Sooner or later, the interviewer is bound to get around to asking
you something about your job performance. This can be done in
a number of ways, a few examples of which follow:
- In checking with your boss, what would he tell me about
your performance? What things would he say you do well? What
improvements would he say could be realized?
- How well does your recent salary increase reflect your actual
- What changes have you brought to the job since entering
- What would you list as being your three most significant
accomplishments? In your current position? Since joining the
company? In your career to-date?
- In talking with your co-workers, what would they cite as:
Your biggest contributions to the department? The two areas
where you could most improve your performance?
- What have your last three performance ratings been? Why?
- In what areas does your job performance excel? , In what
areas could your performance improve?
- Of which job accomplishments are you most proud? Why?
- Of what aspects of your performance are you least proud?
- What were your key job objectives this past year, and how
did you do against them?
- What evidence can you cite that demonstrates your job effectiveness?
- With what aspects of your performance are you least satisfied?
What improvements could be realized?
- What steps have you taken to improve in these areas?
- What major accomplishments best demonstrate your qualifications
for this position? Of which of these accomplishments are
you most proud? Why?
- lf your co-workers were asked to rate your overall performance
on a scale of 1 to 10 ( 1 low, 5 average, 10 outstanding),
what rating do you feel they would assign? Why? What factors
would rate high? Why? What factors would rate low? Why?
- What aspects of your job performance would your boss rate
as exceeding expectations? Why? Meeting expectations? Falling
short of expectations? Why?
- Which of your accomplishments best exemplifies your qualifications
for this position?
- How well does your job performance compare with others in
your department? Where do you excel? Where could you improve?
The Classic Answers
Here are some suggested answers that
should prove helpful to you in structuring your own strategy
for successfully addressing this area of the interview:
1. "Kathy, I can honestly say that I have had a long history
of above average performance. I think my history of frequent
promotions offers good evidence that my current and past
employers have been very satisfied with my work. I suppose,
however, that my most significant failure occurred two
years ago when, as project manager for the Virgo Project,
we finished the project one month later than called for
in the project plan.
This delay was caused by a steel strike with one of our
major suppliers, who could not meet the delivery schedules
on the structural steel needed for the plant's foundation.
Since most suppliers were overcapacity and had significant
order backlogs, we had a tough time finding a secondary
supplier who was willing to interrupt production schedules
to get us what we needed. However, after considerable
effort, we were successful and managed to get a commitment.
Offsetting the delay, however, was the fact that we did
bring the project in some 10 percent under budget. This
saved the company nearly $2 million."
2. "The accomplishment which in my judgment best
demonstrates my qualifications for success as employment manager
for your company is the 30 percent reduction in hiring
costs realized by my company last year. This came about
as a result of an incentive-based employee referral program
which I initiated in an effort to reduce the fees that
we had previously been paying to employment agencies.
Total cost savings realized by my company are about
$1.5 million annually."
3. "The area most likely cited by co-workers for
improvement of my performance would be impatience. I normally
work at a fairly healthy clip, and may sometimes have a
tendency to be impatient with others who like to work
at a more leisurely pace. This tends to be especially
true when we are working on a team project, and I must
wait for key information that I need to carry out my portion
of the effort. Although generally liked by my co-workers.
I am sure that I am sometimes seen as being a little too
impatient under these circumstances."
These examples will provide a good basis for developing an
effective interview strategy for addressing interview questions
designed to probe your overall job performance.