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Nifty Tips to Champion the Stress Test Interview

September 23, 2017


Hiring the right candidate is always a herculean task for all the companies. Talent acquisition as a process is constantly evolving and recruiters are improvising on their existing processes. One such technique of selecting the best among the rest is through the Stress Test Interviews. Unlike Behavioural Event Interviewing (BEI) Stress Test Interviews do not follow any process or do not look for any kind of evidence finding in you. The only similarity between the two methods of interviewing is that both the techniques help recruiters to understand about your cultural fitment to the company.


What are Stress Test Interviews?


This is a technique used by interviewers to gauge your inner capabilities to deal with the tough and stressful situations. This technique is used by the companies which majorly work in energetic environment. If the position you are applying for involves multitasking or depends on crucial yet short deadlines, this method is used.


There is absolutely no pattern for this kind of interview. The interview questions can be distantly related to your experience or the position you applied for. The only point to keep in mind is the “presence of mind” and “quick reflex actions”.


Let me demonstrate one such stress test interview through my personal experience.


The position I applied for: Manager-HR at a conglomerate


After having undergone two stages of interviews before, this was the final one deciding my course of fate at the organization.


I was called for an interview around 2 pm.


Dressed in business formals, I stepped into the interviewer’s cabin.


The interviewer ordered me to sit at one corner and he was seated at the other distant corner.


After few minutes of silence, the interview began.


Interviewer: Tell me something about yourself. 


Me: Began with my place of birth, educational qualifications, work experience and interests.


Tip: Your introduction should be absolutely crisp and should not last for more than one minute.


My interviewer was pretending to not pay attention to me and was checking out some other files.


Interviewer:  Do you know the divisibility rule of 3? The one we all learnt in our younger classes? Can you prove that theorem to me and I don’t want you to use any examples.


Me: It would be wrong to say I was not perplexed. I gathered my courage and explained him the same.


Looking discontent, he pointed at the pen I was holding and confronted me that I was nervous. Throughout the interview he kept on pushing me to drink water. He was constantly objecting to my replies. His constant endeavor was to bring my morale down.


Some of the more questions asked to me were:

  1. Explain the Porters Rule. (It is a concept taught in Business Strategy classes)

  2. Suppose I call your best friend here inside this room and ask her about 3 of the best qualities that you possess. What that would be? The only condition is that you will be standing outside the room and cannot gesture or tell her about the same.

  3. You are competing with your best friend for the Miss Popular contest. Do you think your class would vote for you? If yes, why?

  4. Do you know the financial concepts like Revenue, Gross Margin, EBIDTA etc?

  5. Why do you want to join our company? Do not give me any of the jargons you learnt in your B-school.


Before the conclusion of my interview, I was sent outside with the company’s financial report. I was asked to read about the financial concepts and then come back again

However, I was called after 15 minutes and the final question was:

  • Justify in 2 minutes (exact) why you want to join our organization?

Now let’s analyse this interview:


a. The interview lasted for 45 minutes.


b. Throughout the interview, I maintained eye contac