As your next performance review approaches, you might be met with a bit of anxiety and the hope that you can get through it, sighing in relief when you do. But unfortunately, if this is the mindset you take into your next one-on-one, you might forget to bring up concerns or ask questions to just get through it quickly.
Reviews are the opportunity to have a two-way conversation with your boss and be an active participant in the dialogue. With that in mind, you should prepare a list of questions to ask during the back-and-forth conversation.
Am I meeting your expectations?
Be direct and ask if you’re meeting expectations specifically for your boss. Make sure you’re prepared for what you might hear, positive or negative. The response will only make you a better employee, no matter how easy or hard it is to receive.
What could I focus more time on?
Without knowing it, you might not be spending enough time on important or time-sensitive tasks. Here’s where your boss should revisit your responsibilities and how spending more time in certain areas will positively affect your job and the company.
What am I focusing too much of my time on?
The way you prioritize your time might need a restructuring. Figure out where your efforts need to be diverted and where they can be taken away. Sometimes tasks we think are important aren’t. Discussing with a boss can help bring clarity.
Is there room for growth within our department?
If you see yourself staying at the company or are interested in finding out how you could fit there over time, first determine if there’s room for the growth you want. