15 Efficiency Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where Efficiency skills will be used.

In today’s business world, efficiency is key. That’s why employers often ask interview questions related to efficiency in order to get a better sense of how candidates think and work.

If you’re preparing for an upcoming interview, it’s important to be able to answer questions about efficiency in a way that will impress your potential employer. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of sample efficiency-related interview questions and answers that you can use to develop your own responses.

1. What are some tips for reducing the amount of time you spend on tasks?

Efficiency is a key skill for any administrative professional. Employers ask this question to see if you have tips and tricks that help you complete your work more quickly. In your answer, share two or three ways you’ve learned to save time on tasks in the past. Explain how these methods helped you get things done faster.

Example: “I find it helpful to use shortcuts when I can. For example, I always try to remember my most commonly used keyboard shortcuts. This helps me reduce the amount of time I spend clicking through programs and applications. Another way I save time is by setting up automated reminders for myself. If I know something needs to be completed at a certain time, I’ll set an alert so I don’t forget about it.”

2. Can you explain what cognitive load is and how it affects efficiency?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of efficiency and how it can affect the workplace. You should use this opportunity to show that you understand what cognitive load is, how it affects efficiency and how you would avoid or reduce its impact on your work.

Example: “Cognitive load refers to the amount of mental effort required for someone to complete a task. When there’s too much cognitive load in a situation, it can make it difficult to focus on important tasks and may even cause stress. I’ve seen situations where employees have too many projects at once, which increases their cognitive load and makes them less efficient. To help reduce cognitive load, I try to break down large projects into smaller ones so they’re easier to manage.”

3. What’s your understanding of the Pareto Principle? How does it help with increasing efficiency and productivity?

The Pareto Principle is a theory that states 20% of the input creates 80% of the output. This principle can be applied to increase efficiency and productivity in many ways, such as by focusing on the most important tasks or projects first. Your answer should show the interviewer you understand how this principle works and how it can help with increasing efficiency and productivity.

Example: “The Pareto Principle is an effective way to prioritize your work and focus on what’s most important. For example, if I have five assignments due at the same time, I would use the Pareto Principle to determine which one is worth more points or has the greatest impact on my grade. Then, I’d complete that assignment before moving on to the others.”

4. What do you understand about Parkinson’s Law?

This question is a great way to test your knowledge of efficiency skills. It’s also an opportunity for you to show the interviewer that you can apply what you know about Parkinson’s Law in your work.

Example: “Parkinson’s Law states that ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’ In other words, if I give someone a task with a deadline, they will take longer than necessary to complete it. This law has been proven true in many different situations and environments. For example, when I worked at my previous job, we had a lot of deadlines to meet. We would often have to rush through our work because we didn’t have enough time to do everything properly.”

5. Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become more efficient in their day-to-day work?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your leadership skills and how you can help others become more efficient in their work. Your answer should include specific strategies that you use to stay organized, prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively.

Example: “I find it helpful to create daily to-do lists so I don’t forget any important tasks throughout the day. I also make sure to check my email only once or twice per day so I’m not distracted by new messages as often. Another strategy I use is setting timers on my phone when I need to focus on a task for a certain amount of time. This helps me stay focused and avoid distractions.”

6. How can I improve my ability to focus while working?

An employer may ask this question to see how you can improve your efficiency skills. They want to know that you are willing to take steps to become a more efficient employee. In your answer, explain what strategies you use to stay focused while working and give examples of when these methods have helped you in the past.

Example: “I find that having a routine helps me focus on my work. I start each day by making sure all of my equipment is ready for me to begin. Then, I make sure I am prepared with any materials or information I need to complete my tasks. Having a set schedule also helps me focus because it allows me to plan out my day ahead of time. This has helped me be more productive at previous jobs.”

7. Which tools or methods do you use to increase your personal efficiency?

Efficiency is a key skill for any administrative professional. Employers ask this question to learn more about your efficiency skills and how you apply them in the workplace. When answering this question, think of one or two methods that have helped you increase your personal efficiency. Explain what these methods are and why they help you be more efficient.

Example: “I use my calendar as a tool to stay organized and on track with my work. I find it helpful to write down all of my tasks and appointments so I can see everything I need to do each day. This helps me prioritize my work and make sure I am completing important tasks before the deadlines.”

