The purpose of this study is to determine the moderating effects of the timing of reward determination and performance standards on the relationship between pay-for-performance and self-efficacy. It is an experimental study; the sample included 352 participants from Amazon Mechanical Turk, and an online experiment was conducted on an external website. The model was tested for mediation and moderation processes using regression analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The results showed a mediating effect of self-efficacy between pay-for-performance and intrinsic motivation. A moderating effect of performance standards (absolute, relative, ambiguous) on the relationship between pay-for-performance and self-efficacy was also found. Moreover, performance standards were found to be more important moderators than the timing of reward determination. The theoretical contribution of this paper was to observe the concept of timing of reward determination and empirically validate self-determination theory. The results also infer that people measure their own efficacy or competence by comparing themselves with others more than with other performance standards. The use of absolute performance standards is recommended for sustainable self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation of employees. This study introduced the concept of the timing of reward determination (i.e., before or after completion of a performance-related task) and verified the moderating effect of performance standards.