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CAREER TIPS-How to Have a Successful Appraisal

Posted 28th July 2020 • Written by People First •

How to Have a Successful Appraisal

Whatever its style, formal behind a desk, or informal over a coffee, and whether it’s annual, every 6 months or after your probation, your appraisal/performance review/catch-up, whatever it might be called, is important for both you and your employer.

Because of that, don’t wing it.

Just as you did for the interviews that got you the job, prepare.

Be Prepared to Self-evaluate

Take time to look back at the challenges and achievements since your first day or last appraisal.

  • What have you learned?
  • What are your biggest successes?
  • What are you best at and where do you think you still need to improve?
  • Are there things you would like help with?

Gather Your Successes

Whether you’re hoping for a raise, to be promoted or just to be offered a permanent contract, the best way to do it is to show why you’re worth it.

And the best way to do that is to showcase all your achievements – your sales figures, the money you’ve saved the company, the number of new followers you’ve attracted to your company website, the skills you’ve learned and used, the successful projects you’ve been involved in, etc.

Think carefully about all you have done, the same way you did by looking through your CV when you went to the job interview, and present it to your boss. You can do that verbally, or via a presentation, Excel sheets, etc., whatever works best for you. If you can provide hard evidence they can see, like an award/certificate and/or study, like Excel data, it will help your case.

Review Your Goals

In your last review, or on the first day of your new job, did you set, or were you given, goals to aim for?

A review allows you to show how you met and surpassed those targets, but also allows you to explain why you may not have achieved them.

You can explain what you did to succeed and what you learned and how you can continue to do more. And you can also explain what you learned from failures to avoid a repeat and what you can do differently next time.

Set New Goals

Look ahead to the next year.

It’s good for you personally, but your manager will expect it too.

Set realistic but ambitious targets based on things like:

  • Financial goals for the company
  • Commission targets for you
  • New skills you want to learn and us
  • Or new responsibilities you want to have
  • New projects or ideas for the company you might want to work on
  • What job would you like to be promoted to?

Be ready to Answer Questions

Many of them may be similar to the ones you got in your job interview:

  • What have been your biggest achievements here so far?
  • What have been the biggest challenges?
  • How did you approach and handle these challenges?
  • Which part of your work do you enjoy the most?
  • And the least satisfying?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

So, prepare as you did for the job interview.

And your boss might want to challenge you on some issues where s/he sees you have failed or need to improve.

As above, gather your evidence to help defend and promote yourself.

Own up to your mistakes and be ready to offer a solution or show initiative to do better next time.

Be careful not to use the appraisal as a chance to criticise colleagues and other team members. Do that at a separate time. Instead, focus on the positive work you’ve done with your team members. But if this is your only chance to bring things up with your boss, do it sensitively and carefully.

And if you receive constructive criticism, make the most of it and learn from it.

Prepare list of questions to ask

Same as in a job interview, you should have a chance to ask questions.

Don’t make them all about how you can benefit and personally develop, but make them also about your development in relation to the company and how both you and it can succeed and grow.


In conclusion, look at the appraisal as a chance for you to hear what is needed for you to continue improving, don’t take the comments personally and cause you to become deflated, but use it as a way to showcase your achievements and value to the company and use the feedback as a way to see what you need to do to continue your professional growth.

Click to see more Career tips from People First Recruitment to help in your career and your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK