Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Give an example of having worked under pressure... [interview question]

Announcements Posted on
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    How do I answer this?! I honestly can't think of time I've worked under pressure. Surely avoiding high pressure situations is a natural (or even desirable) characteristic in an applicant? Anyway, I'm told this answer is VERY bad; they always want a detailed example.

    What would be good things to talk about? I've worked in Sainsbury's (as a knuckle-dragger... erm, I mean shelf stacker, and cashier), admin work for the family business and my degree (I'm told, 'I really had to work hard to hand in my dissertation on time' is not a good answer! Plan your work better?) -- Not really high pressure situations.

    How do I fudge that experience into a story about high pressure working? ...he asked subtly

    How would you answer the question?

    Note: This isn't about a specific company's interview, so it's not against the rules, right? It's a pretty common question anyway.
    • 3 followers
    Offline

    I hate interview questions like that. I also hate the ones where you're asked about a time when you went beyond your call of duty, or when you took initiative to do something.

    To be honest, there are probably a few examples where you've worked under pressure... and if not, you can make one up. For example, where I work (Asda), we have regular inspections, and because the managers are so useless they're always caught off-guard until the day before the inspection If you're working the day before an inspection a shift is like to entail being rushed off your feet cleaning, tidying, working stock and suchlike, with little chance of getting the breaks you're entitled to... and you really have to perform, otherwise impatience gets the better of the managers (because it's their jobs on the line for once). Also, because they're running all over the place, it sometimes takes someone (i.e. you) to take some leadership and try and organise the people you're working with or who are working around you. Examples like this are good because they're a type of pressure that you're subjected to despite not having had any particular role in causing it (as opposed to revision cramming, for example).
    • 75 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Has anyone ever phoned in sick and left you short staffed at work? Has a till or other vital piece of equipment broken and you've had to work hard to cope without it? Delivery lorry turned up late so you had less time to get stuff done?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    If you really can't think of something then i suppose you could exaggerate a situation (or even make one up). For example you could talk about a time at work when you were really understaffed and there was a lot of work that needed to be done.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by cactus kid :))
    If you really can't think of something then i suppose you could exaggerate a situation (or even make one up). For example you could talk about a time at work when you were really understaffed and there was a lot of work that needed to be done.
    Thanks.

    That's the thing, isn't it? They're not even bothered if you're making it up, as long as you fully appreciate the importance of it (enough to lie about it) and the factors surrounding it.

    The way I see it, a lot of business is about ************ (Edit: bullock-excrementing), manipulating and thinking on your feet. Doing it at interview is merely demonstrating a characteristic they're looking for! :rolleyes:
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by o-e-s-j)
    Thanks.

    That's the thing, isn't it? They're not even bothered if you're making it up, as long as you fully appreciate the importance of it (enough to lie about it) and the factors surrounding it.

    The way I see it, a lot of business is about ************ (Edit: bullock-excrementing), manipulating and thinking on your feet. Doing it at interview is merely demonstrating a characteristic they're looking for! :rolleyes:
    I don't really know why but that made me laugh quite a bit. Think it was the phrase 'bullock-excrementing'.
    But anyway, yeah your probably right.
    Were you asking this question because you have an interview coming up? Or just out of interest?
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by cactus kid :))
    I don't really know why but that made me laugh quite a bit. Think it was the phrase 'bullock-excrementing'.
    But anyway, yeah your probably right.
    Were you asking this question because you have an interview coming up? Or just out of interest?
    I just failed an interview really badly because I drew a complete blank on this question. Don't have any more lined up yet, but almost all job descriptions require 'perform well under pressure'-types.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?

    this is what you'll be called on TSR

  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?

    never shared and never spammed

  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide the button to the right to create your account

    Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: July 21, 2009
New on TSR

What are your A-level predictions?

Join our AS and A2 results day chat thread

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.