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Performance-Based Interview
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10 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns
Updated 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.
Job Interviews     Topics    

Question 1 of 10

Are you pleased with your performance in your most recent position?

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Interview Questions

1.

Are you pleased with your performance in your most recent position?

The interviewer would like an honest reply regarding your performance in your most recent position. The way in which you reply can be a bit tricky if you were terminated, or if you were laid off. Be confident in your reply and, even if there were areas for improvement, focus your answer on what you know you did best.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I am pleased with my performance in my most recent role. Although I was laid off in the end, I know for sure that I was the top performer in my office with the most positive client reviews and the highest referral rate."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I like to perform my job well so that I can ensure a good reference, should my employment status ever change unexpectedly. It's important to deliver great work and perform above expectations. Yes, I am pleased with my performance, especially in the area of customer service and juggling multiple deadlines at a time."

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2.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your performance in your most recent position?

Do you feel that you are always the highest performing employee, or do you have room for growth? This question could be a tricky one as nobody shows up 100% at all times. Answer to the best of your ability and back your reply by speaking about your work ethic and how you ensure your performance goes above and beyond expectations.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I would love to give myself a 10/10 for performance but truthfully - nobody is 100% 'on' all of the time. I will give myself a nine because I always do my best to be as eager and present as possible."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I value work ethic and the delivery of solid performance more than anything. For that reason, I would rate myself as a 10/10 when it comes to performance effort because I always do what I can to deliver."

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3.

Tell me about your most recent performance evaluation. Name one positive highlight, and one area for improvement.

The interviewer is looking for specifics from your performance evaluations or most recent conversations with your current boss. You may not have formal performance meetings. If you do not, then rely on feedback that you consistently receive from your supervisors. Your positive highlight can be big or small! Make sure that you relate your positive points to the requirements of the job posting. When you discuss one area for improvement, avoid mentioning something that would make you ineligible for the position. For instance, if you are interviewing for a business development role, you should not say that you are painfully shy. Also, be sure to discuss that you are actively working to improve this weakness.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"My boss recently sat me down to discuss my work performance. Overall, he was thrilled with my ability to analyze data in ways that many of my coworkers do not. I have a unique capability when it comes to data analysis. One area for improvement was to speed up my work a little bit. I am cautious with my reports and know that as I gain further experience, I will work faster."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"Although I do not have formal performance evaluations in my current role, my manager is often commenting on my ability to read between the lines and deliver what he is looking for, without a ton of direction. One thing that I can work on is my typing speed. I am accurate and type about 50wpm which isn't too bad, but I am practicing to get to 75wpm."

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4.

Describe a change you recently made that improved the performance of your work.

Making a change to improve your performance shows the interviewer that you are self-driven, a go-getter, and able to correct yourself when needed. Give an example of a time when you made a choice, unprompted, to change a habit or process to improve your performance. This change could be something small like cutting out one scheduled coffee break, packing your lunch, organizing your desk, setting a boundary with a chatty colleague, or cleaning up your computer's desktop.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I recently asked for a transfer to a quieter part of the office because I was finding that being to close to the kitchen was distracting to me. I am not easily distracted; however, there was always a group of colleagues gathering, and it's human nature to want to participate!"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I took a few hours last week to reorganize the file room. Things were pretty messy in there, and I was finding myself losing time throughout the week just searching for things. This week, I have noticed a major improvement in my time spent."

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5.

What was your area of excellence in your most recent position?

The interviewer would like to know, from your point of view, what you did best in your most recent position. Likely, you are going to mention the skills that you also enjoy performing the most! Think of two to three skills that you are strong in, that the interviewer will most likely want to hear. Look back into their job posting or job description to generate some ideas.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"In my most recent position, data analysis was my area of expertise. I am solid with numbers and like to take data and come up with future trends based on past and current happenings. I see in your job description that you are looking for someone who has a natural ability with numbers. That description certainly sums me up."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"If I had to choose a couple of areas of expertise I would say that scheduling and organization are my two strongest suits. What attracted me to your job description is the fact that you are in need of someone to revamp your calendar process, which I have successfully done before, and then keep it clean and organized. This position speaks to my strengths."

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6.

How was your performance measured, in your most recent role?

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

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I don't know,"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

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7.

Do you perform better in a group setting, or when working alone?

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

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8.

Are you able to remain productive even when working remote, or from a home office?

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.

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

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9.

How fast do you respond to customer emails and web inquiries? What timeline do you feel is appropriate?

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!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"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?"

Rachelle's Answer #2

"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."

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10.

On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your technical abilities?

The interviewer would like to know how you rate your technical skills. Likely, they will mention specific tech skills in the job posting or job description. First, on a scale of 1-10, discuss how skilled are you in their tech requirements. Try to avoid giving yourself a 10, since nobody is perfect, and you do not want to come across as overly confident or someone who has no room for feedback and improvement. Alternately, avoid giving yourself too little credit. You do not want to paint the picture that you are a tech dud! Try to remain in the 7.5-9.5 range while staying honest and accurate. Be sure to list which programs, apps, or systems in which you shine!

Rachelle's Answer #1

"I rate my technical skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as savvy as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my ability to pick up new tech very easily. I would say I'm strongest in GIS and AutoCAD."

Rachelle's Answer #2

"I will rate myself an eight because I value strong technical capabilities but, just like most people, I have things to learn. My strongest technical skills are in the Microsoft Office suite including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint."

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