Response: I start my workday early, and I generally work beyond regular office hours. This helps me spread my work with greater flexibility during the day and avoid the unnecessary stress. There are some times when even impeccable planning cannot avoid the stress – this may be due to overwhelming workload or actions of others – in any case, I try to think pragmatically and focus on the ‘things to be done in the next five hours’, this helps me invest my energies in the things that need to be done rather than waste it over contemplating how things could be different. It is human to feel stress. I think, however, it is intelligent to find ways that work for each of us in managing it so that work does not get affected by it. Healthy dose of stress is required for a focused and coherent workplace. Taking my mind off the things that cause the stress for a while also greatly helps in keeping things in perspective.
Notes: Generally, those questions are not asked in one go – they will follow one another in sequence. Try avoiding one-line answers, like “I never get stressed” or “I meditate, hence I don’t feel stressed.” The person interviewing you has been in the places that you will be, and he knows for a fact that as you grow up the ladder the demands to handle stress will be more and having a strategy to handle stress will be a good idea.
Variations of this question:
- Do you feel stressed at work? How do you deal with it? What if the stress is caused by actions of others – how do you react then?
- Do you feel stressed? What do you do to tackle it?
- Does anything overwhelm you? What do you do to get past it?
Trap alert: Do NOT say that you never get stressed. Only those who careless don’t feel stressed – that is a bad sign. Every human being feels stressed – how you manage it makes you a great manager or a whiny statistic.