You are the worst applicant we have ever had. Seriously. What kind of answer was that? Only a terrible applicant would supply that answer. Did you really think we’d be impressed by it? Of course not. We’d tell you to leave right now but we believe that even idiots deserve one more chance, so we’ll let you stay, but trust us – we are not letting you stay because we think highly of you. We are letting you stay because, despite your obvious shortcomings, there is always the .01% chance you can actually handle this job, even though that is clearly in serious doubt at the moment. You suck and you smell like cheese. Your mom probably wishes she had another child to make up for the waste of space that you bring to this world. We don’t even want to share the same air as you. Stop breathing our air right now. Stop it.
If an interviewer started saying all of this to you, what would you do? Most likely you would panic. Your spirit will be broken. Your confidence shattered. Your machismo un-macho’d. Well, what if the interviewer did it on purpose for that exact reason? How would you feel?
Introducing: Stress Interviews
Though less common these days than in years passed, the above example represents the extreme version of what is commonly referred to as a “stress interview.” Stress interviews have one main purpose: To see how well you handle stress/pressure. Stress interviews are specifically designed to make you feel worse about yourself, to see if that damage to your self-esteem affects how well you interview.
Stress interviews are designed used for jobs that require a great deal of pressure. Imagine you are applying for a job in Wall Street. You have to handle the extreme conditions of the market, with thousands of people surrounding you, yelling and screaming. If you cannot handle the pressure, you cannot handle the job.
It doesn’t matter how well you answer a question – the goal of the stress interview is to test your ability to handle stress. It has NOTHING to do with how the interviewer feels about you as a candidate. In the next post, we will look at common stress interview techniques used by hiring managers at companies around the globe.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Stress interviews are testing your ability to handle stress.
- They are not a reflection of if the interviewer thinks you are right for the job.