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Do you work well under pressure?

"Do you work well under pressure?"

In most cases, the best answer to this question is answering yes.  Working well under pressure is a good trait to have.  However, I think if you answer that you work the same with pressure and without pressure, the interviewer will be more impressed.  However, you will need to explain in words why this is better.  Here are some of my answers.

Short Answers

"I work well under pressure because I use the pressure to help me work more efficiently."

"I enjoy working under pressure because I believe it helps me grow.  In my previous experience, I always worked well during deadlines, and I always learned how to work more efficiently afterwards."

"I work well under pressure because I don't panic.  I maintain self control and work as efficiently as possible.  In all my experiences, I did well and I always enjoyed the experience."

Long Answers

"To tell you the truth, I think I work the same if there's pressure or if there's no pressure.  I try and take out negative emotional factors and work hard regardless of down time or busy time.  I always prioritize and organize my work, and from there, work efficiently.  If the situation involved pressure due to a lack of time, then the only difference in my work would be the extra time I would need to put in to meet the deadline on time.  Since I believe my normal work is great work, then I suppose I work well under pressure."

I like this answer because it is different than the standard answer.  If you are not comfortable with this answer, then you can use the next one.

"I have a couple of friends who hate working under pressure.  I don't know if it's odd, but I really enjoy working under pressure.  I use the feelings of pressure as a tool to motivate me to work harder and more efficiently.  In my last job, I remember we had a project to complete in 4 days where it usually took 10 days.  There was a lot of panic by some team members, but I ensured everyone that if we concentrate on the task and work real hard, we can complete the project.  It took a lot of overtime, and the last day we were in the office until two AM, but we managed to finish.  It was hard work, but I really enjoyed that experience."

You might not have experienced this example before, but what is preventing you from making something up?  To tell you the truth, I never experienced it before either.  There are some things you shouldn't lie about because they can find out about it such as your GPA or what school you attended, but a story such as the one I included above cannot be verified by the interviewer.  The only thing you have to be careful about is being able to answer follow up questions.

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