An interview gives a potential employer more information about you, your credentials, and your experience. Performance-based interview questions are based on your past experiences, and employers ask specific questions to learn more about each of these areas. In this article, we define PBI interview questions and offer examples of PBI interview questions and responses.

What are PBI interview queries?

Performance-based interview questions, also known as PBI questions, are asked by interviewers to learn more about your prior experience. You provide a real-world example of how you responded to or handled a particular circumstance when you respond to these questions. This aids the interviewer in learning more about your behavior at work, the value you contribute, and the kinds of work situations you find stressful or high-pressure.

Performance-Based Interviews Questions

Sample performance-based interview questions

Following are some typical performance-based interview queries and sample responses:

1. Describe a time when you had to make a tough choice.

This query may be used during an interview to gauge your capacity for deductive reasoning and problem-solving. This query reveals information about your decision-making abilities. Use this question as a chance to demonstrate your capacity for risk-taking and willingness to do so.

Sample Answer – “We had layoffs at my current company at the start of the year. I was in charge of making recommendations to upper management as to which employee in my department should be let go. Since I get along well with everyone on my team, it was crucial for me to make the most impartial and unbiased choice possible. I looked over recent employee reviews, took each employee’s seniority into account, and assessed performance metrics before making my recommendations.”

2. Describe a time when you had to communicate complicated information. How did you make sure your message was received correctly?


This query may be used by a hiring manager to assess your communication abilities. You can use this question to demonstrate your verbal and written communication abilities as well as your comprehension-checking skills. Your awareness of other people may be another topic the interviewer wants to probe further.

Sample Answer – “I currently work as a benefits coordinator, and one of my responsibilities is to help employees select the yearly insurance plans that will best suit their needs. We have a variety of plans, so choosing one can be challenging. At the start of the enrollment season, I host a company meeting where I simplify complex information using examples and analogies. After the meeting, I have one-on-one discussions about benefits with each employee, giving them the opportunity to ask as many questions as they like.”

3. Describe a time when you had to bring up a sensitive topic with your manager.


This question may be asked during an interview to gauge how open you are about your emotions and concerns at work. Even if you are not currently in a management position, they might be interested in learning more about your capacity to manage. Use this question as a chance to demonstrate your ability to offer suggestions and voice your opinions.

Sample Answer – “My coworker at my current job struggles to finish assignments on time and also takes long breaks without clocking out, as I noticed. I went to my manager and made it clear I didn’t want to put my coworker in hot water. My manager was grateful that I told them about the circumstance. She spoke with my coworker, and the two of them collaborated to create a more manageable workload to address the problem.”

Related – “6 Tips – No One Tells You About Problem-Solving Interview Questions.”

4. Tell me about a mistake you’ve made and what you did to fix it.

This is a common interview question used to gauge a candidate’s honesty and capacity for accepting responsibility. Although your interviewer won’t expect you to be flawless, they will probably want you to demonstrate that you accept responsibility for your errors. Give an example of how you have learned from a mistake in your response.

Sample Answer – “I sent a client an email before I was finished writing it and without the attachments, which may seem like a minor error. I called the client to request that they ignore the email I just sent them and inform them that I would send them a new email by the end of the hour in order to avoid any confusion. They valued my candor, and the rest of the project went off without a hitch. I now write all of my emails first, then add the addresses as the final step to avoid this from happening again in the future.”

5. Tell me about a time when you didn’t complete all of your tasks for the day at work. How did you act?


This is a possible interview question to gauge your dedication to the position and how well you prioritize your tasks. This query reveals other aspects of your communication abilities, like how well you ask for assistance. Use this query to demonstrate that you are a diligent worker who is willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Sample Answer – “I recently had a client meeting in the afternoon that lasted an hour longer than expected. This hindered my ability to finish two projects that I had due by the day’s end. I assured the clients that I would still have their projects finished by the following morning, though. In order to finish the projects by the end of the scheduled day, I stayed in the office until late.”

6. Have you been given a lot of tasks all at once? Describe your approach to managing these tasks and this situation.

This question may be used by a hiring manager to gauge how you cope with pressure and multiple projects at once. This enables them to evaluate your capacity for task prioritization under time constraints. Think about highlighting your organizational and communication skills in your response.

Sample Answer – “I frequently had a variety of tasks to manage each day as a web designer. It was up to me to allocate my time between finishing website updates for current clients and creating brand-new websites for potential clients. I planned my day so that each type of task could have a specific number of hours per day, and I shared my schedule with the project managers.”

7. Tell me about a time when you didn’t accomplish a goal you had set.

This question might be asked during an interview to find out how you handle challenges. They might be curious about how you deal with and get over feelings of failure or disappointment. When developing your response, think about using the STAR method.

Sample Answer – “I set a goal for myself as a content writer to write 20,000 words or more for my client each week, which is 5,000 words more than I’m required to. I gave myself a month to complete my new objective, but I was never able to write 20,000 words. But as my writing skills improved, I consistently produced at least 17,000 words each week.”

