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How to Answer: Can You Share an Example of a Successful Decision You Made Under Pressure?

Interviews are stressful, but often a key question is how you perform under pressure. This article will help you develop a successful answer.

What is the hiring manager looking for?

Hiring managers want to know how you’ll handle stressful situations and make quick decisions. They want to know you are not overwhelmed by pressure and can use it to make decisions quickly and effectively.

How to structure your answer

Use the STAR method to structure your response:
1. Situation: Briefly describe the situation you were in, making sure to emphasize any elements that created stress or pressure.
2. Task: Discuss the specific task(s) you were responsible for in that situation. Be clear about your role and what you were expected to accomplish.
3. Action: Elaborate on the specific actions you took to address the situation. Explain why you made the decisions you did, highlighting your thought process and any relevant skills or knowledge you used.
4. Result: Discuss the positive outcome of your actions. Explain how your decisions led to a successful resolution of the situation and any measurable or tangible benefits that resulted.

Tips to answer this interview question

* Use examples that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
* Be specific and provide details about the situation, task, action, and result.
* Use strong action verbs to describe your actions.
* Be confident and enthusiastic when delivering your answer.

Things to Avoid:
* Don’t ramble, be concise while providing necessary details.
* Don’t talk about situations where you made a mistake.
* Don’t focus on the negative aspects of the situation.
* Don’t be vague or general in your response.

Example interview answers to this question

Sample Answer 1:

“During my time as a project manager, I was faced with a tight deadline and limited resources. The project was complex and required careful coordination among multiple teams. To manage the pressure, I broke the project into smaller tasks, assigned them to team members, and established clear communication channels. I conducted regular check-ins to monitor progress and address any issues promptly. By staying organized and focused, we were able to deliver the project on time and within budget, earning praise from the client.”

This answer is strong because it highlights the candidate’s ability to manage stress, prioritize tasks, and effectively communicate with team members. It demonstrates the candidate’s problem-solving skills and ability to deliver results even under pressure.

Sample Answer 2:

“In my previous role as a customer service representative, I encountered an angry and irate customer who was experiencing technical difficulties with our product. To defuse the situation, I actively listened to their concerns, empathized with their frustration, and offered immediate solutions. I remained calm and professional throughout the interaction, providing clear instructions and guidance. As a result, the customer left the conversation satisfied and resolved their issue, reducing the chances of escalation and maintaining a positive customer relationship.”

This answer is strong because it showcases the candidate’s ability to handle difficult customers, communicate effectively, and resolve conflicts peacefully. It demonstrates the candidate’s customer-centric approach, patience, and emotional intelligence.

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