How do I judge myself

Fit for the appraisal interview

Fit for the appraisal interview

At some point the time has come. The appraisal interview - also called employee interview in many places - is pending. We have a few tips so that you can go into this important dialogue with your boss with a good feeling of security.

From Doris Brenner

Be aware that thorough preparation has a decisive influence on the course of your appraisal interview. So don't let your boss take you off guard, following the motto: "Oh, come to my office for a minute so we can talk about your assessment."

Advance notice of the interview not only enables you to prepare accordingly. The fixed appointment also ensures that the conversation not only takes place between the door and the hinge, but also has a defined time frame.

Review the assessment period

Before you go to the appraisal interview, you should take another critical look at the appraisal period, which is usually the previous year. What have you done particularly successfully? What difficult situations were there? How did you master this? Were the agreed goals realistic and were you able to achieve them? Have you been able to save money or generate additional income for the company?

Make a note of the relevant examples so that you can prove your achievements. Those who have already made notes over the year have a clear advantage here.


You should definitely be familiar with the assessment scheme on which your assessment is based before the assessment interview. Which criteria are evaluated? How are the individual performance levels defined? Think about how you would judge yourself within this scheme and try to support your decision with arguments accordingly.

Define your own expectations

In the run-up to the conversation, think about what expectations you associate with the conversation. In which areas do you want to develop professionally? What are your own professional goals? Is there a specific training course that you would like to participate in? Would you like to take on more responsibility?

The annual meeting with your boss is the perfect setting to bring in your own expectations and ideas. Think about what advantages, for example, the further training you intend to have for the company. By making the benefits to your boss clear, you increase the chances that your manager will assist you in this regard.

Think about goals for the next assessment period

If it is customary in your company that your goals for the next assessment period are also set as part of the annual appraisal, you would do well to make appropriate considerations in advance. Pursuing goals that you have brought in yourself and that you stand behind are much more motivating than just following external guidelines. In addition, your suggestions show your boss that you think ahead and that you are committed.

The so-called SMART formula applies to the definition of goals. They should be S specific, i.e. clearly defined, M measurable, A appropriate, i.e. correspond to the requirements of the job in terms of difficulty and be realistic, R relevant, i.e. aligned according to the company's goals, and T be timed and thus fixed in time.

Conversation at eye level

The annual interview with your boss shouldn't be a one-way street, in which you only take note of and sign your boss's completed assessment form. In many companies, the term "employee appraisal" is deliberately chosen to make it clear that the focus should be on the dialogue between you and your boss.

Often it is also difficult for a superior to really be able to judge the performance of an employee. This is especially true if you do not work with your boss on a daily basis or are even physically separated. Your boss is therefore also dependent on you to give him the relevant feedback on your work or the status of your project. The clearer you can convey your achievements, the easier it is for your manager to recognize them and thus also to acknowledge them.

When different points of view collide

It is not always possible to bring the points of view in the appraisal interview to one another. First, try to discuss the disputed points with your boss. It is your right to argue from your perspective and not just adopt his point of view. An approximation can often be achieved by exchanging additional information.

Should you and your supervisor not be able to agree on individual assessment values ‚Äč‚Äčeven after the factual discussion of the respective assessments, there are usually clear steps to further proceed. These are often set out in company agreements. Another conversation with a works council member or a representative from the HR department is usual. In any case, you can add a comment to the assessment, which you can use to document your differing views on individual assessment points.

Appraisal interview as an opportunity

While the appraisal interview is often seen as a necessary evil, you should recognize the opportunities it can offer you. You should therefore use the opportunity to make the work you have achieved clear to your boss and to state your expectations for the future. This can include opportunities for further development or financial improvements.

Be aware that you have a great influence on whether the conversation is just a formality or a constructive exchange with your boss and opens up new perspectives.

(Image: Goodluz, istockphoto)

Doris Brenner is a freelance consultant specializing in personnel development and career advice. Your publications on the subjects of application, test procedures, career planning and work techniques have a total circulation of over 600,000 copies.