In brainstorming the interviewer is looking for your approach to define an objective function, understand the direct drivers of the function, prioritize the drivers and explain how to manipulate them. There is only one definition for productivity and that is formally used in all studies. Productivity is the total value of outputs over the total cost to deliver those outputs. Other definitions are derivations which assess narrow areas only. A candidate will struggle to understand operations cases unless they understand the concept of productivity.