Performance Based Interview (PBI) questions focus on learning about a particular performance situation or task, the action taken on your (interviewee) part, and the outcome of your action. Here are some examples:
– Describe a situation in which you had to use your communication skills in presenting complex situation. How did you determine whether your message was received?
– Share with me an example of an important personal goal that you set, and explain how you accomplished it.
– Lead me through a decision-making process on a major project you’ve completed.
– Have you ever had many different tasks given to you at the same time? How did you manage these?
Description of levels
Level I—Frontline staff, those who do not supervise others.
Level II— Supervisors, Team Leaders, Work Unit Leaders lead the work of a natural group of people.
Level III—These Mid-level managers are those in charge of a major function in an organization.
Level IV—Executive leaders are responsible for the overall functioning and outcomes of the organization.
If you’re ever thrown with PBI questions, remember PAR (Problem, Action, Result).
1. Reflect on specific situations that you faced
2. Describe the specific actions you took
3. Describe the outcome as a result of your actions
Take for Example…
Problem: Local newspaper subscriptions were declining for the area residents and large numbers of long-term subscribers were not renewing contracts. With the majority of the newspaper’s revenue generated from subscriptions, this reduction in renewals would have an enormous affect on the future of the paper, especially employment.
Action: Evaluated original subscription rates and designed a new promotional package that offered special rates for all renewal subscriptions.
Results: Increased renewal subscription by 25 percent over the same period last year. This promotional package not only increased renewal subscriptions and maintains job security for the staff, but also enabled the office to replace a badly needed piece of equipment that could no longer be serviced.
The Point of PBI
The intent is for you (interviewee) to tell a story that conveys how you applied a practical skill. When answering PBI questions, be brief and succinct and try not to ramble.