Stress Interview

HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Stress Interview

What Is the Purpose of an Interview

The interview is an opportunity for employers to identify the best candidate for a role within their organization. Interviews differ depending on the position and often vary in length, formality, and style.

Though interviews may vary widely depending upon the position, the overall hiring process should be structured and standardized within your organization.

What Is a Stress interview?

Stress interviews focus on how well a candidate responds to difficulty, which can be crucial to succeed under pressure in a given position.

This approach differs from behavioral, case, and competency-based interviews in how the questions are asked. This meta-interview format creates a stressful situation where candidates must answer questions about stressful situations.

This interview-style requires hiring managers to ask uncomfortable—even aggressive—questions, which makes it a difficult format for many managers to master.

Some advocates might argue that the interview is hardly as demanding as the job itself and should be approached as such. After all, stress interviews are most common in high-pressure industries such as the airline and law enforcement industries.

Where Does an Interview Fit Within the Hiring Process?

The hiring process essentially breaks down into seven primary stages:

  1. Identify Need and Update Job Description
  2. Develop and Implement Recruitment Plan
  3. Screen Applicants
  4. Interview Candidates
  5. Check References
  6. Extend Offer
  7. Onboard New Hire

Although interviewing is in the middle of the overall hiring process, it’s near the end of the decision-making portion—when only the most qualified candidates compete for your extended time and attention. The hiring decision depends on these final interactions.

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