Instrumented indentation testing has been carried out on steel samples subjected to uniaxial loading. It is distinguished between purely elastic as well as elasto-plastic loading up to plastic strains of 3%. The experimental approach allows the combination of local in-situ residual stress analyses by means of X-ray diffraction and the subsequent realisation of instrumented indentation testing for the same material volumes beforehand irradiated by the X-rays. The aim of the investigations was to explore a potential correlation between the imposed macroscopic stresses and the characteristic values of instrumented indentation testing evaluated from the measured force-indentation depth curves according to the standard ISO EN 14577. The studies illustrate that results of depth sensing indentation testing have to be handled with care for prestressed material states. The effect of mechanical stresses on the results of instrumented indentation testing is not stringently limited on the hardness measures alone. Other indentation parameters like e.g. the indentation modulus EIT or the elastic part of the indentation work η IT are likewise affected by the prestresses, whereas the impact is in the order of magnitude that it has to be taken into account during interpretation of indentation readings.