February 26, 2019
Stress is an inevitable part of the job interview process, but what happens when a candidate’s stress tolerance is pushed too far?
An example of this occurred in the UK, as reported by the BBC. A young woman had interviewed with a tech firm, where she says she was degraded and humiliated about everything from her music taste to her parents’ marriage during what is referred to as the “stress interview.” She later shared her experience on Twitter where her post went viral.
Interviews generally consist of a mix of the following types of questions:
While the UK example is an extreme case, the “stress test” is additional interview technique used to assess how applicants deal with pressure by taking them out of their comfort zone of expected questions and answers. An innocent question like, “Tell me about the recent ERP implementation you were involved with” could be morphed into more aggressive questioning such as, “Sounds like your ERP implementation was a nightmare - what did you do wrong?". Asking “How do you handle stress?” can be very difficult from inducing real levels of stress in the moment to gauge how the candidate responds under pressure. Other ways that interviewers may create stress is by seeming disinterested in the candidate and/or purposefully interrupting them while they are providing an answer.
Stressful workplace situations are inevitable due to a number of factors, such as tight deadlines, addressing errors in financial reporting, conflicts among team members, or other root causes. Attempts to evaluate how a candidate responds under pressure during the interview process may be beneficial for jobs that are high stress by nature; however, it is the responsibility of the employer to always treat their candidates with respect and ensure that they have a positive overall recruitment experience.
What if you find yourself in the candidate seat during a high stress interview, whether it is intentionally planned or not? According to The Balance Careers and Wisestep, here are some tactics you can employ to keep your composure and ace the interview:
For employers, help candidates have the best interview experience possible by taking the time to plan out your interview process and only adding the element of a “stress test” if it is appropriate for the role you are hiring for.
For candidates, know that some interviews are intentionally structured to induce stress. Prepare yourself to respond carefully and professionally to all of the interviewer’s questions.
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.
Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.