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5 Mistakes Not to Make When Answering Performance Appraisal Questions

Ah the loathed and anxiety producing performance review. Although you might be doing everything you’re supposed to, keeping on top of your workload and actually taking on more responsibilities, a performance review can be a nerve racking affair. 

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Here are some mistakes you should avoid when answering performance appraisal questions.


1. Um…uh…

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When answering questions about your performance be specific- being vague could potentially allow the boss to undervalue you and your contribution to the company. Bring up example of your most shining successes, including beat deadlines, added responsibilities and tasks. Remember that ambiguity leaves your response up to interpretation. Instead of responding to the question: “How would you grade your performance this year?” with “Um, pretty good…” try responding with empirical proof of that. If you don’t have any proof then you are definitely not doing your job at your full capacity.

2. Give and Take

Allowing a boss to over-evaluate you and give you the feedback regarding your performance that could ultimately save your job is another grave mistake. We all know more or less if we are meeting the boss’s expectations and if you feel like you’re not: speak up. You shouldn’t walk away feeling like you dodged a bullet, but instead feel like you have feedback to help you become a better employee and ultimately help you keep your job.

3. Comparison

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When confronted with a certain deficiency, like communication, for example, never, ever make a comparison between you and a different employee. First it’s uncouth and secondly it reflects badly on your own performance. If you disagree with the appraiser’s evaluation you should have proof to argue it. If you don’t then the evaluator is probably right…sorry to break it to you buddy.

4. Differing Responsibility

Using phrase such as “That’s not my job” “That’s not part of my responsibilities” or “I don’t get paid enough” shows a person that is rigid and doesn’t care about the common good. This immediately reflects negatively on your sense of community, loyalty to the company and your morale. Definitely not items that you want the evaluators to be jotting down in their notes.

5. Don’t Ask For It

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I know, this might seem counterintuitive but avoid asking directly for a raise during performance evaluations/ appraisals. It will make you sound entitled and petulant, instead make the boss say you deserve a raise, by hitting them where it hurts. If any of your tasks in the previous evaluation period saved the company money or brought in a different source of revenue, then use that as sort of a verbal nudge and a wink to the boss. Instead of flat out asking for a raise, maybe ask what you can do for a raise, if you deserve it you will get it,- if they feel you don’t at least you can strive to achieve it.

See Also: 5 Simple Questions You Won’t Believe Science Can’t Answer

Appraisals are hard enough so any advice, recommendations or even tricks can help. If you have survived an appraisal recently let us know how you got through it. It’s your duty as a fellow cubicle dweller.