You apply in a call center for the money. But along with the money is the stress. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t have the money. If you wanna know what to answer when your interviewer asks, “How do you handle stress?”, this is for you.
How do you handle stress?
Why do interviewers ask this?
They simply want to know how competent and capable you are when dealing with stressful situations. You see, one of the most common reasons why call center agents quit is stress.
As much as possible, BPO companies avoid this like a plague. Nobody wants to waste their money training employees who quit after talking to irate customers.
Therefore, the interviewers’ job is to weed out the applicants who can’t meet the demanding nature of the job. Your job is to show the interviewer that you’re a flexible employee, capable of handling the very nature of the job: stress.
I personally think that stress is natural and necessary when learning and improving one’s career. Therefore, I always make sure that I have a way of handling it.
The best way I deal with it is get my body moving first thing in the morning. I don’t pay for a gym membership but I regularly jog and walk for 30 minutes every morning before I prepare for work. I can always tell the difference when I don’t exercise. My efficiency at work increases but I feel sleepy and just not in the mood to work when I don’t exercise.”
Deciding to be rational rather than emotional
When I’m in a stressful situation, especially at work, I don’t let the stress get the best of me. It’s easy to give in to emotions when you’re stressed, but my job of 2 years as a cashier taught me better.
For example, when I was still a cashier, a customer accused me of giving her the lacking amount of change. She was very demanding and insisted that I give the change right away. Most cashiers would have already gave in to her demand but we have a rule in our department that before giving the money, everything must be calculated and reviewed first.
Nervous as I was, I made sure that I still follow the rules. I stood my ground, reviewed everything, and after 5 minutes, confirmed that the change I gave her was correct. After 5 minutes of insisting that I was a liar, the customer later apologized and said that she put the other half of the change to her other pocket. It always helps to be rational and never let the emotion cloud your judgement.”
Thinking positive and enjoying the challenge
One thing that I’m really proud of is that I’m really good at handling stress and most of the time, I see it as a challenge. There was one time my boss changed the sales quota from ₱4,000 to ₱7,000. That was a bad news for all of the employees including me, but I challenged myself to do it.
So I doubled my effort and worked harder. For the first few days, I didn’t make it. I tried and tried, until the the 2nd week came. I couldn’t believe what happened. Not only did I reach the quota but exceeded it, and it reached ₱10,000. I guess what I learned was, when dealing with stress, you need to first believe and challenge yourself to do it, then take action after that.”
- As long as the way you cope with stress won’t negatively affect the company and your performance, you’re good.
- Tell a story or provide an example on how you’ve successfully dealt with a stressful situation in your previous job/ school experiences. Telling a story or providing an example is more convincing than just saying you’re a good hire without any way of supporting it.
- Do not say that nothing stresses you; that’s simply impossible.
- Instead, appreciate the importance of stress in the workplace. Without a certain level of stress, you won’t learn anything new and valuable.
Hope this helps. Goodluck! 🙂
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