Performance-based interview questions

Performance-Based Interview Questions: A Full Guide

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Performance-based interview questions, or PBI, focus on your previous accomplishments. Recruiters and hiring managers are interested in your achievements because they use this information to determine how successful you will be as a potential employee.

During job interviews, questions about your accomplishments and achievements are frequently raised. This is a frequent topic among interviewers for a variety of reasons. Employers utilize performance-based interview questions to understand your skills and abilities better.

The interviewers aim to determine your motivation for the job by asking you the right questions. It’s also a quick approach for them to determine whether you’re a good fit for the role and company culture. In addition, how you answer these questions reveals more about your abilities, work ethic, character, and personality.

Across all sectors and levels, performance-based questions are used. Interviewers can better understand how you apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills by asking these questions. Behavioral questions are like performance-based questions. Behavioral interview questions also ask you to disclose previous work accomplishments, which the interviewers use to predict future employment success.

Job seekers are frequently unaccustomed to discussing their best achievements and will be forced to think rapidly to come up with accomplishments. As a result, you must prepare for your interview ahead of time. 

When the interviewer asks about your accomplishments, it’s a perfect time to establish your suitability for the job. 

Questions concerning your achievements allow you to talk about a time in your career that applies to the position you’re going for and show that you can add value to your potential future employer.

We’ll go over why this is the case, why the interviewer is asking you these questions in the first place, and what they’re looking for in your replies in this article.

What Are Performance-Based Interview Questions?

Performance-based interview questions are comparable to behavioral interview questions, as previously mentioned.

These inquiries necessitate more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Performance-based interview questions ask you to elaborate on a circumstance you’ve encountered in a professional setting. This is an excellent approach for interviewers to focus on your past successes, how you solve problems, deal with hurdles, and which work environments you thrive in.

In general, performance-based interview questions have a few characteristics in common. They’re standardized, which makes it easier for interviewers to use the same evaluation standards for all candidates.

The most essential aspect of standardization is that it eliminates bias by leveling the playing field for all applicants. This form of interview question causes concrete examples and scenarios that show the talents and characteristics required for the position.

Furthermore, performance-based interview questions are ideal for hiring managers to analyze soft skills such as communication, leadership, growth potential, cultural fit, and technical skills.

Performance-based interview questions usually start with:

  • Tell me about a time when.
  • Give me an example of this.
  • Describe a situation.
  • What do you do?

Examples of performance-based questions are:

  • Tell me about when you needed to persuade others to make a change. What role did you play, and what actions did you take? What was the outcome?
  • Give me an example of a time you suggested a creative idea in the workplace. What was your idea? How did you get your superiors to implement it?
  • Give me an example of a career goal you set for yourself and how you accomplished it.
  • Describe a situation in which you took a meaningful and specific action to resolve a problem in the workplace.
  • What do you do when a client asks you a question that you do not immediately have the answer to?

As you can see, performance-based questions require you to deliver more than simply a yes or no answer to the interviewer. The interviewer wants to hear you describe a situation from your professional life. As a result, it’s critical to recognize that this is an excellent time to show your abilities and promote yourself in a positive light.

Every interview is an opportunity to show you’re the best fit for the job. Find out: 21 Great Job Interview Tips: How to Make An Impression

However, some preparation is required to ensure these queries do not catch you off guard. Your interview preparation should include tangible examples of specific successes you can offer the interviewer. This means that if you’re questioned about your professional accomplishments, you should be able to respond quickly.

Interview questions concerning your professional successes focused on performance allow the interviewer to focus on events that you consider significant in your career. The interviewer can concentrate on the specifics of the problem you present. That is why you must tell the interviewer about your circumstance, your task in that situation, the action you performed, and the particular results that can be expected from those activities.

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Why Interviewers Use Performance Based Interview Questions?

Like behavioral interview questions, performance-based interview questions are employed in almost every industry and firm. The interviewers’ primary purpose is to determine your suitability for the position. 

Performance-based questions assist them in doing so. These types of queries are about your job performance and potential for advancement. Asking performance-based questions allows you to assess how well you will fit into the organization.

Performance-based interviewing gives the best chance of exposing the genuine talents, abilities, and attributes of job prospect interviewers. 

Regular or non-standardized interview questions are prone to prejudice and can impact the outcome of a job interview. This is not only unfair to the candidates, but it also hurts the effectiveness of the interview process.

Hiring managers can ensure a fair process for all applicants by utilizing the same questions for each candidate and analyzing these questions in the same way. It’s also a great method to avoid making subjective hiring selections and instead focus on the prospects who stand out from a statistics standpoint.

You must present the interviewer with a sample of former work experiences by asking precise questions. ‘Tell me about a moment when you were in a position where you had to make a difficult decision,’ for example, is a performance-based interview question. You may understand that making up a story about a specific incident is more complex than answering a generic topic.

Furthermore, how a candidate responds to a performance-based inquiry reveals a great deal about their personality and skills relevant to the position they’re applying for.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Performance-Based Interview Questions

The advantages of asking performance-based interview questions are obvious. These inquiries are tied to the hiring company’s operations. In addition, the responses to these questions provide the interviewer with information about past work practices and experience.

