How To Answer “How Do You Handle Pressure?”
By Lauren @BubbleJobs / Bubble
A lot of the time when you’re asked job interview questions, it’s to assess how suitable you are for the role and if you can deal with the challenges you would face.
The question “How do you handle pressure?” is no different. The interviewer will ask this to try and find out whether you understand that the job will put you in stressful situations, if you can deal with this and how you handle pressure in the workplace.
Every job is difficult in its own way, and pressure plays a big part in any role that you take on – if there was none, that job would probably become obsolete pretty quickly!
Obviously, the ideal answer is that you handle pressure extremely well and nothing is too much for you – but you need to be able to prove this with examples that show you’re not just bluffing your way through the interview.
It’s a good idea to draw on experiences you’ve had in previous jobs to prove that you’re someone who can handle pressure well. Think about what you’ve found most challenging in your current or previous roles and how you reacted to the pressure of these challenges.
For example, giving an answer like: “I feel that I handle pressure extremely well, as I’m used to working to very strict deadlines in my current job, adjusting to last-minute changes and completing projects to the highest standard with limited resources.” would please the interviewer.
Your answer can be more detailed and include specific details of your job, but obviously that will depend on your current position.
If you’re fresh out of university and don’t have much real-life work experience to draw on to answer this question, it’s perfectly acceptable to use examples of times when you’ve been under pressure with your university work or even extra-curricular activities.
A good answer from a graduate would be something like: “I believe I handle pressure well, as I’m used to writing long-form essays to strict deadlines at university, as well as organising events with limited resources in my society.”
However, with this answer, it’s not just examples of handling pressure that you need to provide, you also need to be able to explain how you handle pressure.
This is the time to really sell yourself as the ideal candidate by answering the question in such a way that shows you thrive under pressure and it doesn’t phase you.
Think about it: do you prefer a mundane job with no challenges, or one where you really have to step up to the plate?
Follow up your initial answer with something like: “I find a challenging environment is somewhere where I can really shine, and I produce some of my best work when under pressure.”
Also, don’t be afraid to explain how you deal with pressure outside of the workplace. Remember: the interviewer wants to know about you as a person just as much as they want to know about you as a potential employee.
After a long, stressful day at work, do you unwind by working out at the gym, reading a good book or cooking a nice meal? Well, if you have something particular that you do after being under pressure all day – tell the interviewer!
They’ll be glad to know that you don’t keep it all bottled up (because it’ll explode one day!), and that you have a healthy work/life balance. Also, it’s always good for an interviewer to get to know a candidate on a personal level and it makes you answer appear genuine.