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Stress Interview

Last post April 7, 2006 02:00 AM by CHRM. 1 repiles.

April 6, 2006 05:19 AM 1
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Post Date: April 7, 2006
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Stress Interview

Dear All,

We request you to kindly send STRESS INTERVIEW (CONCEPTS) Stress Interview Methods, Advantages, Disadvantages,





April 7, 2006 02:002
Total Posts: 209
Join Date: March 9, 2006
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Post Date: April 7, 2006
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Location: India

Re: Stress Interview

Dear Hari,

A stress interview is just another part of the job search you must be prepared for, if you want to get a job offer.

Here is how it happens. Soon after you sit down, relax, and are asked a few basic or introductory questions, the interviewer starts rapidly firing tough questions at you, sometimes in a hostile tone of voice. The interviewer may start challenging or criticizing everything you say. Under normal circumstances, this would be considered rude and ignorant and you would feel mortified and defensive, but if you are prepared, you will shine in this situation.

The interviewer is testing you to see how you act under pressure. The ability to handle this sort of pressure is a must for many positions, especially those that involve working in the public eye with demanding clients (a "pressure cooker" environment). Don't make the mistake of taking this personally - stand your ground and do not let yourself be intimidated. Look upon this as an opportunity to rise to the challenge and respond in a level-headed, confident, and professional manner.

Whatever you do, do not match the attitude of the interviewer by becoming defensive and argumentative.

The reason this method is used so frequently is that it gets results. It gives the interviewer a realistic sense of the candidate's response to difficult situations, which would not be possible through a standard set of questions.

You will notice that the interviewer reverts to his or her original demeanour after the interrogation. He or she was only doing a job: trying to disqualify candidates who are not able to handle pressure.

The best way to handle a stress interview is to anticipate and prepare thoroughly for it, so that responding becomes natural. This is where a Career Coach can really help you - call us to help you practice.  Excerpts -

Types of Stress Interview Tactics

Painful or Aggressive Questions: Even a mild-mannered interviewer can put you on the spot by asking a question like "Why were you fired?"

Aggressive Attitude or Behavior: Some interviewers have a cultish faith in a tough attitude. They adopt a show-me attitude in their words, facial expression, body language and behavior. You're supposed to believe their behavior is your fault, as if you were a naughty child.

Unexpected Behaviors: The interviewer tries to throw you off with unexpected behaviors. For example, an interviewer might ask the same technical question several times, pretending not to understand your answer. You explain several times, each time getting more exasperated at the questioner's stupidity.

Brainteasers or Puzzle Interviews: Puzzle questions are becoming more popular. You are not expected to know the actual answers to questions like "How much does all the ice in a hockey rink weigh?" but you are expected to explain how you would find out.

Case Interviews: Briefly, you are presented an open-ended business situation -- usually a dilemma or set of hard choices -- and required to describe a path toward a solution. The case interview tests your knowledge of relevant business issues, quantitative and analytical skills, ability to prioritize and anticipate problems, and communication skills.
How to Respond

The key methods to use when asked stress questions are similar to tactics used in high-level negotiation:

Clarify the question and the nature of the answer desired. This can buy you some time to think. What is the interviewer trying to get at? Don't feel any compunction about asking questions to get clarification; sometimes, this is exactly what's expected of you.

Communicate what you're thinking and doing.

State assumptions, and ask for unknown information.

Focus on the way in which you're solving the problem, not necessarily the "right" answer.

If you answer with a story, don't lose the point.

Be open, honest and direct, but refuse to be emotionally intimidated.

Like dogs, aggressive interviewers can smell fear. But be aware that the person who asks brutally tough questions might turn out to be warmhearted and easygoing -- after you're hired, of course.  Excerpts :

Hope this has helped ; )


Saumil Joshi

"Think HR, think CHRM...