Describe a Situation When You Were Under Pressure


Desk of an financial analystSad but true, stress-free working environment slowly ceases to exist. Big American corporations purposely create stressful environment, as they believe to achieve better productivity of employees in such an environment. I do not suggest you to choose one these companies, but still, you can end up interviewing there for a job, since big corporations always advertise new openings for entry level FA positions.

Their recruiters want to hear that you can cope with pressure, or, even better, that you actually enjoy being under pressure in work.

Mention details

Many job applicants tend to tell lies when answering this question (and many other questions for that matter). Sometimes they can’t remember a situation, and sometimes they are not able to work under pressure. That is why they think up something.

However, it doesn’t matter if you think up something, or if you speak about a situation that really happened to you. In both scenarios you should mention details, since details will give you credibility.

Sample answers

I often had to speak in front of a group, presenting my reports and forecasts. I did not feel good about it, it was stressful. However, I always put a lot of time into preparation, which helped me to calm down and feel better.

Stress is very important to me. I achieved my best results under pressure. In fact I need it to stay motivated and productive. For example I had to meet tight deadlines every single week in my last job, but I did not mind, since the deadlines helped me to achieve my best results.

I am rarely under pressure. As you can see, I do not panic now, though this interview matters a lot to me. Of course there were stressful situations in my previous jobs, for example when the workload was heavy, but when life’s not at stake, nothing is. I try to not let the situation getting over me.

Side note: Sometimes you can use a difficult situation to your favor. That’s what the last candidate did, mentioning that the job interview was important to them, while talking about something completely different (coping with pressure).

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