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
"I don't know,"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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?"