8. What is context switching and why should it be avoided?

Context switching is a common problem in many workplaces. It occurs when employees switch from one task to another and then back again, which can lead to wasted time and productivity issues. Your answer should show the interviewer that you understand how context switching affects efficiency and how you avoid it yourself.

Example: “Context switching is when an employee switches from one task to another and then back again. This wastes valuable time because it takes longer to complete each task than if they had worked on them consecutively. I try to avoid context switching by planning my day so that I work on one task until it’s completed before moving on to the next.”

9. Why is batching important when trying to achieve greater efficiency?

Efficiency is a key skill for any employee who wants to help their company save money. Your answer should show the interviewer that you understand how batching can improve efficiency and reduce costs. You can use your answer to explain what batching is, why it’s important and how you’ve used this strategy in the past.

Example: “Batching is when you combine similar tasks into one larger task so they can be completed at once. For example, if I have five emails that need to be sent out, but each email needs different formatting, I would batch them together so I could format all of them at once instead of doing it separately. This saves time because I’m only performing one action instead of five.”

10. How do you handle procrastination?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you manage your time and whether you’re able to stay on task. Your answer should show that you have strategies for overcoming procrastination, such as setting deadlines or using a planner.

Example: “I find it helpful to set daily goals so I don’t get overwhelmed by larger projects. For example, if I’m working on a report, I’ll break up my work into smaller tasks like researching sources, writing paragraphs and editing. This helps me feel more accomplished throughout the day and keeps me from putting off important work until later.”

11. What are some ways that you’ve used to reduce stress at work?

Employers ask this question to see if you have any methods for reducing stress at work. They want to know that you can handle stressful situations and still complete your tasks effectively. In your answer, share a few ways you’ve used in the past to reduce stress and stay focused on your work.

Example: “I find that one of the best ways to reduce stress is by taking breaks throughout the day. I try to take a five-minute break every two hours or so to get up from my desk and walk around. This helps me clear my mind and refocus on my work. Another way I reduce stress is by talking with coworkers about what’s stressing them out. Sometimes just listening to someone vent their frustrations can help me feel less stressed.”

12. How do you manage a large workload without being overwhelmed?

Efficiency skills are important for any job, but they’re especially crucial in positions that require you to complete a lot of work within a short period of time. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to manage your workload without getting stressed out or overwhelmed. In your answer, explain how you plan and organize your tasks so you can stay on top of everything you need to do.

Example: “I use my calendar app every day to schedule all of my appointments and meetings. This helps me keep track of what I’m doing each day and ensures I don’t double-book myself. I also use my to-do list app to create weekly and daily lists of things I need to accomplish. This allows me to prioritize my most urgent tasks and ensure I get them done before the end of the day.”

13. What strategies do you use to avoid distractions at work?

Employers ask this question to see if you can stay focused on your work. They want employees who are able to complete tasks without being sidetracked by other things going on around them. In your answer, explain how you avoid distractions and what strategies you use to keep yourself from getting distracted.

Example: “I have a few ways that I avoid distractions at work. First, I make sure my desk is organized so I know where everything is. This helps me find important documents quickly when needed. Second, I set aside time each day for checking social media accounts. I do this in the morning before starting any projects so I don’t get distracted while working.”

14. What are some examples of routine tasks that usually don’t require much thought but end up taking longer than they should?

This question can help the interviewer understand your efficiency skills by giving you an opportunity to share a personal example of how you’ve improved a routine task.

Example: “I once worked for a small company that didn’t have many employees, so we all had to wear multiple hats and take on different roles. One day I was working as the receptionist when my boss asked me to go into the warehouse and count inventory. This wasn’t something I did often, but I knew it would only take me a few minutes to do. However, after counting the inventory, I realized there were some items missing from our stock. It took me another hour or two to find those items and complete the rest of my tasks for the day.”

15. What are some things that people commonly underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your efficiency skills by asking you to list some common tasks that people often underestimate how long it takes to complete. You can use this opportunity to show the interviewer that you have experience with these types of projects and can provide them with an accurate timeline for completing similar tasks in the future.

Example: “I’ve worked on many projects where I was asked to create timelines for specific tasks, but the client would later ask me to revise my estimates because they thought the project could be completed more quickly than originally planned. In most cases, I find that clients underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete certain aspects of their projects, such as research or development.”


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