How Do You Handle Stress? Interview Question (5 perfect Answers)

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Many jobs are stressful, employers know about that and asks “how do you handle stress?” in an interview. If you want to ace your interview, you should prepare to answer how do you handle stress and other common interview questions that do come up in an interview.

Common interview questions are important questions that evaluate a candidate’s attributes and reliabilities. In order to tackle the questions well, you need to prepare thoughtful answers that best answers the questions.

Can’t figure out how to go about answering how do you handle stress interview questions? Not to worry. In this guide, I will be showing you steps to take on how to answer how do you handle stress interview question and also some sample answers to back it up.

Why Do Employers Ask How Do You Handle Stress

Just as I mentioned earlier, jobs can be stressful at some point, at the beginning, or maybe later on. Employers want to know whether you can handle job related stress and the steps you take that specifically handle stress at work, should they arise.

Apart from job related stress, there are some outside factors that can affect work performance. Employers want to know how you are able to manage both personal and work related factors that can result to stress.

How to Answer “How Do You Handle Stress?”

Below are effective steps to consider when you want to answer how do you handle stress question.


1. Reflect on how you handle stress

The best way you can answer how do you handle stress question in an interview is by giving examples in the past on how you handled stress.

Before you think of what to say, spend some time by thinking about how you approach stress. Your past experiences are important references to reflect on.

2. Make a list of your strong soft skills

Before you come up with the perfect story to work on as your answer, list your strong soft skills that helps you manage and overcome stress. Soft skills which are also known as interpersonal skills are your personal attributes that makes you an exceptional candidates. These skills can help you handle stress.

Examples of such soft skills for handling stress include;

  • Effective Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Time management
  • Organization
  • Analytical skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem-solving

3. Focus on stories and examples that resulted to positive outcome

When it comes to talking about stress, it’s easy to let emotion sets in – the frustration, the panic, the dread, and blaming others for the situation. But allowing that to set it isn’t going to speak well about you.

Instead of focusing on your feelings and bad experiences on stress, talk about the situations where you were able to handle and overcame stress.

4. Don’t deny it

There is no way you will say as a professional you have never encountered stress before, even if you are a fresh graduate entering the workforce new at some point you have encountered stress, probably in school. Employers won’t buy it when you deny it.

But if you cannot recall any situation where you managed to overcome stress, you can talk on how you are able to manage your daily stress. Do you run after work? Do you force yourself to leave your desk after you scheduled a 30 minutes break? This information will give the interview an insight on who you are and how you operate in and outside your job.

5. Be prepared for follow-up questions

Depending on the answer you gave and the employer, you may likely be asked a follow-up question. Be ready to expand and explain your answer if they want to know more or understand in details the answer you gave.


Examples of how do you handle stress follow up questions include;

  • Do you think there are forms of stress that can be healthy?
  • How do you handle stress when you must make difficult decisions?
  • How do you handle stress when it involves others?

Sample Answers

Below are sample answers to how do you handle stress interview question.

Sample 1: “I try to react to situations rather than to stress. That way, I can handle the situation without becoming overly stressed. For example, when I deal with an unsatisfied customer, rather than focusing on feeling stressed, I focus on the task at hand. I believe my ability to communicate effectively with customers during these moments helps reduce my own stress. I think it also reduces any stress the customer may feel.”

Sample 2: “I’m very sensitive to the nuances of group dynamics. If there’s an unhealthy amount of stress within the team, I can pick up on some of that stress too. So, what I do is to try to proactively listen to the concerns of the people around me, checking in frequently to see whether they, themselves, are under stress. If they are, I think about how I can help them with their workload so the collective stress of the team doesn’t escalate. When the team’s happy, I’m happy.”

Sample 3: “I don’t like to let stress take over a situation. Instead, I like to stay focused on the task at hand. For example, if a client isn’t happy with our product, instead of dwelling on it, I like to focus on proactively communicating with them. I like to get to the bottom of the issue, troubleshoot it, and then find a common ground that’ll allow us to move forward.”

Sample 4: “For me, communication is key in stressful situations, if even over-communicating to ensure everyone is on the same page. For example, I was working on a project with another team and we found there was a lot of duplicate work being done. By scheduling a weekly standup and keeping open lines of honest communication with our teams and managers, we pushed the project forward and ended up moving the needle on a company goal in a big way.”

Sample 5: “When I get stressed, I’ve found that the best motivator is to remember the end result I’m working towards. When I’m working on a challenging project, I sometimes will take a step back and remind myself of my goals. This helps me stay positive and work to my fullest potential.”

Also read – How to Handle Job Interview Stress (5 Effective Tips)


How do you handle stress interview question is one of the common interview questions that mostly come up in an interview. With the above tips, you should be able to come with a thoughtful answer to how do you handle stress interview questions.

That’s it on my guide on how do you handle stress interview question.

I’d love to hear from you

I hope you found the guide helpful

Which sample interests you more? Is it sample #1 or #4?

Feel free to drop your comments below

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About Author

Sistus Obi is a content writer at Recruitment Trust. Sistus is also a tech savvy, and a computer scientist

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