What Is a PFI Interview?


Performance Factor Interview is a type of behavioral interview technique used by hiring managers who seek “results oriented” job candidates, according to Job Interview Guide. Similar to the STAR interview technique, PFI interview questions are used to evaluate a candidate’s past job performance and accomplishments. Job applicants are asked to describe a specific Situation or Task, the Actions they took and Results they achieved.


Hiring managers must consider several factors before making a job offer to prospective candidates. The purpose of conducting PFI interviews is to determine whether a candidate possesses the skills and knowledge that meet or exceed the requirements for a specific job description. This includes skills such as, motivation, drive, organization and work ethic, according to Job Interview Guide. PFI interview questions should be designed to inquire how a candidate was able to achieve “proven results.” Interviewees must provide a detailed account that demonstrates their capabilities and past performance by drawing on concrete examples that explain how they accomplished specific tasks. Behavioral interview questions can be delivered in questionnaire or face-to-face formats.


Behavioral interview questions, including PFI interviews, should be drafted with the intention of identifying a candidate’s goals, challenges and accomplishments, according to Anson Careers. For example, an interviewer may want to find out how a candidate handles tight schedules and deadlines. Interviewees should try to demonstrate how they add value to a company and deliver “measurable results” despite the challenge of meeting deadlines. PFI interviews include questions that evaluate a candidate’s professionalism and ability to work as a team and can include questions such as: “Tell me about a situation where you disagreed with the decision of a superior -- how did you handle that situation?”


While there is no single formula for determining the best candidate for a job, PFI interviews help hiring managers identify questions that address their specific workplace needs. Hiring managers use PFI interview results to assess a candidate’s formal training and work experience. Candidates who meet these qualifications must be screened further to determine whether they are capable of carrying out essential job skills, including leadership, communications and decision-making. These factors can be addressed during face-to-face interviews.


Interview candidates should plan ahead by reviewing their resume, thinking about possible questions and selecting supporting information that is relevant to a specific job description, according to the UK Grad Program. By researching a company ahead of time, interviewees can tailor their responses to fulfill the requirement for specific job descriptions. If the interview is conducted face-to-face, responses should be in the moment rather than being rehearsed. Financial firms and sales companies use PFI interviews when recruiting candidates for various types of managerial and leadership positions, according to Job Interview Guide.

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