Key Appraisal Questions to Prepare For

Key Appraisal Questions to Prepare For

Last updated on 05th Oct 2020, Artciles, Blog

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Appraisal meetings can also be termed as performance appraisal review meetings. It is not something similar to your day to day meetings with your manager.

Appraisal reviews are mainly for making your professional life and work better.

A good appraisal review mainly focuses on analyzing the workload, objectives, and goals of your career. Here you will be given feedback and discussions about salary incrimination is done.

Performance appraisals happen per year in a company or for every 6 months depending upon the company.

In a performance appraisal interview, the boss and the employee will discuss the performance as well as the strength and weaknesses of the employee in the course of work.

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How Does an Appraisal Work?

As you have now understood what an appraisal means, let us now look at how the appraisal review works.

An appraisal meeting is held between you and your immediate manager wherein the discussion will be regarding your work performance, outcomes, feedback, and future tasks and things to focus on.

In a few companies, there will also be a third person in the meeting(can be a Sr, HR manager or Sr manager) wherein he will record everything being discussed.

Also before the appraisal review meeting, you will be given documents or forms to fill out. Your meeting will be mainly focused on those forms or the data which you have filled.

How to Prepare for a Performance Review?

A performance review meeting is conducted every year twice or thrice depending upon the organization. You must never take the meeting lightly as it is very important in shaping our career or for the advancement of it.

Some of the preparation tips for performance review are

  • Collect information
  • Build a list of accomplishments
  • Build a list of development goals
  • Prepare a few questions to ask
  • Take time before your performance meeting

Performance Appraisal Questions:

  • What do you think is the biggest achievement this year and why?
  • What are the most challenging aspects of your work this year?
  • How strategies did you use to approach these challenges?
  • Which aspect of work do you enjoy working the most?
  • Which aspects of work do you find the least satisfying while working?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Do you have any plan to make your job more effective?
  • How can management help you to ease your work?
  • What Are Your Future Career Plans?
  • Do you like the Environment of the Organization?

Mistakes Not to Make When Answering Performance Appraisal Questions:

Appraisal meetings should never be taken lightly, instead, it is the only opportunity where you can clear all your doubts and ask suggestions for your career advancement in the organization.

Some of the mistakes to avoid are

  • Avoid being vague instead be more specific
  • Let your employer analyze you and give feedback
  • Never compare yourself with other employees
  • Never use the word “that’s not my job“
  • Don’t ask for it (raise in pay) “Professionals suggest so!”

The ambitions of the employee are identified and the route to get there is penned down. Answering an appraisal interview or questions is a tedious task and one needs to take a holistic approach.

While answering questions in an appraisal interview one should also remember to include people around them along with business benefits. Let’s run through a few tips on how to answer appraisal questions.

Performance Appraisal Interview: Effective Tips

1. Involve others in your answer:

When an employee is asked about the achievements in the past few months, the employee should remember to talk about all the people involved in it rather than him.

The answer should talk about colleagues as well as boss during answering. In the same manner, the employee can talk about the benefits of stockholders from a development point of view. The answer should be honest and an impact on the performance should be reflected in the answer.

2. Handling fault or issues:

When asked about any complaint or issue, the employee should first accept that they know what the problem is and be responsible for it, instead of defending.

The problem may be a failure due to holding hands with other colleagues but blaming them completely may not be right. The employee should answer in a way that the solution is a common one which is suitable for everyone and not only for them.

3. Speaking about goals:

While answering appraisal questions, the boss expects for many aspects when discussing goals. The boss looks out for the goals the employee has reached and how.

In the same manner, the boss expects the interested areas of the employee and his development in the last few years. In such scenarios, the employee should remember to speak about the goals he has accomplished, how he accomplished and ways to succeed with the future for new goals.

4. Regarding extra work:


A small business usually has a number of projections during the initial period of development. In that aspect, the employee may be asked to take up more duties.

The boss explains the rationale and also the benefits of taking up more duties. Since the boss has explained the intention for extra work the employee should understand and accept the work instead of neglecting it.

5. Honest answers:

During the appraisal session, the employee should remember that the employer already has the performance appraisal report and hence providing honest self-appraisal answers are mandatory.

This would be a stepping stone if the employee is looking for an internal appointment.

6. Being balanced and positive:

The good aspects of the appraisal and achievement of positive aspects are to be spoken in an appraisal session. Remember to minimize focusing just on one aspect and also do not travel more detailed into negative aspects.

7. Speak about your performance till date:


You can speak about how your ideas are and how valuable you are to the organization. The role you have played till date and travelled with success can be spoken out.

