This has been considered by some recruiting experts to be a classic “stress interview,” a technique that allegedly lets a business see how a potential employee reacts to stress. The job interview can include confusing brain teasers, threatening problems, or offensive and aggressive behavior.
Stress interviews have become more controversial over the years, however, and big-name businesses like Google, according to Business Insider, are moving away from the act.
But without breaking down, losing your cool, or walking out, how do you manage a stress interview? Use these tips to keep your cool and help you survive in case you ever find yourself in this situation:
Interviewers are not only judging you in these cases on your responses to difficult questions and brainteasers. They also judge the body language, including your eye contact, stance, handshake grip, smile, positioning of your arm, and vocal inflection.
It’s normal to withdraw into defensive mode and cross your arms when you start feeling intimidated or stressed. Maybe you’ll sink into your seat or lower your voice. When these changes are occurring, you won’t necessarily note, but it’s important to be conscious. Do your best to sit up straight, keep eye contact and use movements with open hands.
Some may argue that a stress interview is merely a gimmick utilized by businesses to find the right candidate who can cope with everyday stress. However, if during the interview you feel awkward, but have passed the test and earned an offer, obey your intuition. An interview will also mirror the culture of an organization.
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You may be feeling out of control in a stress interview. The interviewer has taken the place of the driver and is accelerating at awkward speeds. Note that this is the point of these kinds of interviews, to see how in such a situation you will react.
Your job is to win back some leverage. Particularly when you’re already in a naturally subordinate position, this can be challenging, but here’s an easy trick:
Ask the interviewer questions. You’re not going to want to interrupt, of course, but interpret any delays as opportunities.
You can ask a lot of questions, but here are a few that might fit into a stress interview:
- A personal question: I’m interested to know a little bit more about your career path. How did you get started?
- About the job: what characteristics will the right candidate have in this position?
- About the team: Can you tell me anything about the people with whom I’d be working directly? The manager to whom will I report?
- About the company: How would you characterize the culture of this company?
These questions can not only help to take the pressure off you for a second, but they can also help you to better understand the business and how it works outside of this situation.
Also Read : What to Expect in a Final Job Interview?
Take your time
A job interview is already stressful enough, but the current tension obviously increases when an interviewer barrels into the room with rapid-fire questions and abrasive remarks.
Tip: Don’t feel like you need to follow the tempo of the interviewer. Take a few relaxing breaths, slow your reactions down, and concentrate on what you’re doing. Ask the interviewer to repeat or explain the question if you need more time. This will give you a few more seconds for your answer to think about.
If during your interview you feel threatened or the situation crosses a line, let the interviewer know that you do not agree that you are a good candidate for this role and dismiss yourself from the situation. Do your best to be respectful and leave with faith if you make it to the end of the interview.
If you would like to follow up on the interview tactics or feel like the interviewer has crossed a line, consider following up with the human resources department of the company. If you feel as if you have been discriminated against, you can file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Don’t blame yourself if you’re not able to handle the stress test, it’s OK. It is not actually a clear reflection of how you cope with stressful circumstances, it is merely a gimmick, one that sooner rather than later would be considered outdated.
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