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How to Answer "Tell me The Difference Between Good and Exceptional"

Before you go to your next job interview, take the time to prepare beforehand to answer typical questions. One question that you may be asked is a combination of a behavioral and a situational interview question. You may be asked to describe the difference between good and exceptional. This article will address several factors that you should consider when crafting the best response.

See Also: How To Answer "When Do You Think You’ll Peak In Your Career?"

1. Understand the Hiring Manager's Perspective

Crafting the best response begins with understanding the type of question it is. For example, as mentioned in the introduction, this is both a behavioral and a situational question because your workplace behavior and your reactions to certain work situations are tested.

Secondly, you need to understand why the hiring manager would ask you to tell the difference between good and exceptional. Your basic perception of the ideal employee type is being evaluated. The hiring manager wants to figure out how you define good workplace performance versus exceptional behavior at work. If your personal definition does not match up with what the company perceives as good vs. exceptional, you may not be the best candidate for the job.

2. The Best Way to Respond to This Question

In order to craft the best answer that demonstrates your positive viability as a candidate for this employment position, you need to define your ideas. Ascertain your ideas regarding good workplace behavior. Then describe what exceptional behavior would be. For example, good implies that you have achieved results and met the requirements.

Exceptional implies that you have far exceeded the requirements and achieved success. As an employee, your workplace performance will fall somewhere between the lines of good versus exceptional. Hopefully, your performance falls closer to the end of the spectrum where you exhibit exceptional workplace behavior and completion of job tasks.

However, no one is perfect and there will most likely be times when your work performance is simply good, not exceptional. You may even have times when it is poor. The main goal is always to meet and exceed all requirements.

3. How to Give Examples When Responding

Once you completely understand the difference between good and exceptional, you can then begin to craft your response with specific examples. Consider the following factors when responding to this type of question.

  • Define – Begin your response with a simple definition that showcases your comprehension of the differences between good and exceptional. For example, say that good work performance meets management expectations. However, exceptional performance far exceeds those expectations and continues to productively succeed.
  • Evaluate – Next, you need to evaluate your own work performance and ascertain any circumstances when you performed exceptionally. For example, you can share that you worked diligently on your part of a team project to complete work before the deadline and received good reviews by your team manager.
  • Closing – Finalize your response by emphasizing your understanding that excellence in workplace productivity is one of the best defining factors of exceptional work. For example, explain that you are continually aiming to exceed both your own professional goals as well as the goals that management requires you to complete.

See Also: How to Answer "Describe Yourself" in a Job Interview

Giving the best response when asked to tell the difference between good and exceptional begins when you first understand why the hiring manager wants to know this information. Then you need to decipher the actual differences between the two factors. Finally, you are evaluating your own workplace performance and crafting a response that provides examples demonstrating optimal productivity as the highest result.

Have you ever encountered this question in an interview? How did you deal with it?

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