In the same manner, your hard work can be spoken of and your key accomplishments which have made a few projects successful can be highlighted.

8. Implemented ideas:

When asked for implemented ideas in the past, prepare an idea of your which was implemented and made successful.

In case you had offered an idea in the past to your company and your company ended in bankruptcy then it may not be a perfect idea either. Share successful and good ideas that can add value and make the company successful.

9. Focus on mandatory details:

While answering an appraisal question, the most important details are to be mentioned avoiding unnecessary ones. By mentioning vital details, the appraisal is set as a powerful one.

The appraisal should also possess relevant examples which link to the functions of the job. In this way, the appraisal is interesting and goes on well without boredom.

10. About weakness:

When an employee is asked about his weakness in a performance appraisal, he needs to answer in a smart way.

If the employee says that he has no weakness then, he is lying. It is required to be realistic and answer the question in a positive trait by mentioning small work-related faults.

11. About skills and talent:


In an appraisal session, it is important to speak about the skills and experience of how you can use them in an effective way in the organization.

You can also mention that you like to face challenges and are motivated to handle them with your skill and knowledge. You can also mention a few examples of the challenges that you have met and handled.

12. About facing a conflict:

There may be situations where the employee is asked about any past conflict. The employee can open up the true situation and answer in an honest manner. The employee can mention that there were few disagreements and no major conflicts.

It can also be said that the employee learned from the conflict that he needs to understand from the opponent’s point of view and understand their perspective. This can be a smooth way to answer this type of question in an appraisal session.

13. Attitude is key:

It is always good to maintain a positive attitude during the appraisal session. The employee can be in any mood such as angry, upset or defensive, all these should be kept within a time of appraisal session.

It is important for the employee to remember that an appraisal is conducted to make the employee better. The questions are asked to make out what differently the employee has done or what he can do in the future to handle various situations.

The answers should be truthful and the employee should take ownership of any hassles that have happened previously.

14. Practice before answering:

To ensure confident conveyance of answers, practicing is the right way. A list of employee performance appraisal answers samples can be practiced accordingly to overcome the appraisal problems.

You can also seek a friend’s help to monitor your performance or you can record and review your performance too. It is mandatory that you answer each and every question and you also provide each answer along with facts, figures and related information that makes your answer strong.

Also, remember to focus on the tone of answers, your tone should be positive, and calm irrespective of the topic being discussed.

15. Prepare and perform:

Before you perform, it is better to prepare performance appraisal questions to ask your boss and the achievements and failures that you have crossed in the past.

By this way, you can come up with outcomes rather than irrelevant details. When you’re prepared, you are able to answer the right answer to the right question.

16. Speaking about productivity:


When questions are probed regarding productivity, the employees should answer in a way that does not affect the company as well as the employee.

The employees should make sure that they do not blame business for lack of productivity. It is a fact that the qualities of the workers are evaluated and so answers should be smart and convincing.

17. Preparing along with main details:

The employee would be sure about what is expected by the company from the employees. They focus mainly on the partition of the job and the employee’s goals.

The goals, job plan, and description should be clear by the employee. Goal setting is the main aspect while preparing for an appraisal by which the performance is evaluated.

Appraisals are conducted to elevate the efficiency of the employee where they are made to understand their role better. They are also able to know their strengths and weaknesses in their roles. The relationship amongst managers, subordinates and team members are bonded well and improvements or training if required are identified.

To enhance their performance and achieve their goals, self-development, as well as self-evaluation, is useful. A positive workforce is developed and the employees are prepared for next higher roles in the organization. In this manner, appraisals have a number of benefits to be conducted.

The tips mentioned above can be absorbed by employees in order to answer their appraisal sessions. Employees who are about to meet an appraisal can run through these pointers and prepare best answers to make their session the best one. They can be made better and eligible for the next higher role and salary hike in the future. The employee needs to have a calm and positive nature with honest answers which makes the session the best one.

Follow these 10 performance review example questions, and intelligently evaluate their answers, for a great interview.

1. What was your greatest accomplishment at work?

Start positive. Give the person a chance to express how they see their value in the company and explain where they feel they’ve excelled.

Good Answer: Almost anything will be positive if it’s an example of a true work accomplishment, extra-points for showing leadership and acting collaboratively.

Bad Answer: If they can’t come up with anything, that’s troublesome. Likewise if the only examples they can find are routine duties that they’re expected to accomplish. But a real red flag is if they take credit for someone else’s accomplishment.

2. What do you hope to accomplish over the coming year?

This is when you get your first nugget of information about the employee. How they answer will reveal where you can help them, via coaching or training, to meet those expectations. It’s also important for the employee to think about the future and set specific goals.

