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Top 10 Performance-Based Interview Questions

Question 1 of 10
Are you pleased with your performance in your most recent position?
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Question 2 of 10
How fast do you respond to customer emails and web inquiries? What timeline do you feel is appropriate?
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"In my current role we have a rule that our inbox needs to be cleared out every three days. So, 72 hours I suppose is the maximum amount of time. With that said, I do try to respond to everyone within 48 hours. Could you share with me your policy?"
The interviewer would like to know what you interpret as a fast turnaround when it comes to responding to your customers. You should take note of how quickly you are responded to, by this organization, if you are a past customer. This question also offers the opportunity for you to ask the interviewer what their company policy or expectation may be. You don't want to say '3 days' when it's 24 hours!

Specific Career Examples
Admin Example
"I would love to know what your policy is here. My personal goal is to return all phone messages the same day, and email messages within 48 hours."
Manager Example
"My response time may vary depending on urgency; however, I never leave my clients hanging more than a day. Do you have a preference here?"
Marketing Example
"Marketing is fast moving. For that reason, my clients are never left waiting more than a few hours. What is your timeline like here?"
Retail Example
"We have a three-day, unspoken rule, in our company that I follow but I do try to deliver responses a bit faster than that. With that said, I suppose it also depends on the volume of inquiries. In slower times I can return my customers' inquiries within a day. In the holiday season, 72 hours is more reasonable. Is that acceptable for your timeline?"
Sales Example
"My customers often need speedy responses. Between my sales assistant and I, we almost always return inquiries within 8 hours. Could you share with me your expectation here?"
Teacher Example
"Parent inquiries need to be answered on the same day, in my opinion. I want my students' parents to know that I care about their questions, and I encourage them."
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Question 3 of 10
Are you able to remain productive even when working remote, or from a home office?
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"Although I have not worked from a home office I do have some experience taking work home when tight deadlines are present. I keep myself productive by setting mini goals for myself, which are attached to a specific time frame. I am confident in my ability to remain productive, even in a remote or work-from-home setting."
The position you are interviewing for may offer the option to work from home on occasion. This position may even be a full-time home-office based role! More and more companies are choosing the nix the expense of having physical offices and are training employees who can be productive from a remote setting. If you have experience working remote, or from a home office, be sure to discuss that experience and express how you were productive.

Specific Career Examples
Admin Example
"I can remain productive in any setting. I held a position about two years ago where I was a freelance virtual assistant. The work was pretty fun, and I have a solid reference from that role. I met all deadlines and had a private office set up in my home, which minimized distractions."
Manager Example
"As a senior manager, I often take my work home, when it comes to tweaking training programs, or writing employee performance reviews. I am happy to work from home as needed and am still very much focused on the task at hand, even in a remote setting."
Marketing Example
"In my current role, we are encouraged to work from home on Friday's. Most people only come into the office if it's imperative to the project. I can remain on task and can tune out distractions. It's nice to have some variety in my work scenery from time to time."
Retail Example
"I have not worked from home but am confident that I would perform well in any setting. I am a go-getter, and that will not change because of my work setting."
Sales Example
"I have held a couple of territory sales roles where I am working from my car, the plane, and my hotel room. With my smartphone, tablet, and laptop - I can get anything done, from anywhere!"
Teacher Example
"As a teacher, I have worked from home setting many times. This work includes marking papers and completing report cards. I have a huge kitchen table that I spread my tasks out on, and I get to work with some tea and my favorite Spotify playlist."
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Question 4 of 10
Do you perform better in a group setting, or when working alone?
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"Currently, I perform most of my tasks in a group setting. I am a strong collaborator and know how to gain buy-in from my team, gaining their excitement when it comes to new projects. With that said, I am also very capable of generating great ideas when I work on my own."
It is okay to lean one way more than the other when answering this question; however, the key to a firm answer is to show that you are capable of performing well in either setting. Discuss the environment in which you currently function, and how you ensure that you are successful in your day to day performance.

