How to Face a Stress in the Interview

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Nowadays, when we do the job search, we find an increase in competition for each position, but also with an increase in the demand on the part of companies. Thus becomes more difficult and tough to get 100% correct when they choose a candidate. In interviews, many professionals have gone from listening: when can you start? to listen: we will call you or we are evaluating more applications …

The point is that the selection processes take longer and the interviews become more difficult and, sometimes, the interviewers try to take the candidates to extreme or conflictive situations to see how they develop. In this sense, it is possible that as candidates we have to overcome the pressure or stress in the interview. In this case, the interviewer tries to create a difficult climate for the candidate to be neglecting. For example, his aptitudes for the position, his training, or his previous experience make a difficult go for the candidate. With this situation, the interviewer does not seek to provoke the candidate gratuitously, but to evaluate his capacity to defend his candidacy when he is attacked and to assess his response style. This kind of response style will be easy for you to repeat in front of customers, suppliers, or colleagues.

 Assertiveness, aggressiveness, and passivity

This type of evaluation is important when the position to be filled involves customer relationship and monitoring functions, technical support, etc. In which the client can, for example, claim and demand from the company certain guarantees or services that go beyond what was contracted and the candidate must know how to defend the work and business of his company while maintaining customer satisfaction.

In general, in this type of interview, a response style called “assertive” is usually sought, discarding those candidates who respond passively or aggressively to the pressure of the interviewer. Suppose that, “as a correspondence procedure and style, emphatics varies and stands somewhere close to two other polar practices: forcefulness and resignation. It is usually defined as a communicational behavior in which the person does not attack or submit to the will of other people, but rather expresses their convictions and defends their rights. It is worth mentioning that assertiveness is a behavior of people, a behavior. It is also a form of conscious, congruent, clear, direct, and balanced expression, whose purpose is to communicate our ideas and feelings or defend our legitimate rights without the intention to hurt or harm, acting from an inner state of self-confidence, instead of the limiting emotionality typical of anxiety, guilt or anger ”.

The “assertive” way of answering

Translated to an example in the interview, it supposes that, in the face of statements from the interviewer such as: Why have you studied this master’s degree? This is useless … I do not know why you have been called for the interview, I do not see that you can contribute anything … this is going to be a waste of time … a candidate with a passive response style would respond trying not to offend the interviewer and accepting his point of view, with responses of the type … well, at that moment I studied him thinking it was a good idea … lowering his voice and accompanying his words with a crestfallen gesture, shrugging his shoulders and lowering his gaze. A candidate with an aggressive response style will counter such criticism… But… How dare you say that? What training do you have? Surely he has not even finished a degree … or … I have come here to do a serious interview … the one who is wasting my time is me … raising the tone and accompanied by a direct penetrating look into the eyes of the interviewer leaning towards him in a rigid posture.

Unlike these two responses, a candidate with an assertive style will maintain the same tone with which he began the interview, will question the statements of the interviewer, and will constructively refute them trying to bring him closer to his point of view, establishing a contact visually and leaning slightly towards him maintaining a relaxed posture. Your answers will go along this line: Well, that is your opinion, I agree that there are many useless masters, with inexperienced teachers … but precisely I did this master because of my great interest in … and to improve my skills in … I also selected it because the teachers were all professionals with extensive experience in business… has allowed me to increase my knowledge of…. that in your company I am convinced they will allow me to increase … improve … reduce … and I have also improved and acquired key skills for a position like the one you are looking for, how they are … working with real cases …

 It is not about changing personality but about the behavior:

With the assertive response, we start by highlighting what we share or can share with the interviewer, we make him see that we understand him and, from that understanding, we go on to defend the candidacy, which is what we have attended the interview for, showing what we do things with an objective, that we can analyze options, make decisions and take the opportunity to highlight what we contribute to the position always positively and thinking about the needs of the company. In this way, the probability of convincing the interviewer of our point of view will be very high. Acting assertively in the face of criticism and stress in the interview will be much easier if we have prepared properly and have documented in-depth about the company.

Some may think that they cannot change their way of being or their personality or that it is not worth it because they do not want to stop being themselves. But we are not talking about changing the personality, but specific behaviors in certain situations. Although each of us tends to respond more frequently with one of these styles, we act passively, assertively, or aggressively at different times depending on the environment, the person with whom we interact, and our previous learning. Assertiveness is a communication style that we can practice and train, not only to face difficult interviews but to face a multitude of situations in our professional and personal lives.