Good Answer: A detailed list of goals is good. It shows that the employee is thinking strategically about the future. The more those goals complement the company’s strategic goals, the better. Of course, you can also tweak their goals to become more aligned.

Bad Answer: This can range from safe and unambitious goals to outrageous and unrealistic ones. Again, if you have something to work with, you can adjust their goals to be more realistic. However, if they have no goals and show apathy in the face of the question, there’s going to be a problem.

3. What position at the company do you want to move to next?

By asking about their career goals in terms of their advancement in the organization, you can gauge how to help them achieve those goals. And, after conducting several reviews, you can chart the progress of their interests and ambitions.

Good Answer: They’re ambitious and demonstrate a clear understanding of their department’s hierarchy.

Bad Answer: They show no interest or answer unrealistically, such as they feel entitled to move into an executive position without having demonstrated sufficient worth or drive.

4. Where do you feel there’s room for you to improve?

This will form a picture of how perceptive the person is at understanding what their weaknesses are, and therefore gives you insight into how to bring them up to snuff.

Good Answer: There really isn’t a good or bad answer, because any answer will provide you with guidance on how to manage the person and make them a better employee.

Bad Answer: If there is a bad answer, it would be a refusal to acknowledge a weakness. If a person is not able to contemplate any weakness or shortcoming they might have, you’re probably dealing with an arrogant or delusional person, who is not an ideal team member.

5. Do you feel that the team is working well collaboratively?

It’s more than likely that your employee is working as a part of a team, and the well-being of that team is critical to success. Therefore, any insight on the dynamics impacting their productivity is helpful.

Good Answer: Whether the team is working together or at odds is less important than the perspective of the person answering the question. The more they enlighten you about the team’s inner workings, the better you’ll be able to resolve any problems and manage them more effectively.

Bad Answer: It’s bad if the person is oblivious to issues that are evident to you, or they act as if they’re covering up for a teammate. Even worse would be a deflection of blame to avoid criticism.

6. What are the main drivers of success in the company?

This is a good way to learn how well the person understands the company’s priorities. They’re not going to know everything, naturally, but they should be aware of what counts as success within their own department.

Good Answer: The closer they are to understanding what the company values, the better. Whatever their answer, you’ll have a better idea of how in tune they are with the needs of the company.

Bad Answer: It’s bad if they reply with anything that is not logical or, worse, in opposition to the key drivers of success in the company.

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7. Are you comfortable with our corporate culture, and are there areas that need improvement?

You know what the work environment is like for yourself, but it’s not easy to know how it feels for those around you.

Good Answer: You want to learn if there are issues in the cultural climate of the office, so hopefully those will be revealed if they exist. Plus, if they have concrete steps to improve that problem, it means that they’re invested in the organization and its ongoing success.

Bad Answer: If they have no problem with the culture at the office, that’s good, but you want to make sure that they’re being straight with you and not just giving you the answer you want to hear. Also, if their idea of a good culture is diametrically opposed to what the company feels is a good culture, then there’s a problem.

8. Do you have everything you need to perform your job?

Here’s a very constructive question because it offers the employee an opportunity to tell you directly how they’re limited or where they could improve their productivity if they are given some additional tool or resource.

Good Answer: A detailed understanding of the workings of the organization is important. Then, they can hopefully suggest new tools and resources that fit into that structure in order to have a positive impact.

Bad Answer: It’s not helpful if they ask for things that are impossible to supply them with. That shows they don’t really get the parameters and restrictions in which they’re working.

9. Where has management helped and hindered your work?

This is a bit of a loaded question, but the return can be of value if the employee is honest. Then, you’ll be able to see what is and isn’t working on the frontlines of the business.

Good Answer: Naturally, anything that the employee says that you weren’t aware of is a good answer. Ideally they respond in terms of the impact and results of your management.

Bad Answer: Bad might not be the right word, but it’s not helpful if the employee is cagey and doesn’t respond honestly. Therefore, it’s best if you can build trust with them so they’ll feel safe to share any criticism with you. Make sure they know that what is said will remain between the two of you.

10. Do you have any questions for me related to your work here and your future goals at the company?

This is a natural follow-up to the previous question and will help you gain employee trust while providing a roadmap to assist them moving forward.

Good Answer: A good answer is one that comes from a place of knowing the company’s dynamics, one that seeks a pathway to help the employee achieve their objectives, while remaining in alignment with the organization’s strategic goals.

Bad Answer: Again, one that shows an ignorance to the reality of the work environment, or is not professional but too personal.

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