Answer to job interview question on stress

One of the toughest job interview question is related to how you cope with stressful situations on the job.
The question can be also presented in other ways such as: "Describe a situation when you were faced with high stress and how you handled it"
As usual, let's get some wisdom from the Book.


Luke 22 39Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40On reaching the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 41He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." 43An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground

Hebrews12 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I tend to think that what happened in the Mount of Olives was the most stressful situation of Jesus’ life. It was really a pivotal moment. The Scripture says ‘his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground’. I don’t know about you, but how more stressful can it get than that? It’s the only record in the Scriptures of Jesus sweating blood. So, it was a time of intense stress and pressure.


This stress was due to the fact that He saw what was coming at Him, the rejection, the persecution, the separation from the Father and the horrible death on the cross. He was faced with a very painful decision: to willingly submit to the will of the Father (his employer in corporate context) with the full knowledge of what that implies in terms of pain and suffering.


So he says "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me…” BUT in the same verse, there is a semi comma and then the dramatic focus shift “; yet not my will, but yours be done.". Hebrews12:2 tells us what caused the shift to occur. It was “the joy set before Him”. He set his eyes on the vision and the impact it was going to have on people. He visualized past the crucifixion, He visualized resurrection day, ascension day, and the return to the Father. He visualized millions of people getting saved and having hope again. He visualized the joy in heaven among the angels. He visualized the rewards and weighted them against the pain.


Then He got peace in His mind. The matter got instantly settled. I believe victory over the cross was already made at that moment because it all starts in the mind. The mind is the battlefield.


Three important elements in your answer to the job interview question on handling stressful and difficult situations at work:

- First of all, stay connected to your management. Jesus went to a solitary place to have undisturbed meeting with the CEO. Your answer should demonstrate your commitment to ensure you are still in alignment with the company vision.

- Secondly, get the help of your support team but understand that ultimately you must take responsibility. Your answer to the job interview question should also demonstrate your team work and cooperation skills.

- Thirdly, after the two points above are covered, your success came by putting your eyes on the vision (and its impact) and determined that it was worthwhile.

Don't hesitate to be more specific in your answer. This is a great way to turn a tough job interview question to your advantage by showing your understanding of the importance of the company vision, team work and determination to press on in difficult times.

See possible answer for a related job interview question

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