Performance Based Interview Questions for
The Eight Core Competencies of the
High Performance Development Model (HPDM)
Purpose – The list of Performance-Based Interview (PBI) questions presented below has been developed to assist interviewers and selecting officials who have been trained in the PBI process to conduct more effective performance-based interviews. PBI interviews have been shown to be substantially more valid in hiring successful performers than traditional means. Selecting job-related questions will help you to:
- Increase your ability to hire candidates who will be successful on the job.
- Establish the validity of your selection method (which may prove useful upon third party reviews).
Description – The list below contains PBI questions that have been developed by the PBI Steering Committee and have been organized according to the eight core competencies of the High Performance Development Model (HPDM). In addition, the questions have been ordered by the level of competency. These levels are described below. Please note that the questions are written in a generalized format and may need to be customized to fit a particular job situation.
|Description of Levels|
|Level I||Frontline staff, those who do not supervise others.|
|Level II||Work unit leaders, those who lead the work of a natural group of people, either temporarily (process improvement team leader) or as an ongoing role (foreman, section leader).|
Guidance – For these questions to be valid, they must be supported by a job analysis¾ the initial step in the recruiting process. Accurate analysis of the job will have produced a list of the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) that the candidate must possess in order to be successful in the job. These KSAOs will have been derived from the job description and are likely to appear in the job vacancy announcement.
Selecting questions from this list that are not tied to job-related KSAOs could leave you open to charges of invalid hiring practices. And although we have furnished a number of commonly occurring KSAOs, please note that this is not an exhaustive list. Therefore, you will probably need to create some of your questions independently.
- Give a specific example of a time you had to deal with an upset co-worker, patient, or other customer. What was the person upset about and how did you handle? What was the outcome?
- A part of this job is documenting your work. Give a specific example of something you had to write for your supervisor in the past three months. What feedback did you get from your supervisor?
- Give a specific example of a situation where the group of people you work with on a regular basis had a serious conflict. What was the conflict about? How were you involved in the conflict and what was the outcome?
- A part of this job is documenting your work. On a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being excellent writing skills, how would you rate your writing ability? Give specific example of the types of documents you write routinely. What feedback do you get from your supervisor on your writing skills?
- Tell me about a specific time when those with whom you were working could not agree upon the course of action. How did you approach the situation and what was the outcome?
- Tell about a situation at work where you realized a person needed help. How did you realize the person needed assistance and what did you do? What was the outcome of this situation?
- Tell about a situation where you assisted a co-worker. What was the situation? What was your involvement and what was the outcome?
- Tell me about a specific time when you resolved a difficult customer complaint. What did you do? What was the outcome?
- In your current job, who are your internal and external customers? Specifically, how do you get satisfaction feedback from your internal customers? Specifically, how do you get satisfaction feedback from your external customers? Give specific examples of how you have used both negative and positive feedback.
- Tell me specifically which co-workers in your organization are your customers. What have you done specifically to improve the service you give these internal customers?
- How does the work you are currently doing affect your organization’s ability to meet its’ mission and goals? Do you think your work is important? If yes, why? If no, why not?
- Describe a time when you went over and above your job expectation. What motivated you to put forth the extra effort? How did you feel when the job was finished? Did others realize you had put forth the extra effort? What feedback did you get for your effort?
- Tell me about a time when you had to take on extra duties or make some other sacrifice (such as changing your duty hours) in order for an overall improvement in the service of your unit to its customers to occur. How did you feel about making the change? What did you say to co-workers and supervisors about the change? How do you feel about the change now? Has it produced better service to your customers?
- In your current job, what organizational change have you made or contributed to that you are proud of? How did you go about making the change? What has been the impact of the change?
- Tell me about a specific time when others in your work group were having difficulty understanding how their work interfaced with the work of other units, and the impact changes they made had on those other work groups. What specific things did you do to assist your co-workers to better understand the relationship of your work to that of others in the organization? What specific things did you do to ensure that changes within your group were not detrimental to other work groups?
- Describe a change in your work you have personally had to make in the last couple years. At the time, how did you feel about making the change? What did you do to make the change? How do you feel about the change now?
- Tell me about the last new procedure you had to learn in your job. Tell me what specifically was the hardest aspect of learning the new procedure. Tell me specifically what you liked best about learning the new procedure. How well is the new procedure working now?
- Describe a situation where you were responsible for getting others to make a change. What role did you play and what actions did you take? What was the outcome? If you had to do it again, would you do anything differently?
- Tell me about a time when you had to deal with two very different employees that could not be treated the same way. How did you deal with each? How did you decide what you were going to do? How well did your intervention with each employee work?
- Tell two suggestions you have made to your supervisor in the past year. How did you come up with the ideas? What happened? How do you feel about the way things went?
- Tell me about a specific time when you made a suggestion to improve the quality of the work done in your unit. Tell me about a specific time when you made a suggestion to improve the efficiency of your unit.
- Give examples to illustrate how you have generated ideas that represent thinking “outside the box.” How were your ideas received by others? What became of the ideas?
- Tell me about a time when a co-worker had a good idea and you agreed but no one else was willing to listen. How did you handle the situation and what was the outcome?
- Give an example of a time you defended your organization. How did you feel about doing it? How did you go about doing it? What was the response of the other party/parties?
- Tell me about a specific time when people outside your organization were criticizing it unfairly. What did you do or say? How successful were you in changing minds or attitudes? What evidence suggests that level of success?
- Describe a time when you worked as a member of a team to accomplish a goal of your organization. What role did you play? Describe how the team worked together. What was the outcome?
- Describe a time when you were working with a group and there was conflict in getting a job done. What was your role? Were the conflicts resolved? If yes, how were they resolved? If no, what were they not resolved?
- List two characteristics that you feel you possess that make you a sensitive, effective leader. Give a specific example for each to show how you applied them to your work setting.
- Tell me about a specific time when a co-worker was experiencing significant personal problems that were affecting their work. What did you do to assist the co-worker and help them with their situation? Were your efforts successful? How did you know they were or were not successful?
- Name three things you have done in the past two years to grow in your job.
- Describe a time when you received negative feedback and turned it into something positive.
- What self development activities are you currently engaged in?
- Describe a negative work experience you learned from. Describe the circumstances and give an example to show you applied the learning to a work situation.
- Describe a situation where you can take credit for the growth and development of a staff member or co-worker. Be specific about your role in terms of interactions and the outcome.
- Tell me specifically what self-development activities you have participated in during the last year.
Technical knowledge, skills, and abilities are specific for every position.
- Rate yourself on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 indicating no knowledge or skill and 10 indicating above average knowledge and skill on the following areas: (would have approximately 10 areas of knowledge or skill specific to job—would range from specific job skills such as typing/work processing to higher level skills such as negotiation and conflict resolution).
- Give an example of how you have used a technical skill in your field in you current position.
Compare what you know about the job you are interviewing for and your own knowledge and skill. What areas of development do you feel you will need to meet the job expectations?
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