Stress Management Interview Questions

Use the below-given stress management interview questions to check how candidates work under pressure and what approach they take during stressful situations at work.

Why ask stress management interview questions to candidates?

Most positions have stressful phases, like meeting a tight deadline, presenting an idea to managers or reaching a quarterly goal. Employees with strong stress management skills perform better than they:

  • Come up with solutions in challenging times
  • Keep people around them calm
  • Reach objective decisions

Employees who panic in stressful situations have a tough time completing their duties, even if they have the needed skills and knowledge for the job. Some profiles (like managerial roles) have more pressure at work as compared to others. That is why it is essential to find candidates who can handle stress while staying productive.

Stress management interview questions

  • How do you make sure that problems in your personal life don’t affect your work life and your performance?
  • Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult choice (like choosing between two job offers or firing a team member.)
  • When working on multiple projects simultaneously, how do you prioritize your work?
  • How do you deal with frequent changes at work?
  • Due to stress have you made errors at work?
  • If co-workers are highly stressed about a deadline, what would you tell them to ease their tension?
  • How do you prevent a situation from becoming too stressful to manage?
  • How do you respond to constructive criticism?
  • What preparations do you make for a presentation?

How to assess candidates’ stress management skills?

  • Ask candidates to describe a situation where they successfully handled stress. Check if they feel uncomfortable when you ask tricky questions or they stay calm?
  • Look for candidates who know how to maintain their calm even during unexpected situations.
  • Use realistic examples instead of purposely getting aggressive. For example, if you are recruiting HR Executives, ask candidates how they would address the most common recruitment issues.
  • Avoid asking generic questions like “How do you handle stress?” Ask candidates to share examples when they came out of stress.
  • Ask situational and behavioral interview questions in order to find out how candidates handle stress.

Red Flags

  • They never feel stressed: Most working professionals feel stressed at some point. If the candidate claims that they never get stressed they might take problems lightly.
  • They look uncomfortable: Give some realistic but tough problems to candidates. If they look nervous when finding the solution, they are likely to get stressed when actual issues occur on the job.
  • They stress over small things: See what causes stress to the candidates. If they can manage daily tasks comfortably, they might be apt for the role.
  • They cause stress: Habits like poor time-management or procrastination skills are key reasons for stress. Look for candidates who don’t have such habits.
  • They fixate on the stressor: Finding out what or who is causing stress is just the first step in dealing with it. Candidates who obsess over the stressor, rather than taking action are less expected to actually manage the condition.