Keep a positive and professional attitude
Yes, heading into your review can be a bit unnerving. After all, this "report card" is a permanent record of your work performance. It will likely be used as a guide to determine any promotion, raise or bonus you may have earned, but it's important to not let the process itself intimidate you. Maintaining your composure is one of the keys to a successful review, because it's another one-on-one opportunity to impress your boss with your positive and professional attitude even when in a potentially stressful situation.
Preparation is a huge component of a successful performance evaluation. Your manager will have facts to back up everything that will be discussed, and so should you. When applicable, take the time to review your previous evaluation and to document all your successes since then. Your manager will ask you for details of your accomplishments, so be prepared to answer questions such as these:
- What specific goals have you reached? Which goals haven't been reached, and why?
- What measurable results have you achieved? What contributions have you made to the company?
- What are your future goals? How will you accomplish them?
Keep it a two-way street
It's possible that at times the meeting may feel more like an interrogation than a review. But rest assured your boss wants you to be successful, as this will only improve the company's bottom line, so keep the dialogue going by posing some questions of your own. Asking your boss what you can do to improve your performance, what steps you can take to move up the corporate ladder or what you can do to positively impact the success of the business will show your commitment to the company and desire to be a valued employee as well as give you important advice and information about your future.
After the review
While a performance review is an opportunity to showcase your achievements, it can also be a great learning tool. When your manager gives you constructive criticism, take advantage of it, and use it to learn and grow. Following up with everything that was discussed is important for your future success and will help ensure you have another great review in the future!