Ten tips for nailing your appraisal

After a two-year pause triggered by the pandemic, the annual performance review is making a comeback. Are you ready?


According to the WSJ, if you approach your review as an opportunity to highlight your achievements and discover how you can improve going forwards, you’ll have every reason to feel confident as review time approaches. Take on board the tips below and you’ll positively skip into your appraisal meeting.

1. Understand the purpose of your performance review. Remember that it’s meant to be a two-way conversation during which you identify both your strengths and the areas you need to work on. It’s certainly not an employee-bashing session designed to dwell on past performance errors.

2. Focus on your contributions to your team and company. How have you added value? If you can quantify that value in terms of additional revenue, new clients and/or time saved, all the better.

3. Leverage co-worker feedback. The people you work with daily can be a great resource to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. So request their feedback and document it.

4. Review goals previously set for you and be prepared to reference how you’ve achieved them. List your (evolving) responsibilities and describe how you’ve carried them out.

5. Demonstrate how you have tried to improve your skills and areas of expertise, e.g., through training programmes. You could also initiate a conversation about your career goals and how you and your manager could work together to achieve them.

6. Show how you have adjusted to new challenges, demonstrating flexibility and adaptability. Switching to remote or hybrid working during Covid is an excellent case in point.

7. Commit your self-evaluation notes (however informal) to paper. This is a great way of making sure that you cover all your key points. Be honest about your weaknesses while also promoting your strengths and achievements. And don’t be afraid to ask your manager for help in the form of additional resources or training.

8. Don’t be on the defensive. Enter the review with an open mind. You’ll need to take on board feedback that may appear negative at times. Come up with solutions as to how you can address areas that require improvement.

9. Have a clear idea about what you want to accomplish during your review. Proactively draft goals for the months and year ahead. Your appraisal is an opportunity to discuss and fine-tune them with your boss.

10. Going forwards, make a point of tracking your progress regularly in preparation for your next appraisal. If you would like more feedback or support from your manager, ask for more frequent check-ins. Act on his/her feedback to keep improving and to ensure that your performance stays on target.


By acting on the above tips, you’ll come to view your appraisal as a great opportunity to identify what you’re doing right and to form a strategy to improve your weaker areas. Your path to achieving your career goals will become clearer in the process. What’s not to love?!


If your preparations serve as a wake-up call that your current role isn’t helping you to achieve your career goals, it may be time to start planning your next move. Please get in touch with ABL Recruitment, the UK’s number one multilingual recruitment agency, and let us know what you’re looking for. Whatever you need, we’ve got it covered. Please call us on +44 (0)20 7092 3939 or email us at info@ablrecruitment.com to brainstorm the options.