Performance Management Interviews

Ten of the Best Performance Management Questions to Ask During Reviews

The success or failure of a performance management review hinges on the actual questions asked by the interviewer and the subsequent conversation between both parties. But what are the key questions? How can we be sure that we are really delving into the most important topics?


Here we present the 10 key questions to ask during a performance management review:


1. To what extent did the employee meet his or her goals and targets during the appraisal period? Were there any viable and acceptable reasons for failure? How does the employee explain any missed targets or failures?


2. What were the particular achievements or projects that this employee completed in the organization and how significant were these in terms of organizational results? How do other team members view these? Can we quantify the overachievement?


3. Does the employee have proven strong technical skills and expertise at their position? Which skills have shown the most improvement over the period under evaluation? Are there any technical skills that require further training and development from a training course?


4. Is the employee’s communication and collaboration with colleagues and stakeholders smooth? How is the employee viewed by peers and subordinates? After being any formal complaints made by colleagues during the period in question? Have customers sent in any glowing reports or criticisms of the employee during the period in question?


5. Did the employee adhere to company policies, process and expectations? Were there any governance issues? Did the employee contribute to company culture in a meaningful and positive way?


6. Does the employee manage time appropriately and set his/her workload right? Is the employee suffering from burnout? Are any of the employees direct reports likely to suffer from burnout?


7. Is the employee committed towards Professional Development and Continuous Learning? What additional certifications did the employee obtain during the period in question? What training courses would the employee like to complete over the next evaluation?


8. Were there any instances of feedback, and coaching during the review period?


9. Does the employee adapt successfully to change, ambiguity and new problems? Are there any specific examples of this?


10. Does the employee’s performance align with the organizational values and culture? Has a 360 degree review been done on the employee on this topic? Do colleagues believe that the employee fits the company culture?


While these are ten of the most important questions to ask during an appraisal process there are obviously others that will be specific to your company and to your situation. It is important to discuss with your and with colleagues what other questions are of most relevance to your company and to your functional area. For example a retail company will require a very different appraisal process to a software company. The performance evaluation process for the finance function may differ considerably from that of the sales function.


Nonetheless having a core framework of key interview questions can contribute to a more successful performance evaluation process. Using these ten key questions as a jumping off point can point you in the right direction