Interview FAQ: How should I handle myself in a "stress interview" situation?

Before learning how to tackle stress interviews, let’s try to understand the psychology that operates behind these interviews.
Why do the evaluators conduct a stress interview ?
This type of interview puts you into difficulties. Remember this is a part of the selection process. The interviewer is judging you on tact, cool temper, courage, self-command or control. More importantly such interviews reveal whether you can take logical decisions under demanding circumstances. All these aspects combine to form important reasons why should be placed under stress in interviews.
How do interviewers generate stress in the interview ?
Stress situations may occur when the interviewer:
  • Bombards you with a spree of rapid questions
  • Cuts your answers repeatedly
  • Expresses doubts on your caliber and integrity
  • Accuses you of bluffing
  • Laughs or mocks at you
  • Looks disinterested (yawning, looking to the ceiling, talking to the co-interviewers while you are answering a question)
  • Two or three interviewers ask questions at the same time
Now that we have understood the basic dynamics of stress interviews, let’s us explore some common do’s and don’ts that you need to keep in mind in order to handle these interviews successfully.
With the help of the above, you can successfully navigate through stress interviews. In fact, with the right mindset, you can use them to your advantage.
  • Do's:
    • Maintain your poise and composure.
    • Establish and maintain eye contact.
    • Exude confidence from your body gestures and arguments.
    • In case interviewers are asking several questions at a fast pace, you should try to answer one question at a time.
    • If interviewers do not show any emotion, do not be hassled by that - just concentrate on the content of your answers.
    • The interviewers may oppose a stand taken by you, you should be able to appreciate their point of view also i.e. you should be able to appreciate the pros and cons of any issue. You should be ready to take a stand and hold onto it, and you should be convinced about it. You could always say that "sorry, we have a difference of opinion but I firmly believe in what I have said."
    • Maintain a smile on your face - a little bit of wit helps.
  • Don'ts:
    • Show your anger or get agitated under any circumstances.
    • Show signs of nervousness like no eye contact, mumbling, clasping hands, etc.
    • Try to create unnecessary humor.
  1. Interview FAQ: What should I wear to the Interview?
  2. How do I greet the Interviewer?
  3. What kind of Body Language should I use?
  4. What if I cannot answer the question being asked to me?
  5.  Do I have to ask questions at the end of the interview?
  6.  Significance of the time of the interview
  7. How to introduce yourself in the interview?
  8. How to handle questions based on family background?
  9. Tricky questions related to your academic performance
  10. Deal with questions based on strengths and weaknesses
  11. Tackle questions related to your hobbies
  12. State the right career objective
  13. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  14. Tricky interview question related to MBA Admissions
  15. Which field of management would you like to specialize in?
  16. Why do you want to do management from this institute?
If you have any question, suggestion or feedback, feel free to post it in the discussion box given below.