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Home » Career Resource Articles » Stress Interviews

Stress Interviews


Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09


Stress Interviews

Most commonly used in investment banking, stress interviewing is the deliberate creation of an uncomfortable situation in order to test how the candidate reacts to pressure. The ethics of this kind of interviewing are questionable, and it is far from certain that the stress created is similar to what would occur on the job. However, it's also true that one person's stress situation is another person's fair, if tough, question.

Some of common examples of stress-creating techniques are:

  • The interviewer doesn't say anything for the first five or ten minutes of the interview.
  • The interviewer is reading the paper when the candidate comes into the room.
  • The interviewer asks a tough question right off the bat, without even introducing himself.
  • The interviewer challenges your answer by disagreeing with you.
  • The interviewer pauses for a long time after listening to your response.
  • The interviewer ridicules your background.
  • The interviewer takes you into a department meeting with no introduction.
  • The interviewer is deliberately very late, then keeps looking at his or her watch.
  • The interviewer pretends to fall asleep.

 

How might you handle such a situation, if you still want the job?

If the interviewer ignores you when you walk in the room, just dive in with something like, "I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and tell you why I think I'm the right person for this job." After a long pause, you might say, "Perhaps I didn't make myself clear." Then explain your previous response.

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If the manager ridicules your background, you could say, "Perhaps you expected different qualifications, but these have served me well so far and I intend to continue to build on them."

If the manager thrusts you into a department meeting without an introduction, just introduce yourself and ask the other people for their names, then explain that you are happy to meet them and learn more about the department.

If the interviewer pretends to fall asleep, write a note saying, "I enjoyed meeting you," put it in front of the interviewer, and rise to leave. Chances are, you'll get the interviewer's full attention.

The important thing, if you're unfortunate enough to encounter this form of interviewing, is to keep your cool, maintain your dignity, and find a way to use the situation to your advantage.


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