Compare and Contrast the Times When You Did Work Which Was Above the Standard

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Managers will often ask interview questions about your work performance. One of the most common interview questions is- “compare and contrast the times when you did work which was above the standard with times your work was below the standard.” While it may seem counterproductive to talk about times when you didn’t work up to a certain standard- this actually gives you chance to show you have a high standard.

Think about what a standard of work means to you- and give a thoughtful response that demonstrates the care and consideration you put into your work. Talking about good performance is just as important as reflecting on flaws you have overcome. Preparing yourself to answer this question can make a big difference and make you stand out to an interviewer.

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How to Answer the “Compare and Contrast the Times When You Did Work Which Was Above the Standard With Times Your Work Was Below the Standard” Interview Question

Think of What a Good Standard Means: When you get asked “compare and contrast the times when you did work which was above the standard with times your work was below the standard” interview questions- it is a great opportunity for you to share with the interviewer what you think makes for a standard of good work. Reflect on times when you may have set the standard too high or too low. Demonstrating that you are thoughtful about the quality of the work you do will show that you bring a unique element to any team.

Remember to Market Yourself Well: Questions like these can be tricky- because they give you an opportunity to share things that might cast a negative light on you as a candidate. For example- you might think about how you had difficulty prioritizing time and didn’t make it to your job on time every day. You might think about how your work ethic didn’t cut it for a certain kind of job. Be careful how you answer these kinds of questions. Always cast a positive light on yourself by emphasizing your personal growth. For example- if you did not make it on time to your shifts in a previous job- you could talk about how you learned to balance your schedule and now have a very high standard of punctuality that you consistently adhere to.

Think About Relevant Skills: Depending on the kind of position you are applying for- there are different standards the interviewer may have in mind. For example if you are applying for a cook position- you could talk about a standard of food preparation. If you are applying for a research position- you could talk about effective time management and research skills. You may be limited in your repertoire- especially if you just graduated from school. Think of ways to phrase your current experience to reflect standards that are valuable to the company you are applying for. Getting high test scores could translate to a standard of dedication. Completing a research project could demonstrate a standard of time management and self-guided work.

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Sample “Compare and Contrast the Times When You Did Work Which Was Above the Standard With Times Your Work Was Below the Standard” Interview Answers

I recall a time when I was working in a food preparation position while I was in school. We were expected to prepare food quickly while sticking to the proper recipe. I noticed that when I stayed up late studying and did not get a full amount of sleep- my orders did not get out as fast as when I was fully rested. When I got a full eight hours of sleep- my boss would praise my quick preparation skills. I understand that time management is an important part of maintaining a good quality of work- and that experience helped me to learn that I need to put aside enough time to get an adequate amount of sleep if I want to truly excel in the work I do.

One skill that I can see you are looking for is management ability. I can reflect on a time when I was in charge of a team that was supposed to complete a number of design projects by the end of the week- with bonuses awarded for extra work completed. At first- I would bring it up as an issue when somebody didn’t work as effectively as I thought they could. But then I realized that people work at different paces in the design field. I learned to cater to my individual employee’s needs while still encouraging them to work efficiently. The number of projects completed increased- and so did the overall quality.

Having read the examples- you should now have a better idea of how to perform well when you get asked “compare and contrast the times when you did work which was above the standard with times your work was below the standard” interview questions.

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