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Original post from Mental Toughness Partners

Reading the transcript of this recent stress interview between an experienced HR professional and a potential graduate trainee in Hong Kong reinforced that there IS a better way of testing a candidate’s ability to perform under pressure, namely the MTQ48 psychometric measure.

Whilst one of the major goals of a stress interview is to intimidate candidates to see if they ‘crack under pressure’ it rarely promotes the interviewer or employer in the best light. It also leaves the candidate feeling disrespected and disengaged and there is no way back from there.

This is the exchange as reported in the Hong Kong based Human Resources Online:

The interviewer thinks the young candidate lacks the ability to handle pressure, while the candidate felt he was being insulted throughout the interview. You be the judge !

HRM: February is almost coming to an end, why do you still not have a job?

Candidate: I have no working experience so it is hard for me to find a full-time job.

HRM: It has been more than six months since you left school. What is taking you so long?

Candidate: Many jobs require experience. I am working part-time at the moment to try to gain more experience.

HRM: Other fresh graduates also have no experience. How come they can find a job but you can’t? Do you think you have other problems besides the lack of experience?

No response from candidate.

HRM: Why did you graduate at 24 years old? Most people graduate at 21 or 22 years of age.

Candidate: I studied an associate degree before going to university.

HRM: Everyone attends university after they finish high school. Why did you need to study an associate degree first?

Candidate: My DSE scores were not good enough, so I studied an associate degree.

HRM: So you are saying you have bad academic results? I don’t think you qualify as a university graduate.

Candidate: I have the GPA scores to prove that I am a university graduate.

HRM: Your GPA is 2.6.  Most candidates get above 3 or even close to 4. How dare you think you qualify as a university graduate? You are 24 years old and still have no idea of what you want to do with you life. How can I offer you a job?

Candidate: Enough! If you don’t want to give me a job, don’t bother. I am here to interview for a job, not to be abused by you. If you want to abuse someone, turn to your subordinates.

HRM: Don’t you get it? This is a stress interview. I am testing your EQ and techniques of answering tough questions.

Candidate: Don’t use the concept of a stress interview as an excuse to insult me. I can tell the difference. Don’t waste my time if you have no intention of offering me a job. I will show myself out.

The exchange was listed on an HR Forum, which attracted a host of comments.

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An individual’s ability to perform under stress and pressure, whatever the circumstances, can be effectively and respectfully tested by using the well-validated online psychometric tool MTQ48 and without the need for rude and insulting questions. The test also highlights other important work traits such as emotional management, focus and goal setting, consciousness, drive, ability to deal with personal or organisational change and confidence.