May, 2014

High Stress, High Stakes Interview? Know How to Keep Your Cool.

High Stakes InterviewHave you ever felt like the interviewer is getting under your skin? If so, consider yourself normal. Most candidates will experience an intentionally difficult interview at some point during their working lives. If the interviewer is asking difficult (or even rude) questions with a critical tone, the problem can and should be handled professionally. Sometimes, all you have to do is calm your nerves and take a deep breath.

Believe it or not, a high stress interview is a real technique used to test how candidates respond to stress and other high intensity situations.

Interviewers will try to put the pressure on you. It’s important to keep your composure.

Here’s a list of sample questions that are designed to put you on edge:

  • Why weren’t you promoted in your last job?
  • Why haven’t you accomplished more in your career after all these years?
  • Why didn’t you choose to go to a better college?
  • What makes you think you can survive working here?

If you hear these “in your face” questions, be careful of your reaction. Your interviewer is likely watching your facial expressions, posture, and other forms of non-verbal communication. Your interviewer is testing whether you’ll squirm or stutter.

To overcome the hurdle of high stress interviews, see the interview for what it is, and stay calm. Don’t take the bait. Simplify your answers if you can. If the questions are similar, don’t hesitate to repeat yourself if necessary.

You can try to keep it lighthearted by adding a touch of humor in your answers. Humor can be your best ally in an interview (be careful not to overdo it). If you feel like you’re running out of breath, speak slowly and take a pause when needed. Don’t forget to smile and speak with a positive tone.

Of course, it always pays to be prepared beforehand. Learn as much as you can about the company and the position you’re applying for to know whether you’re truly suited for the job. Be honest with yourself. If the job is genuinely stressful and your capacity for stress is low, or you have a gut feeling, accept that the job isn’t a good fit. Know that you’ve learned something.

Don’t take stress test interviews to heart. Remember that it’s just business. Keep yourself professional and poised throughout.

Read 4780 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 February 2016 18:44
Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.