To prepare yourself for a job performance review, you’ll want to have as much objective data as possible in advance.
It is also in your best interest to prepare to be relaxed and poised during the
If you have been employed for more than a year or two, then you have probably had performance reviews that surprised you, and reviews that went exactly as expected.
That is because no matter how an employer tries to evaluate employees fairly and objectively, there is always a subjective, human component of personal judgment that affects the process.
The best time to prepare for a performance interview is when you first get the job, or immediately after your last review.
Document your work as much as you can on a daily basis, not only to prepare for your next review, but to learn from your achievements and mistakes. Your boss is human, whether he acts like it or not, and despite the best intentions, some of your achievements may be overlooked.
Not only should you keep an account to prove your own merits, but you also need to have evidence of any problems and how you corrected and learned from them. Keeping your own records will ensure that both sides are addressed if there are any discrepancies.
Another important factor to consider in documenting your performance is who the documentation belongs to. Keep a copy of your documentation at home, and if there is an adversarial situation at work, consider keeping only one record off-premise.
Otherwise, your documentation may be compromised or rendered inaccessible to you. If this is the case, you may want to take special care to document witnesses to anything that might later be misrepresented to prepare for a performance review. Keep copies of external documents that support your view of events, but bear any company policies for document handling in mind while doing so.
If you want to prevent any nasty surprises during your next review, check in with your boss periodically between reviews. Ask how you are doing, and whether you need to improve in any areas. Also, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn; if you don’t bring your accomplishments to your boss’ attention, you can’t expect those achievements to be reflected in your formal appraisal.
Prepare for a good performance
Perhaps the most important way you can prepare for a performance review is to make sure that you know what is expected of you. When you start a new job, sit down with your boss and ask what the performance review covers. Ask if you can have a blank copy of the review form, or look for it in the employee manual.
Ask your boss what the characteristics of an employee who gets a perfect review are, and what you can do to meet those expectations. Then review your own performance at least weekly with as objective a mind as you can to ensure that you are working toward meeting those objectives. Do your best, and approach your review with a confident and relaxed demeanor. That’s the best preparation of all.