Specific Career Examples
Admin Example
"Much of my work is independent, so I lean towards saying that I perform better alone, simply because that is the bulk of my experience. At the same time, I am a highly collaborative person, and look forward to joining our company where more teamwork is involved."
Manager Example
"I work best in a team setting when I have a dynamic group of people to lead! Of course, I can remain productive when working on my own but, as a manager, I perform exceptionally well in a group setting."
Marketing Example
"I love group settings and would choose a team based role over an independent role any day. I can certainly deliver on my own - in fact, I spent many years as a freelancer; however, my preference is to work in a collaborative environment."
Retail Example
"I collaborated very well and did so, quite often, during my time in University; however, when it comes to working in a retail setting, I like to work one on one with my customers so that I can ask them deeper questions to further discover their needs."
Sales Example
"Sales is all about the perfect balance between a team effort and independent drive. Can I say both? There are aspects of the sales process that I prefer to do independently such as pipeline building, and contract negotiations. However, when it comes to research and goal setting, I prefer working in a group function."
Teacher Example
"As a teacher, I experience a healthy blend of group work and independent duties, on any given day. I also encourage group work in the classroom to give my students exposure to collaboration. When I was in University, I did prefer to complete major projects on my own. I like to work at a pace comfortable for myself but can also act as a pacesetter on larger group projects."
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Question 5 of 10
How was your performance measured, in your most recent role?
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"I don't know,"
The interviewer would like to understand better the key performance indicators you needed to meet in a more recent role, and how precisely those KPI's were measured. A good interviewer will recognize that the top candidates ALWAYS understand how they were measured, and where they landed in regards to their performance against others in a similar role.

It is a red flag to an interviewer if the interviewee responds with "I don't know," or worse yet - "My company didn't measure my performance in any way." Every company pays attention to employee performance metrics; it's just that some ways are more evident than others.

Some ways that your employer might measure your performance:

- The rate of absence, late days, and sick days
- Setting specific objectives for you, related to a task
- Amount of defective work submitted, or amount of work returned
- Human Capital ROI
- Error counting
- Timed tasks
- Employee retention rates (for managers)
- Revenue Per Employee or Profit per FTE (Full Time Equivalent)
- The willingness of clients to recommend you or your work
- Feedback provided by coworkers and management
- Number of sales
- Scheduling errors
- Safety days
- First- call resolution or call quality and handling (primarily for call-center environments)
- Quality of contacts generated
Specific Career Examples
Admin Example
"In my most recent role, as an administrative assistant, my performance was measured by customer feedback, amount of scheduling errors, and call time. I always exceeded expectations especially in the area of positive customer feedback."
Manager Example
"As a production manager, my performance was measured by employee retention rates, production rates, and safety days. The most important metrics for that company included the safety of the employees and the quality of the manufactured product."
Marketing Example
"In my previous role as a content marketer, I was measured by a range of social media analytics, client feedback, and overall satisfaction, as well as project churn rate. My KPI's were always sitting about 20% above expectations."
Retail Example
"We had online customer surveys in my most recent role. Another KPI was the number of items sold per transaction. I was consistently in the top 10 out of 100 for our region."
Sales Example
"In sales, there are many KPI's to be considered. In my most recent role I was measured by the number of cold calls made per week, the number of aged-accounts made active, average sale amount, and client referral percentage."
Teacher Example
"There is some controversy surrounding the measurement of teacher performance. My current school measures my performance on test results and parent feedback. Could you share with me the ways that you measure performance at your school?"
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Question 6 of 10
What was your area of excellence in your most recent position?
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Question 7 of 10
Describe a change you recently made that improved the performance of your work.
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Question 8 of 10
Tell me about your most recent performance evaluation. Name one positive highlight, and one area for improvement.
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Question 9 of 10
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your performance in your most recent position?
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Question 10 of 10
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your technical abilities?
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