What Is a Stress Interview?
A stress interview is used by an employer to put a candidate under intense pressure, to assess how a candidate handles work overload, how they deal with multiple projects, and how good they are at handling workplace conflict.
One type of stress interview involves an employer organising a succession of interviewers (either one at a time or all together) who intimidate the candidate, putting them under great pressure when answering questions. The main purpose of this type of interview is to find out how a candidate handles stress.
Another type of stress interview may involve only a single interviewer who behaves in an uninterested or hostile manner. For example, the interviewer may not make eye contact, will roll their eyes or sigh at the candidate's answers, interrupt, turn their back, take phone calls during the interview, or ask questions in a demeaning or challenging style. The goal is to assess how the interviewee handles pressure or to purposely evoke emotional responses. The key to success for the candidate is to remain unemotional during the process.
Stay calm - these interviews are designed to make you anxious and emotional.
Example Stress Interview Questions
- If you caught a colleague cheating on his expenses, what would you do?
- How do you feel this interview is going?
- What would you change about the design of a postbox?
- I don't feel like we're getting to the heart of the matter here. Start again - tell me what really makes you tick.