Performance-based interview questions are excellent for eliciting additional follow-up questions based on the information provided by the candidate. They are generally better than other interview questions at producing critical information about a candidate.

Performance-based interview questions have the disadvantage of not always reflecting how a candidate would act today. To put it another way, the questions and responses are centered on previous work conduct and experience.

What the Interviewer Wants to Know

Performance-based interview questions elicit genuine abilities, qualities, and skills. Interviewers want to learn about your previous work experience and which career successes you consider the most valuable. Hiring managers want to learn more about your personality, your approach to work, and your job. They are primarily concerned with the following aspects of your character:

1. A strong work ethic

For new employees, a strong work ethic is a desirable trait. This is because, even if a candidate has considerable relevant job experience and abilities, they will not be a worthwhile asset to a business unless they have a strong work ethic.

Your willingness to work hard and exhibit dedication is critical for interviewers. This and my qualifications and abilities make me the ideal prospect for a hiring manager. Hearing you talk about what is important to you at work is also intriguing for them. He or she is also interested in what you consider a triumph or achievement.

Your interview preparation should assist you in becoming prepared and capable of providing the interviewer with specific examples of your previously exhibited desire to work hard to achieve your goals.

To become a hardworking person, you need the right motivation. Find out: 10 Proven Ways to Motivate Yourself for Work even at all Odds

2. The most important values

Your fundamental values are the principles that guide you in deciding and carrying out tasks. The interviewer is trying to determine if your work values, ideals, and practices align with what the organization seeks. The interviewer might learn more about your core principles by asking questions regarding your job performance and accomplishments.

3. Real-life examples of your characteristics and abilities

Performance-based questions encourage you to describe a real-life scenario to show that you have the abilities and expertise that the employer seeks. The interviewer can understand what to expect from you by summarizing your experiences and accomplishments. They can judge your suitability for the position based on this information.

Performance-Based Interview Questions That Are Frequently Asked

The following are some of the most often-asked performance-based interview questions:

1. Could you explain what drew you to this position and why you think you’d be a good fit?

2. What do you believe your most significant assets are? Could you share an example of how you’ve applied such skills in the workplace?

3. Describe the most innovative solution you’ve come up with to a business problem. Tell me about the situation, what you did, and how it turned out.

4. Tell me about the most challenging situation you’ve encountered at work.

5. What do you think your worst flaw is? How do you intend to address those flaws?

6. Tell me about a time when you were to persuade people to change their behavior. Tell me about the situation, what you did, and how it turned out.

7. Give an example of when you used sound judgment and decision-making to address an issue.

8. Describe when you disagreed with a superior. What steps did you take to fix the situation?

9. What is your proudest professional achievement?

10. Tell me about a time when you accomplished something.

How to Formulate Answers to Performance-Based Interview Questions

Focus on a couple of things when you discuss your work experiences during a job interview:

1. Provide an answer as a “success story” to the interviewer. Take them through the difficulties you faced and how you dealt with them. Also, discuss your activities and the results you achieved by following them.

2. reasonably organize your tale. To do so, use the STAR interview approach. A situation (S), your task (T) in that setting, the actions (A) you took, and the results (R) you achieved from your actions are all represented by the acronym STAR.

3. Make careful to emphasize your accomplishments in your responses. This may appear an open door, but it cannot be overstated. Concentrate on demonstrating that you’re the best candidate for the job.

Interviewers can ask you a couple of questions to ensure you understand the job properly. Discover: Best Answers To “What Are You Looking For In A Job”

4. Demonstrate the talents, abilities, and experience required for the position you’re interviewing for and the qualities the interviewer is looking for. In other words, align your qualifications to the job requirements and competencies listed in the job description.

5. Provide serious responses that indicate your commitment to and attention to your objectives. Answer the question professionally and briefly discuss your achievements with the interviewer.

6. Honesty is essential. Hiring supervisors are taught to recognize whether a candidate is lying or fabricating information. Prepare yourself adequately before the interview so that you can discuss various real-life scenarios if the interviewer requests.


How can I prepare for PBI?

You can prepare for a PBI by considering the job you are interviewing for and identifying the areas you think are essential for success.

How can I answer a behavior-based question?

To answer a behavior-based question, you must first reflect on specific situations you faced while working (including any volunteering or internships), then describe the specific action you took, and, finally, the outcome. As a result of your actions.

What is a Performance-based interview for employees?

For employees, performance-based compensation is a reward for their hard work. It acts as an acknowledgment of their contribution to the firm and as an incentive to stay with the company.

Who benefits more from a Performance-based interview?

Employees on a compensation plan based on performance are more driven to reach goals and earn extra money.

What is the purpose of the performance-based interview?

Performance-based job descriptions are commonly utilized to identify senior professionals whose primary focus is the application of technical knowledge and the ability to successfully implement projects to improve a company’s overall financial return.


Ensure you don’t exaggerate to the point of no return when discussing teamwork versus solo work. If you prefer working alone, the interviewer may conclude you lack cooperation skills.

This also works in the opposite direction. If you strongly prefer teamwork, the interviewer may conclude that you will find it difficult to work alone or without supervision.