How to get over a stressful job interview? advice Job Interview How to get over a stressful job interview?
stressful interview

How to get over a stressful job interview?

No, a stress interview is not just a set of uncomfortable questions. When this method is used as the primary method for assessing stress tolerance and sociability, a competent recruiter will combine it with thoughtful behaviour tactics. If you can somehow prepare for non-standard topics, some actions of an HR specialist can easily discourage even the most sophisticated candidate.

Interviewing or fooling?

Stress interviews are gaining more and more popularity among employers, although not everyone goes to extremes. They should keep in mind that people form their opinion about the company based on the results of a meeting with a recruiter. A flawless corporate website and a competent branding policy are great. However still, personal communication has a lot to do with it.

If you are not satisfied with the format of the interview, do not waste your time.

That is why the percentage of applicants who drop out after such an interview is quite high. Those who decide to go further either have a high stress resistance or are determined to get this job at all costs. Job seekers who are surprised and offended by the recruiter’s incorrect behavior are unlikely to remain silent and will most likely share their negative impressions.

However, those who already had interviews with various companies more than once understand that preparing for them does not simply consist of memorizing the desired answers and carefully collecting various “crusts”. They already know that the conversation can follow a completely unpredictable scenario.

The job seeker should learn to distinguish a stress interview from the banal manifestation of rudeness and disrespect. If you’ve been waiting in the waiting room long enough, take a closer look at the way the recruiter interacts with other company employees. Perhaps he is testing your patience for strength, and then other techniques will follow to unbalance you. If the very first observations of the interviewer’s behavior cause you unpleasant associations, then it is better to find a job elsewhere.

An important rule to always keep in mind that if you are not satisfied with the interview format, you should not waste your time. You have the right to refuse further steps for employment with this company. In search of the next employer, you should focus on your mental comfort and not try to correspond to ideals imposed from the outside.

Prepare in advance

It is difficult to predict how you will be treated at the first meeting in an unfamiliar organization. Perhaps there will be an ordinary interview, which is quite stressful for most job seekers. Still, you may also be “lucky” with a recruiter who is aiming to experiment with you. There is an opportunity to prepare for certain actions in advance, and during the conversation, you will have to improvise according to the circumstances.

A sure sign of an impending stress interview is a visible disregard for your time. Let’s say your interview is scheduled for 10 am, but the hour hand has already arrived at noon, and you are still waiting in the waiting room. In some cases, you may not even find a place to sit. Of course, you are outraged and gradually lose your composure. But the recruiter can watch you at this time, and as soon as you are ready to “explode”, he will start the scheduled conversation.

Prepare for such a scenario in advance, so bring a book or magazine with you to distract yourself in minutes or even hours of waiting. If you are determined to meet, the best insurance against losing your composure is to do some thought activity. At the same time, it is better not to use smartphones or tablets – negative information from social networks can deprive you of focus on the upcoming event.

If the time is approaching lunch, you have every right to actively ask if you can go away for half an hour and have a snack. Remember that, despite the interview’s stressful nature, it is still a two-way communication process. So, the initiative can pass from the recruiter to you and back.

Defend smart

Fighting and gambling applicants who want to demonstrate excellent resistance to stress and a desire to work in a company should provide their reaction to some “painful techniques”.

As we mentioned above, despite the interview’s stressful nature, it is still a two-way communication process.

Personal questions. Even if the recruiter is immensely curious about the details of your personal life and your plans, you shouldn’t talk too much about them. It is your right to keep them out of your private life. You can tell them that these things will not affect your work’s productivity in any way.

They are testing your self-control. The recruiter can start an interview without apologizing for the delay or even saying hello. However, even here, it is not worth giving vent to emotions. If such an appeal is offensive to you, then think about the advisability of continuing the conversation in this format, but in no case respond with similar impudence. Continue to maintain the distance of a business conversation between two strangers.

Monitor the conversation. In some companies, recruiter’s ideas take on completely awkward forms. The applicant may not be offered to sit down,  they may”accidentally” overturn a glass of water on your suit or spill coffee. This no longer applies to a stress interview but indicates a lack of manners and a complete lack of respect from the company. A job seeker who knows his worth will never agree to continue cooperation with such an organization.


Stress interviews produce definite results, but it must be structured according to predetermined standards and have clear boundaries. Yes, it can be compared to a rather challenging role-playing game, where specific rules and criteria still exist. But if, due to inexperience or lack of professionalism, the recruiter has become too carried away with permissiveness, this is a sure sign for the applicant to continue looking for work with more correct personnel assessment methods.

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