Describe a situation when you were under pressure


Desk of an financial analyst, we can see computer, purse, moblie phone, calculator, and many papersStress-free working environment slowly ceases to exist. Sad but true. Big corporations set targets for their employers, and these targets are often hard to achieve, what creates a lot of pressure on most people in the office.

While I would not recommend applying for a job with one of these giants, we do not always have a choice. After all, big corporations nearly always advertise some job openings for entry level positions, and many university graduates end up working for them in the early stages of their career.

Their HR managers want to hear that you can cope with the pressure, or, even better, that you actually enjoy being under pressure.

Mention details, tell a story

Try to use numbers, tell a story – why you experienced pressure, how you dealt with it, what you learned along the way. The more details you use in your answer, the more credible it will sound.

Remember, you do not always have to tell the truth in your job interview–nobody tells only the truth, especially if we talk about answers to behavioral questions. What matters is whether you can convince the  interviewers of the authenticity of your story. Mentioning numbers and details will help you to do that.

Sample answers

I often had to present my reports and forecasts in front of the management, sometimes more than twelve people. 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. At the end I always handled the pressure and delivered a good presentation.

Stress is important to me. I achieved my best results when I worked under pressure. In fact I need to feel it to stay motivated and productive. For example I had to meet a tight deadlines every single week in my last job, but I did not mind, since the deadline helped me to work hard and to achieve great 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 I experienced difficult situations in my previous jobs, for example when the workload was heavy, but I always managed to keep my composure.

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