Performance Appraisal Interview Tips

The performance appraisal interview is a managerial tool used to assess performance and guide planning efforts. Employees are evaluated for skills, productivity and communication. A good interview requires communication skills and preparation.

Interview Preparation

Since the performance appraisal interview will likely cover a predetermined length of time, check when the last assessment occurred. If you have the organizational strategic plan handy, take it out and find the goals for the time period at hand. Remember the job description. Note anything that was exceptional, or lacking, in your own performance. Practice talking about it by conversing with other employees or talking to a friend. Performance reviews may make you feel under fire, but not if you've practiced talking about your own performance and can do so with ease.

Performance Review Questions

Performance review sessions commonly include a set of questions asking the employee to assess his or her own skills and performance. Next, the employee may be asked to assess his or her motivation to complete tasks. Think carefully about what motivates you. Be prepared with a better answer than "money." Employees may find motivation in stress, seeing results or helping other people. Of course, nothing is wrong with being motivated by a paycheck, but giving a more thoughtful answer allows your employer to see your personality and goals more clearly.

Employee Disposition

Some performance appraisal interviews include a test of the employee's disposition or personality. This sort of test will most likely be multiple choice tests, where the employee will be required to choose the best response available. Do not try to guess the purpose of the questions. Just answer honestly, thinking about how you really would react in a work situation. Don't get preoccupied with thinking about how your answers will be interpreted, since employees work differently. This is part of the reason for performance appraisals.


The performance appraisal interview is important to management staff. It lets them know which employees are producing results that are in keeping with company expectations. More importantly, the assessments analyze which employees are not keeping with company standards and why.

In order to be prepared, keep accurate records of your work, with dates included. Bring your business calendar or planner to the review session for reference purposes. Accurately documenting your work will reflect positively on your work habits, as well.


The employee performance appraisal may include a skills assessment. If you score high on the skills assessment, but the tangible results from your work don't reflect it, it will be up to management staff to decide why skills haven't been utilized successful.

If any circumstances at the office have prevented you from fully using your skills, be honest. But don't revert to making excuses. Family concerns and other personal issues affecting work shouldn't be a discussion topic during a performance appraisal interview. This reflects poorly on professionalism. However, the office environment itself may be an issue. Some people get cold or hot easily and can't concentrate. Maybe an excess of noise is affecting performance. These are realistic interferences that can be easily fixed and should be discussed during an evaluation.