8. Share a personal goal you have achieved, and explain how you did it.

This question may be asked during an interview to find out more about your goal-setting and planning skills. Include specifics about your procedure and your steps. Think about describing your own approach to goal-setting.

Sample Answer – “I wanted to get my master’s degree to improve my credentials after three years in my position. I made the decision to start graduate school in the fall so I would have time to look into programs and submit applications. I attended my two-year online program while juggling a full-time job, and I finished it in just 18 months.”

9. Tell me about a time when a client or coworker vented their frustrations at you.

This question might be posed to you by a hiring manager to find out more about your interpersonal abilities. They might be curious to learn more about your approach to conflict. For your response, think about utilizing the STAR method.

Sample Answer – “A new client complained that their email marketing campaigns were not reviewed and approved quickly enough. They felt that since they and the designer had misunderstood each other, they should be given an additional round of revisions. I apologized for the mistake and gave the client the additional round of revisions when I spoke with them. To prevent this from happening again, I reviewed communication best practices with the designer and emphasized that this is not the standard practice.”

10. Tell me about a time when you inspired a colleague.


This question might be asked during an interview to gauge your potential for leadership. By taking on the responsibility of motivating those around you without holding a management position, you can demonstrate your ability to be an informal leader by answering this question. Use the STAR method and give specific examples of your accomplishments.

Sample Answer – “I observed a coworker who was a copy editor becoming disengaged and falling behind on assignments. At the end of the month, the person who had the fewest articles edited had to pay for the winner’s lunch. I challenged them to a friendly competition to see how many articles we could edit in a week. My coworker and I developed healthy competition as a result, and they both felt motivated to work again. They did better than just during the month.”

11. How have you previously forged a cohesive team with your coworkers?

This is a question that a hiring manager might ask you to demonstrate your interpersonal skills. The answer to this query sheds light on your interpersonal and teamwork skills. Give a response demonstrating your leadership and following skills.

Sample Answer – “It’s crucial to me as a project manager that everyone involved in the endeavor has a common objective. I always have a casual lunch meeting to get everyone acquainted before starting any project. This enables everyone to appreciate what each person brings to the project by learning more about each other’s personalities and strengths. We have a brainstorming session at the end of the meeting to settle on a project goal.”

12. Tell me about a time when you had to assign tasks to others. What method do you employ?

This query may be used by an interviewer to find out more about your capacity for collaboration. When interviewing candidates for management positions, this question is frequently crucial. Give specifics on how you fairly decide which tasks to assign to others and which ones to keep for yourself.

Sample Answer – “It’s important to me as a manager to give my staff members the tasks they enjoy doing the most. This enhances productivity, job satisfaction, and general effectiveness at work. Once every three months, I have a meeting with my staff to assess how they feel about the projects they are working on. For instance, some employees favor working on projects where the client gives them more creative freedom, while others prefer assignments where the client gives them clear instructions.”

13. Give me an instance of when you had a deadline that you had to meet. What happened as a result?

This query might be used by a hiring manager to gauge your time management abilities. Additionally, this query evaluates your capacity for prioritization under time constraints. Think about creating an answer utilizing the STAR method.

Sample Answer – “Although the typical turnaround time for our company is three months, we recently signed a significant client who required their new website within six weeks. In addition to working with upper management to offer overtime pay for the project, I met with the other department managers to discuss how we could modify employee schedules to give them more time to work on this project. We expected to finish the project in five weeks, but it took us only one month.”

Related – “21 Hard Interview Questions That You Should Prepare For”

Additional PBI Questions

  • Describe a time when you had to make a tough choice. You can evaluate a candidate’s ability to reason and solve problems by asking them this question.
  • Describe a time when you had to communicate complicated information. How did you make sure your message was received correctly? The candidate’s level of communication skills is revealed by this question.
  • Describe a time when you had to bring up a sensitive topic with your manager. This question can reveal a candidate’s level of openness regarding their thoughts or worries at work.
  • Give an example of a mistake you made and how you fixed it. This query can be used to assess a candidate’s honesty and capacity for taking accountability for mistakes or errors.
  • Tell me about a time when you didn’t complete all of your tasks for the day at work. How did you act? This query not only reveals the candidate’s capacity for prioritization but also for asking for assistance.
  • Have you been given a lot of tasks all at once? Describe your approach to managing these tasks and this situation. This question enables recruiters to learn more about a candidate’s multitasking abilities and stress management techniques.
  • Tell me about a time when a client or coworker vented their frustrations at you. This query can demonstrate a candidate’s capacity for interpersonal communication.
  • Tell me about a time when you inspired a colleague. If the position has the potential to lead to a management position, it is crucial for the interviewer to evaluate a candidate’s leadership potential.

Related – “Most Effective Ways To Overcome Open-Ended Interviews 34 Questions with answers”

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