Careers

How to answer the interview question, ‘How do you handle pressure?’

During an interview, the pressure is on. You have a limited amount of time to clearly communicate why you are the best person for the role. So it shouldn't be hard to think of an example if a hiring manager asks, "How do you handle pressure?"

Job site Glassdoor asked career experts how interviewees should answer this question as a part of its 50 Most Common Interview Questions series.

Mary Grace Gardner of The Young Professionista tells Glassdoor, "When things get intense, [companies] want employees who can handle the stress with grace and ease."

Heavyweight boxer Yamil Peralta of Argentina.
Gabriel Rossi/STF | Getty Images
Heavyweight boxer Yamil Peralta of Argentina.

In order to demonstrate your ability to deal with stressful challenges, Roy Cohen, career coach and author of The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide says, "give an example [of a time you were under pressure] that is rich in detail and describes a thoughtful reaction to a situation that could challenge most anyone."

For instance, you could say, "My team was a week ahead of schedule when our client said they would need our work completed in 24 hours. I held a team meeting, explained our new deadline and created a plan for us to complete our work within this expedited time-frame. By staying calm and creating a plan of attack, we were able to meet our client's demands."

If you do not work well under pressure, don't fear. Career coach Angela Copeland says that interviewees can also talk about the methods they use to help themselves deal with stressful situations.

"Consider focusing on how you work to prepare," she says, "so that you can tackle pressure with ease."

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