The interviewer wants to know how you react to uncomfortable tasks and awkward conversations. No matter how seasoned a leader you are, it is never fun to deliver a poor performance review. Highlight to the interviewer that you are confident in your professionalism and communication skills, that you are capable of challenging conversations, and that you can give helpful feedback while providing important mentorship to your team.
If you do not have experience with performance reviews, it is okay! Tell the interviewer that you have never been in a role where you needed to give a formal performance review, but you look forward to learning the process. Add an example of a time when you provided someone with constructive feedback instead. This example can be in the workplace, school, or maybe even on a sports team. Discuss how you ensured that you did not humiliate the individual but that you discretely pulled them aside to have the conversation. Finally, be sure to mention that the person continued to have a healthy relationship with you following the discussion. This fact will highlight that you handled the situation professionally.
"A large part of my role is to give monthly performance reviews to my team of 13 employees. When I need to deliver a poor review, the employee is already aware that I will be looking for improvement in their performance. This awareness is because I stay in close contact with all of my employees on their monthly progress."
"Yes, I have had to give critical employee reviews to temporary associates before. It is a task that I do no love doing but can do it."
" When I deliver an unsavory review, I act as a mentor and ask the employee to work with me on a performance plan. I never want anyone to feel like they are on the verge of being fired because that never improves an employees performance. I want them to feel like they are part of an important collaboration."
"I haven't had to give any employee reviews in a management capacity, but when I left one role, it was in large part due to the poor management. That said, I did sit down with the CEO before I left and gave him candid feedback about the VP of Sales that no one else was going to provide while still working for the company. It was indeed uncomfortable, but it was valuable feedback to give to him, and he made company decisions based off of it."
"Performance reviews were handled by my manager. However, I did give employees warnings and write-ups for performance failures. I felt that I was doing them a service by helping them see what they needed to do to improve."
"When giving an employee review, if possible, I start by asking them to assess their performance. Almost without fail, they will point out the shortcoming that I am noticing, and we then can have a positive brainstorming session about it together, rather than feeling like I am reprimanding them."
"I give student reviews all the time, even aside from report card time. I am comfortable giving constructive feedback in any situation; however, I have never critiqued a fellow teacher."