One of the most common questions hiring managers and recruiters ask potential employees is how they handle stress, owing to the number of possible stressors in the workplace. You must therefore think it through carefully since your response can tell whether you will be a good fit for the organization or not. You can start by asking yourself what you usually do whenever you feel overwhelmed. Do you take some time to recharge, plan, and prioritize your tasks, or do you take deep breaths and stay calm? Whatever your answer is, it should convince the employee that you can positively cope with workplace stress.
Before we suggest ten good answers to this question, let’s first look at some of the stress triggers in the workplace you may have to deal with. Only when you understand what causes stress can you find good ways to overcome it. Let’s get started.
1. Heavy Workload/ Tight Deadlines
This is one of the most common causes of workplace stress. Heavy workloads and tight deadlines result in increased pressure, which leads to stress.
2. Interpersonal Conflicts
Interpersonal conflicts commonly occur due to differences in perspectives, personal disagreements, and misunderstandings. If left unchecked, they can lead to a stressful work environment.
3. Lack of Support/Resources
What happens when employees are required to attend to heavy workloads and meet tight deadlines with inadequate support or resources? Pressure buildup and then workplace stress.
4. Zero/ Poor Work-Life Balance
Employees who do not balance the demands of work and their personal lives usually end up stressed.
5. Organizational Changes
Any significant change in the workplace, such as restructuring, new bosses, and layoffs, can lead to stress and uncertainty in a work environment.
6. Lack of Recognition From Executives/ Supervisors
Employees who feel they need to be recognized or adequately rewarded for their workplace contributions may experience stress if they are not. This explains why managers, supervisors, and top executives are generally advised to recognize or reward employees for their contributions where possible.
Employee harassment or discrimination is one of the most common causes of stress in the workplace, which explains why most organizations are against any form of harassment or discrimination.
Other causes of workplace stress include role ambiguity, poor management, role ambiguity, and unclear expectations. Let’s now see how you can manage workplace stress before helping you answer the above question when asked by the interviewer.
Here are some of the best ways to handle workplace stress:
1. Prioritizing Self-Care
Taking care of your mental and physical well-being can help you manage work-induced stress. Consider activities such as taking occasional breaks, eating healthily, reading a book, getting enough sleep, and working out.
2. Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can help calm your mind, significantly reducing stress levels. Consider activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga, as they have been found to lead to more composure.
3. Positive Attitude
You can reduce stress levels by maintaining a positive attitude and perspective. Think about what you have at the moment or your past successes whenever you are faced with a stressful situation at work, and you will thrive. A positive attitude will also help you see challenges as growth opportunities, not threats, which is important.
4. Staying Organized
One way to reduce workplace stress is to stay organized and effectively manage time. These two strategies help reduce the pressure that comes with heavy workloads. Some ways to ensure proper organization include creating to-do lists, breaking down heavy workloads into manageable tasks, and prioritizing tasks. Focusing on what’s most important instead of trying to do everything at once increases productivity and reduces stress.
I understand that this job may get stressful for several reasons. When faced with a stressful situation, I usually stay calm and take deep breaths. I have learned that breathing deeply can help eliminate physical symptoms of anxiety and stress, allowing me to maintain the composure needed to find an excellent solution to a stressful situation. I may also take a few minutes off to recharge and come back rejuvenated.
I have learned that the best way to handle workplace stress induced by a heavy workload is to prioritize and plan tasks, as it gives me total control of the work at hand. Usually, I break down all my workload into manageable tasks and list them in order of urgency and importance. Completing the most pressing ones before focusing on the less urgent helps me relieve pressure and stay composed.
I normally handle workplace stress by keeping a positive attitude, which keeps me motivated and in a good mood regardless of the situation. Positivity also allows me to focus on finding solutions rather than worrying about the problem, hence alleviating workplace stress. Lastly, it’s easier to obtain help with a positive attitude than a negative one.
My secret to workplace stress management is maintaining a good work/life balance. I usually focus on doing what I love most outside work, which makes me feel more rejuvenated whenever I get down to work. I also create time to talk to my family or friends over the weekend or after work, sharing with them some of the stressful things I encountered during the week or day, which further helps alleviate pressure.
I handle workplace stress by tracking my stressors and developing healthy responses. I normally note down situations that cause me the most stress and keep a detailed record of my thoughts, feelings, environment, and my reactions to establish patterns among my stressors. This has always helped me develop better ways of responding to stress-inducing situations.
Whenever I feel stressed at work, I take time to recharge, which I refer to as my recovery time. Recharging means not thinking about work for a few minutes, allowing me to replenish my energy levels and return rejuvenated. I may also engage in relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation, when time permits, as they always come in handy whenever I have many things to deal with.
I usually manage workplace stress by prioritizing self-care as I recognize that it’s impossible to be at my best while neglecting my physical and mental well-being. I, therefore, take breaks to recharge when necessary, eat healthily, work out regularly, and sleep for at least 7 hours a night. I also engage in several activities outside work to help deal with job-related stressors, such as listening to music, reading my favorite genre of books, and preparing my favorite meals.
I usually reduce workplace stress by communicating effectively with my superiors and coworkers since excellent communication strategies help reduce conflicts, misunderstandings, and frustrations, which are some of the leading causes of stress in the workplace. I maintain a respectful tone when addressing my colleagues and superiors and actively listen to their opinions while staying assertive.
I usually handle workplace stress by setting boundaries as early as possible to avoid feeling overwhelmed. To do that, I usually set realistic expectations and avoid overcommitting, as these two can overload me. I also don’t prefer excessive overtime to maintain a good work-life balance that helps reduce stress.
I usually manage workplace stress by focusing more on things under my control and less on those I can’t control, as it leads to feeling less anxious or worried. I am always ready to accept whatever is beyond my control and work on things I can influence to avoid feelings of frustration or helplessness. I occasionally seek support from my colleagues and friends whenever things get out of hand.
The above answers can help convince the interviewer that you can manage workplace stress well. Make sure that you answer confidently and without stuttering.
There are many causes of stress in the workplace, and even though most employers try to minimize them, you should always prepare in advance. We have looked at some of the ways you can manage workplace stress and stay on top of your game and suggested ten sample answers to help you answer any stress-related interview questions, which we hope will come in handy in your next job or job interview. We wish you all the best.