A performance-based interview allows the interviewer to examine how the applicant handles real life situations. The way this interview works is rather simple. You will be presented with a task or problem and are required to accomplish that task on the spot. This will give invaluable information to the interviewer about how you handle pressure and where your skill level is at.
While traditional interview methods will only have you answering a series of questions about your skill a performance-based interview actually requires you to demonstrate your abilities. How well you accomplish the task presented to you during the interview will often determine whether or not you will be hired by the company.
The performance-based interview can be done individually or in a group situation where you will be examined not just for your ability but if you are able to work well with others.
While the idea of such an interview process is daunting many find that they are able to truly demonstrate their qualifications through a physical manifestation of their skill. For those candidates that may not excel during the one on one interview portion of the hiring process the ability to provide a tangible example of the capabilities come as a welcomed change.
How the Performance-Based Interview Works
A performance-based interview works much like providing a portfolio of past experiences but you are required to produce something during the interview period.
Examples of what to expect during an interview based on performance:
- Copywriter: Asked to rewrite a sales article according to a series of highly specific criteria.
- Advertising: Develop a pitch for a product or service
- Graphic designer: Create a webpage or portion of a webpage.
- Sales: Sell the interviewer a common everyday item.
Depending on the position you are seeking will determine what task you will be assigned and whether or not you will be required to work in a group. Group interactions play a large part in the evaluation you receive from the interviewer. It is important to determine how well you are able communicate your ideas as well as how well you work within the group dynamic.
The Importance of Group Activity in the Interview
Remember, in a group setting not all skill levels are similar and the interviewer may be watching to see how you handle team members lacking in experience or skill. In situations such as these take a leadership role to mentor and guide the other group members. By displaying your ability to guide and motivate a team you will be showing the interviewer the extent of your abilities.
Chances are that seeded within that group are members of management that are observing your interactions and problem solving abilities close up.
Often the interview will be a mixture of different strategies designed to gain a better understanding of your capabilities and the contributions you would be able to add to the company.
By the time you are required to demonstrate your abilities to an interviewer chances are high that you are nearing the end of an extensive interviewing process. It is still important to approach the task you are given professionally and seriously even if the task is a simple one.
How to Prepare for the Interview
Preparing for an interview where you will be required to demonstrate your abilities is simple enough. You will just need to do what you have you have trained for. The problem comes when potential applicants believe that they are too good for the interview process and fail to put their full effort into the task.
Even if you managed to complete the task flawlessly without expending too much effort interviewers will be able to see that attitude which may impact their willingness to hire you.
You are going to want to give the interview your best effort.
Adapted From The Everything Job Interview Book, 2nd Edition by Joy Darlington and Nancy Schuman, Copyright © 2008, 2001 by F W Media, Inc., published by Adams Media, a division of F W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.