Performance Review Questions for You to Ask

Performance review questions don't just have to come from the manager. Employees can ask their own performance appraisal interview questions, as well. This demonstrates the employee's engagement with the review process. Performance appraisal materials are carefully crafted, measured instruments that take a good deal of time and preparation on the part of human resources staff. At the very least, if the employee asks questions it may contribute to a higher score in communication abilities. Performance appraisal interview feedback can be a valuable tool for career growth if acted upon.

1: Strengths

The goal of any performance appraisal interview is to increase managerial understanding of employee competence, effectiveness and knowledge of job requirements. Perfect scores may be rare, but each employee should demonstrate one or more strengths. These may include efficiency of operations, communication ability, knowledge of organizational procedure and other key areas of production. Asking your boss or manager what your strengths are will result in more open and positive communication between the two of you.

2: Best Use of Strengths

Performance appraisal questions should also involve an inquiry of how the manager views strengths in light of job responsibilities. Once the initial topic of strengths has been addressed, demonstrate willingness to improve productivity and perfect performance. Asking questions like this will show ambition and possibly lead to more responsibility or changes in job requirements. Managers want to know how to best utilize employee strengths instead of wasting and/or misusing talent.

3: Weaknesses

Do ask about weaknesses. Every employee has at least one. Openly discussing the topic of weaknesses demonstrates responsibility, maturity and the ability to take constructive criticism while keeping a positive attitude. If you feel your weaknesses have been assessed incorrectly or inadequately, make sure you think carefully before making this kind of statement. A discussion of weaknesses if not a chance to try and cover for genuine performance weaknesses, but rather a chance to explain any situational barriers that may shed light on unexpected or contradictory performance results.

4: Improvement

Performance appraisal questions may include the employee's own opinion of how weaknesses can be improved. It is a good idea to ask how weaknesses can be improved upon, regardless of whether or not the employee has been prompted. The best way to phrase this kind of question is to frame your improvement as a chance to turn a weakness into a strength. Ask about any suggested reading material that may assist your improvement efforts, as well as any professional organizations that may provide resources such as training and conference-style learning.

Finally, use the performance appraisal interview as a chance to open a running dialogue with your manager about progress at work. Let your boss know you are planning to improve your skills and that you want feedback to do just that. This will demonstrate your commitment to the job. Continue to check in with any questions or concerns you may have. Look at this performance appraisal as a chance to grow and your boss will likely notice your progress.