Stress interview

From CEOpedia | Management online

Stress interview is a type of interview that is performed in emotionally charged setting in order to evaluate how the interviewee performs under pressure and other stress conditions.

Reason of stress interviewing

Employers want to check candidate behavior in difficult situations, which could happened during work. Interviewing in this way is intended to ensure that candidate have predispositions to take up a the position, which demand standing with difficult situations. It is very important to stay calm during interview of this kind. There are many controversial about stress interview due to difficult atmosphere between recruiter and applicant (A. Doyle, 2018)

Examples of stress interview methods

Stress interview can be created in different ways, e.g (A. Doyle, 2018):

  • organize interviews in series and let all candidates meet in waiting room - gives opportunity to check how patient candidate is and how stands with weariness and uncertainty. Waiting for their turn also increase level of physical burden,
  • organize interview with all candidates at once, in order to create nervous atmosphere of competition. Every candidate want to be better than others, what increase level of stress and may causes conflict situations,
  • interviewer who behaves in uninterested manner, doing other things during the interview (calling, reading), in order to check candidate attitude in case being ignored or offended - situations which could happened on positions like teacher or client service consultant,
  • hostile interviewer, testing candidate reactions on contact with difficult, nervous people
  • doing other things during the interview (calling, reading), in order to check candidate attitude in case being ignored,
  • asking stressing questions for example, regarding to the previous job and suggesting that problems in it was reason to apply for new one.

Important rules for stress interview participants

According Alison Dayle article, wanting to be successful in this kind of interview, it is important to behave in a specific way. Examples of good practices are (A. Doyle, 2018):

  • do not vacillate to ask for clarification if question from recruiter side is unclear,
  • request for as many information's as possible, before answering a question,
  • keep in mind that there are no wrong answers. Way of answering, method of standing with problems are most important things, which recruiter wants to check,
  • when answer demand to telling a story, candidate should show yourself from the best side, demonstrating that their skills and personality matches with job requirements.
  • understanding the reason of interview, takes it as part of process is really important to reduce stress level and in consequence makes it easier to succeed.

Advantages of Stress interview

A stress interview is a type of interview that can be used to evaluate how a candidate handles pressure and other stressful conditions. The following are some of the advantages of using a stress interview:

  • It allows the interviewer to gain insight into how the candidate behaves under pressure, which is an important factor when determining how well they may handle challenging situations.
  • It tests the candidate's mental resilience and how well they can think on their feet.
  • It can be used to test the candidate's problem-solving skills and how they react to being put under pressure.
  • It allows the interviewer to observe how the candidate deals with difficult questions and whether they can maintain their composure in difficult situations.
  • It can give the interviewer a better understanding of the candidate's personality and how they react to different situations.

Limitations of Stress interview

The stress interview has its own set of limitations that must be considered before it is employed as a tool for evaluating candidates:

  • It can be difficult to recreate a consistent and replicable stress environment for each candidate, which can lead to unfairness in the evaluation.
  • It can create an uncomfortable atmosphere that puts candidates off their game, making it difficult for them to give their best performance.
  • Stress interviews can lead to an incorrect assessment of a candidate’s work ethic, since they are not a true representation of the candidate’s ability to handle the rigors of a job.
  • Stress interviews are not always an effective measure of a candidate’s resilience, since they may be able to manage their emotions better under pressure than they can in a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • It can be difficult to accurately assess a candidate’s performance in a stress interview, as it can be difficult to distinguish between a candidate’s reactions to stress and their actual skills.
  • Stress interviews can be seen as a form of discrimination, as they can sometimes be used to target particular candidates that the interviewer has a bias against.

Other approaches related to Stress interview

A Stress interview is one of the approaches used to evaluate how an individual performs under pressure and other stress conditions. Other approaches related to Stress interviews include:

  • Situational Interviews: Situational interviews are used to understand how a candidate would respond to certain hypothetical scenarios. It helps employers to identify the candidate's problem-solving ability, communication skills, and other qualities.
  • Behavioral Interviews: Behavioral interviews focus on past experiences and actions taken by the candidate. It helps the employer to understand how the candidate has handled difficult situations in the past and how they might handle similar situations in the future.
  • Panel Interviews: Panel interviews are conducted with a team of employers who ask the candidate questions related to their qualifications and work experience. This type of interview helps employers to have a better understanding of the candidate's knowledge and experience.
  • Group Interviews: Group interviews are conducted with a group of candidates, where employers ask questions to the group as a whole and observe how the candidates interact with each other. It helps employers to identify the communication and collaboration skills of the candidates.

In summary, Stress interviews are just one of the approaches used to evaluate how an individual performs under pressure and other stress conditions. Other related approaches include Situational, Behavioral, Panel and Group Interviews.

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Author: Artur Kopera