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Four Questions that can Help you Gauge Productivity During Your Interview

You can ask your interviewee about her previous employers, and you can ask her about her GPA and her areas of interest and ambition. You can ask about her sales record, and you can ask how many people she’s managed in the past, and you can ask what kind of opportunity she’s looking for at this point in her career. But how can you ask her about her overall productivity levels? After all, this is a subjective question, and if she doesn’t know your standards or your system of measurement, she can’t answer accurately even if she wants to. So try using these four questions to find out what you need to know: Can she pull her weight in your workplace?

1. “How would you define “productivity?” Can you describe a highly productive day in your last position?”

Encourage your candidates to answer questions in a narrative format. The stories they choose to tell and the formats they use to tell them can speak louder than any words.

2. “In this role, you’ll be asked to meet very tight deadlines. For example, you’ll need to process at least five forms per hour by the end of your second week. And within one year, you’ll need to reach ten per hour. How do you feel about this?”

Don’t pull punches or sugarcoat the truth about the position and your expectations. The interview provides a perfect opportunity to share the most challenging and potentially unpleasant aspects of the role. When you share this information, carefully observe his reaction. If he pauses and cringes before answering, take note.

3. “Can you complete this test?”

If there’s any logistically practical test you can use to assess your candidates level of focus and her ability to apply the most important skill sets required by this role, feel free to administer this tests. Make sure your tests are accurate, and make sure they can be completed within the time frame of the interview.

4. “Describe an occasion in which you were criticized for productivity-related reasons. What did you learn from the incident?”

Listen carefully to your candidate’s answer and read between the lines. Be skeptical if he can’t admit to being criticized or refuses to share a single applicable story.

For more information on how to assess your candidates productivity or any other necessary trait, reach out to the staffing experts at PSU.