Performance Appraisal Interview - Not Unlike a Job Interview

David A. Russell
June 1, 2009 — 2,547 views  
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Just as you would prepare for a job interview, preparation is key for ensuring that your performance appraisal process goes well. Your performance review becomes a permanent record in your employee file, both in terms of how you rate yourself as well as your managers' evaluation of whether you've achieved the agreed business objectives or goals for the period under review.

Performance Appraisal Form

Most companies have a performance management form or template that is used as a tool to facilitate the performance review discussions. Key sections usually include the agreed goals, your execution plans and the results achieved.

Take time to think through what you want to include in the performance feedback form. Especially if your role involves numerous small projects throughout the year, you need some time to list down these projects and quantify your successes.

Go through your document or email archive folders systematically to help jog your memory. For each project or business objective, list down your key achievements in that area. Include both quantitative and qualitative results, and highlight any major challenges that you had overcome. When you start writing your performance appraisal, use phrases that have a strong positive impact, such as:

"Successfully executed..."

"Successfully developed..."

"Successfully launched..."

"Implemented an effective workflow process..."

"Built strong relationships with..."

Performance Appraisal Interview

While your performance feedback form can include details of all your projects and key achievements, you may not be able to go through each and every item during the performance appraisal interview itself. So to prepare for the interview, pick out just one or two specific examples to describe your achievements that correspond to your business goals. Be sure to also think through any areas that you would improve if you were to execute the specific projects again.

Listen attentively to any feedback that your manager gives, especially criticisms. Seek clarifications or ask questions if you don't agree with the feedback, instead of arguing. Avoid justifying, giving excuses or putting blame on others.

Prepare also to discuss some areas of improvement, and more importantly, take the opportunity to request for additional coaching or training to help you enhance your job performance.

How you perform during the performance appraisal interview is a reflection of your professionalism, very much like a job interview. The only difference is that, you're already in the job and your goal is to convince your boss you're the best man/woman for this job, or deserve that long awaited promotion.

About the Author

David A. Russell is the author of Phrases for Performance Appraisals Resource Guide. More information about the resource guide is available at:

David A. Russell