Do you get nervous or draw a blank in a job interview? It can be difficult trying to answer prompts like, "Tell me about a weakness and what you’ve done to overcome it,” or "Tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult customer.” You never know what a prospective employer is going to ask in an interview. But you can use something totally unrelated to a job hunt to help you give easy, confident answers.
What employment exercise documents how you interact with your peers and customers? Solve problems? Describes your work habits, productivity and greatest strengths? It’s your last performance review. It has the type of information any prospective employer would love to have. Performance appraisals, when done correctly, paint a picture of a year’s worth of an employee’s work and rates performance. It contains the successes and shortcomings. It lists strengths and areas for improvement. It should even have some specific examples of performance to justify a “5” or highest rating or one that is less than satisfactory.
Performance appraisals are good learning experiences for both boss and employee. You can make the most of your performance appraisal and get good information for your next job interview. You can learn ahead of time what your employer considers good performance and things you need to improve on. All these things can help you at your present job and help win your next great opportunity.
There are 10 ways to get the most out of your performance review, according to an article in The Guardian. Instead of looking at a review as a necessary annual evil, look at it as an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with your busy boss and learn more about yourself and your job.
Consider what the appraisal can do for you. What do you want to get out of it? Be prepared. Take the time to thoughtfully fill out the appraisal form. Take an honest look at your past performance and rate yourself. Most employees are a lot tougher on themselves than their bosses.
Make a list of your accomplishments. Not just the fact that you showed up every day on time, (or most of the time). Not that you came in and did your work. But the times that you went over and above the call of duty. Were you super responsive? Did you complete the sales reports and do some additional analysis to give a better picture of how products and services were received by the customers? Did you go beyond the standard service process to WOW! a customer? Be prepared to remind your boss just why you deserve the 4 or 5 rating, with specific accomplishments to back it up.
Performance reviews usually end with goal-setting and action plans. What does your employer expect you to accomplish or improve on by the same time next year? Performance appraisals should be a discussion with both parties giving insight and setting goals. What do you need from your boss? What goals do you have for her? What do you need to accomplish the goals she is setting for you to improve your performance. Make your expectations for support known during the performance review.
Where would you like to go? What type of job enrichment or career growth opportunities would you like to experience in the next year? Past performance is the focus of a review, but it should also be a tool to help employees grow and progress in their careers.
All these components match up well with the types of questions you’ll get in a job interview. Before your next interview, review your past performance reviews. You’ll get a fresh perspective on your abilities, skill levels and attitude toward your job that will help pursue your next opportunity.
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