

By: | July 25, 2019 | Tags: , ,
How to pass a stress interview

This post was contributed.

Are you looking for a job? Then you have to get ready for interviews. But first, let us remind that if you need to find a job quickly and you’re looking for reliable companies, visit the job site,, where you’ll find a proper position for you and you can start going to interviews soon. Before you go, you have to get to know what a stress interview is and how to pass it. 

What is a stress interview?

It’s a rather difficult process for job seekers. But, as it is said, forewarned is forearmed. So, a stress interview is a tense situation created by an interviewer during the appointment. He/she tries to get you out from the comfort zone and see how you can cope with difficult or sudden situations.

Candidate shouldn’t take this personally. The interviewer must understand abilities, level of one’s stress resistance and the manner of behavior in tough circumstances. If you’re applying for a high position or you’re supposed to face different problems while performing your responsibilities, be ready for a stress interview. 

The more confident and calm you are during such an interview, the better chances you have.

How to prepare for a stress interview

What should be done before the stress interview?

The interview hasn’t even begun and you are in a panic! We’ve got some tips so that you calm down, concentrate, and can handle that stress interview.

  1. Breathe and calm down. You must think clearly during the interview! Try different breathing techniques in advance and choose the best one for you. It really helps in nerve-wracking situations.
  2. Think in a positive way, visualize a “happy end”. Maybe it’s too cliche, but it works. When you think positively, you’re in a good mood, smiled and confident. A good beginning, isn’t it?
  3. Prepare for the interview beforehand, conduct research, get to know about the company and interviewers if it’s possible. Get your questions ready. But, don’t do any search right before an appointment. Just review your notes.
  4. Arrive to the interview in time. Never be late! But you shouldn’t come too early since it creates an inconvenient situation for an interviewer. He/she has to keep you waiting or start the process earlier.

Types of stress interviews and your proper reaction

You’ve already understood that such an interview is an unpleasant process. There are several types of questions. Get to know them in order to prepare properly. 

Shocking or intimidation questions. An interviewer may ask: “Why didn’t you cope with your previous job?”These questions may be aggressive or hurtful.

It is done to watch your reaction on tough questions, how you would behave in such situations. Will you get angry or stay calm and respond with a sense of self-dignity?

Your reaction: Only calmness, confidence, self-dignity, and professionalism are the keys to success. Behave politely and honestly. Don’t panic. Remember, this is just a test.

Puzzling questions. If you’re applying for a job where you need such qualities as a logical and analytical way of thinking, ability to find a way out of troubles or cope with thorny questions, you’ll probably have to handle a stress interview. Questions may be like this: “How many crops are planted on every farm around the state?” Obviously, you don’t know the answer. But interviewer wants to see how you’ll manage this situation.

Your reaction: You aren’t supposed to give the right answer. However, you must show the process of dealing with this question. Explain how you’ll find the answer.

Unexpected questions. You may be asked questions which have nothing in common with your field. In addition, an interviewer can ask repetitive questions. He/she does it to see how patient, confident and wise you are.

Your reaction: Just keep calm and continue answering. If you’re asked the same question again and again, request details. What exactly does the interviewer want to know? Remember, he/she is not that silly, it’s just a test for you. Don’t get irritated. 

Case questions. An interviewer creates a business situation for you. Your goal is to manage it, provide smart resolutions, show your creativity and your way of thinking.

Your reaction: All you need is displaying your professionalism, qualification, and confidence. If you need to clarify something, don’t hesitate, ask for details.

In addition, an interviewer may interrupt you, appear uninterested, act aggressively, create a conflict, etc. Remember, it’s just a game! Be calm, patient, open, honest and confident.

Wrapping Up: How to Pass a Stress Interview

If you don’t succumb to panic and show your best qualities, you’ll impress an interviewer!

Readers, please share, so job seekers learn how to pass a stress interview.

This post was made possible by the support of our readers.

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  1. Bella X | at 2:18 am

    One of my duties is to interview candidate for a job for position in my company. It can be very stressful and nervous on the part of the candidate and I always make it very comfortable for both parties so that we get much out of the interview. Atmosphere plays an important part as long hours are spent on interviewing candidate and I always make sure the venue selected has a calming effect for both interviewer and interviewee.

    • Janice Wald | at 3:22 pm

      Hi Bella,
      I appreciate you writing and sharing the perspective of the interviewer. You wrote you try to make the atmosphere calming for the job candidate. From the guest author’s article, it seems people try to make the atmosphere stressful to see how the candidate will react.

    • Janice Wald | at 2:53 pm

      Hi Yateesh,
      Kind of sad though. People are hopeful about a job prospect which in turn leads to stress that they may not get the position.
      Thanks for commenting.

    • Janice Wald | at 2:49 pm

      Glad you enjoyed. Last night, I learned about using the 3 R’s to calm someone down. The first “R” is Regulate which means breathe. I agree with you. Slow, deep breathing helps in many stressful situations to calm nerves, not just job interviews.

  2. LukasIN | at 4:42 am

    I had a few conversations in my native and English language. And I know from experience that you should come with self-confidence, talk a laugh and do not stress it is just a conversation and not a war 🙂 Always after this attitude we have a completely different feeling and the second thing does not break down after rejection because it is also a very important issue . We are looking for the best place ourselves and the same is looking for the best employee.

    • Janice Wald | at 2:42 pm

      Hi Lukas,
      You make an interesting point: The position has to be a fit for both the interviewer and the interviewee.
      You mentioned laughing during the interview. My daughter was recently interviewed. She told me she was asked a question that made her smile. She believes the interviewer then got to see her personality. She was chosen!
      Regarding not stressing: I think that’s easier said than done. If people’s incomes depend on getting the position, this could be a point of stress for them. I appreciate your insightful comments.

  3. Century Painting NC | at 4:56 am

    Very nice..nowadays people are so stressful of interviews that if they already know everything ,,they forget at the time of having interview..the tips you have highlighted for successful interview are amazing..

    • Janice Wald | at 2:37 pm

      Hi Century,
      It’s true. People can get “brain freezes” and forget all the knowledge in their head. Some people study to pass an interview. How awful if they get so nervous that they forget all the information they studied.
      Case in point: My daughter just had an interview for PA school. She studied hard. Happily, she was accepted.
      Thanks for writing.

    • Janice Wald | at 2:35 pm

      Hi Gaurav,
      From the guest post, it sounds like interviewers agree stress is a sign of a lack of self-control which is why they conduct stress tests. Interesting. I never heard of stress tests before I read the post.

    • Janice Wald | at 2:09 am

      I agree. Stress is a mood-killer. For stress to be experienced during an interview could be a job killer. Hopefully, these tips will help people be calmer during the interview and increase employment chances. Thanks for commenting, Richa.

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