Deadline Interview Question Number 1: Tell Me How You Work Under the Pressure of Deadlines?
Imagine if you worked at a place without deadlines. A place that allowed you to work at your own pace and finish whenever you like. Imagine that they still paid you. How long do you think that company would last before it completely went under?
Every job has deadlines, otherwise, nothing would get accomplished. Companies that often have tight and stressful deadlines like to ask their applicants how they handle pressure. They do this for two reasons:
- To make sure you understand that if you take the job, there is going to be a lot of pressure.
- To see if you can prove to them that you handle deadline pressure well.
Obviously, you are going to claim you handle pressure well. Do so with confidence, otherwise, the company may doubt your resolve. Yet you can also shine a little with the answer to this question if you do so correctly, by saying something that gives the company confidence you know what you are doing.
“I work really well under pressure. In fact, I thrive.”
It is good to be confident, but you want detail to answer the question of “how” you are good under pressure. This sample answer doesn’t really say much, and while it is confident it is not detailed enough to help the employer feel as though you are telling the truth.
“Deadlines have always been more of a motivational tool. When I worked for Company XYZ, we often had to work triple time to meet some of the strict deadlines in the field. In the beginning it was difficult, because it was a new experience, but the more I got used to deadlines and what they require, the easier they became, and I suspect I will feel the same way towards any deadlines I may experience in this new position.”
Everyone can claim they can handle deadlines, but why should the company believe you? The best thing you can do is “prove” it to them by discussing deadlines you had at a previous employer.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Yes, you can handle deadlines.
- See if you can discuss pressure at a previous employer and how you handled it.