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What would you do if an employee is not meeting their goals?

1 of 25 Management Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on June 29th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
How to Answer

The interviewer would like to know how you handle under-performing employees. As a management professional, how do you treat employees who are not meeting targets and company expectations? Discuss with the interviewer your style when it comes to managing under-performing employees.

Professional Answer Examples
General
Answer example

"If an employee is not meeting their goals I will first sit down with them one-on-one and ask them why they feel they are missing their targets. It's important to hear someone out and see, from their perspective, why they are struggling. I will then present their average statistics to them over the past 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Often a review of their work history is constructive when it comes to revealing a pattern. We will make a plan and review progress once per week."

Admin
Answer example

"If an employee were not meeting their goals, I would probably take the nice guy approach by taking them out for coffee and asking them what I could do to support them in the workplace. If there were a recent example of their work falling short, I would refer to that - rather than an example from too long ago. From there, I would help them to set some goals or offer tips and tricks for increasing productivity."

Manager
Answer example

"Individual coaching is a large component of my role as a manager. I will find out what is preventing that associate from meeting their goals and work with them to overcome those challenges. Perhaps something is going on outside of work, or they did not receive training to be properly equipped to exceed their goals. Once we identify those items, we will formulate and execute a plan to get them on track."

Marketing
Answer example

"When one person does not meet goals, it affects entire campaigns and project deadlines. For this reason, I hold a morning meeting on a daily basis to ensure everyone's deliverables are on time. If someone is not delivering the quality they normally do, I will ask them privately if there is something wrong. I like to have genuine conversations with my staff because their success is important to me."

Retail
Answer example

"If someone on my team is not living up to their expectations, we have a chat before things become too far gone. I like to let them lead the conversation by asking 'Why do you think I asked for some time today?' With very few exceptions, they immediately open up about being disappointed for falling short of their goals and offer up suggestions on how they think they can improve."

Sales
Answer example

"It's immediately apparent if an employee starts to slip on their goals since we have the weekly sales meetings. Also, there are running scoreboards that are updating live stats, so we have a minute-by-minute and week-by-week update. That said, I'm sure to touch base with every employee at least weekly, but especially if their numbers are slipping. I want to get to the root of the issue with them and like to get their side of the story, which often is all it takes to get them to shake it off, learn from their mistakes, and turn it around the following week. If that's not enough, we go further. We will put the employee in question on an individual performance plan if warranted with clear goals and deadlines they must meet."

Teacher
Answer example

"If a student were not meeting their goals, I would call a meeting with them, and their parents, depending on how severe the case. I have individual plans for students where they can write down self-guided learning goals attached to a timeline. This approach has worked for me very well for many years."

Written by:

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 01/05/2017
Last modified on: 06/29/2018

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