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Appraisal interviews – Evaluation of your Achievements

The appraisal interview is an established instrument of leadership in most companies. It is not only of great importance for the management but also for the employees. Often they are crucial for your career. It is for this reason important to communicate your own point of view. 


Next to the everyday communication between employees and executives most companies also offer regular performance reviews and/or yearly goal-setting dialogues in a more institutionalised form. The evaluation of your achievements and the defining of new aims usually form the main point of these conversations. You also have the possibility to communicate your own point of view and thus influence your working environment.


In order to be able to profit from the possibilities which are presented to you, it is important to be well prepared. Seen from an organisational point of view following points must be clarified:

  • Who is going to attend the appraisal interview? 
  • Where will the interview be held?
  • When will the interview take place?
  • What type of material will you need for the interview? 

Often forms are used for the appraisal interviews. If you receive these forms before the interview you can check the way you judge yourself. You should also be aware of your current situation and think of possibilities for advancement (for instance: job-enlargement, substitution, further education, excessive demands or lack of challenge and so on). Formulate concrete goals for the interview.

Dealing with criticism

Next to praise and acknowledgment you must also anticipate criticism. Criticism is also a form of feedback which you can profit from. Sometimes criticism is presented collectively and can be very unspecific. In this case you should ask for more information and listen closely in order to find out what your conversation partner is trying to say. Do not deny misconduct or mistakes but rather try to propose solutions how you can improve yourself and your conduct in future. This shows your interview partner your interest in improvement.

The correct form of criticism

During the appraisal interview you will also be given the opportunity to praise and to criticise. When talking about problems, be concrete and specific, give examples. Stay factual: criticise behaviour but not people. Linguistically this works best if you use I sentences such as „I think/feel that…“rather than „ she/he/they have…“.

Reviewing the interview

Analyse all the organisational arrangements and new duties which were agreed on during the performance review. You now will have to start working towards those new aims. You will also need to review this factual interview with from a personal point of view. How did the interview go? Did you reach your goals? Is there anything you want to keep in mind for future appraisal interviews?

Last but not least

Do not hesitate to also address important topics as they come up rather than waiting for the next employee assessment. Active communication and communication competence not only increase motivation but also improve the working atmosphere.


See also our Checklist Appraisal Interview.