Team Performance Appraisal Dos and Don'ts

A team performance appraisal means working as a team during the interview. The performance appraisal interview is a good time to demonstrate the team's group dynamic. Communication skills are a key part of this process.

1: Prepare for the Performance Appraisal Interview

Prepare for the interview as a group. Be prepared for each team member to speak when asked about his or her specific responsibilities and the progress of the project as a whole. Practice discussing the progress of the project together to increase confidence.

2: Do Communication Clearly

Answers like "I don't know" definitely are not acceptable during a performance appraisal interview. At the same time, interviewers should avoid generalized language. Questions should be clearly stated and answers should be thoughtfully and carefully given. If the questions are unclear, ask for clarification before giving an answer.

3: Don't Rush

Speaking before thinking can be a mistake for the team being interviewed. One negligent answer might make the whole team look bad or throw other team members off. By the same token, prompts shouldn't be given too quickly, as this is an unfair disadvantage to employees who may be nervous already.

4: Do Stay Team-Oriented

Since the team is being interviews as a unit, answer should refer to the team unless questions are being addressed to specific individuals. Demonstrate the team's cohesion by referring to one another. If one team member is particularly knowledgeable about a stage of the project or has special knowledge in the area being discussed, pass the answer to that team member.

5: No Complaining

Don't blame other team members for problems in the project in an effort to save face. This will likely lead to communication problems in the team. Communication may very well be a part of the assessment, as well. Divisive language reflects poorly on the team dynamic and should be avoided. Discuss any potential conflicts before the team interview if personal tensions arise. Have another team member mediate the conflict.

6: Do Accept Responsibility

In contrast, any team member who is aware that his or her own irresponsible actions have caused the team to fall behind should readily admit this fact before it is mentioned by the other team members. Admitting flaws is a sign of character, not weakness. Make sure that if this kind of behavior needs to be addressed that it is done so in a calm manner, without excuse making. Simply be honest if performance was sub-par and state the situation that caused the sub-par performance clearly. Skirting around the issue will only appear as dishonesty.

7: Use Performance Appraisal Feedback

Discuss the interview as a team when it is over. Consult with each other about ways to improve. Put someone in charge of taking notes during the interview, noting any performance appraisal feedback. After reviewing the notes, make a list as a group of strengths and weaknesses. After the evaluation has been thoroughly discussed, make a plan to improve the performance of the group as a whole.