Pressure happens. It happens once, twice … who are we kidding? It happens all the time! Yet, during that important moment when you sit across from the slick interviewer, you could very well be asked to admit that one time when everything fell to you and went brutally wrong. Now, you sit there, wringing your hands, likely asking yourself, how should you respond to the dreaded question, ‘How do you react under pressure?’
Probably the best procedure is to respond with honesty, because, let’s face it, if you get hired, at some point during your pleasurable new career THEY WILL FIND OUT THE TRUTH! – that you fold under pressure; that you may, possibly, just have that tendency to shriek and run the other way during critical times of great need. But we are professionals and should remain as much. So, take a deep breath, relax and think back to that darkened memory that you long since buried, had a Mexican jarabe Tapatío dance over and spent nearly £1,000 of therapy to get through. As you relay this information to the interviewer, make sure you:
- Speak Slowly: The interviewer’s goal is cause you to relapse to your frightening reliving of the memory and prove, (or hopefully disprove), that you are psychotic and do not belong to a company as prestigious as his own. Thus, by taking your time, pausing in the correct places, you can come out as a successful individual that thoughtfully works through stressful pressure peacefully without a care in the world.
- Confidence: Sure, confidence is rather known but it’s always nice to be reminded. Interviewers are a unique breed of the human race that bring out the jitters of people like you. Don’t allow him to achieve his goal of adding one more mark to his bed post.
- Eye Contact: Keep your eyes focused on him. By staring into the black empty holes driven into the centre of his eye sockets is sure to result in the dissipating lashing unkind remarks.
- Smile: One thing that the dark side of your interviewer cannot stand is a dazzling smile. Not only does this partly blind him, but also proves that even though you are revisiting that horrific memory, you still come out on top of the horse. Moreover, it enforces that you will do well with future challenges.
- Enthusiasm: It’s important to also remember to remain enthusiastic. A good idea is to mention that you enjoy a change of pace. Every misfortunate event can be thought of in two ways. One is to become excited and allow this time to be a pleasant new life journey. The alternative is to allow that darken cloud to consume you until you actually use the blanket left in the corner of your office and hide beneath it.
- Phrasing: Don’t forget that anything you relay to the interviewer can be used against you. Let’s take being enthusiastic for example. While you stay optimistic about your time pressure situation, the interviewer could interoperate this to mean you quickly getting bored with the same old routine. Thus, to void confusion, find the balance, much like a game of Chess where one must think-up the next TEN moves of his opponent before presenting a single reply.
Now you probably are thinking, ‘These are great ideas! But how can I successfully communicate my thoughts?’
STAR Method: The STAR Method is a good way to express yourself. First, you can start out with…
Need an example of the STAR Method? Click here.
Don’t React Under Pressure? … Ha!
There’s always those of us who avoid pressure like the plague. Overachievers, polite people would say, other people refer to them as raving lunatics, but they truly do exist. They pride themselves on staying on top of their game by carefully planning out their work schedule. If you are that 0.0009% of the Earthly population, realise this; your interviewer will likely smile, nod his head in approval, confirming you are a good worker, but after your 0.75 seconds of relief, in his next breath he will rephrase the question and demand to know how you react under pressure. So rack your brain and THINK of something.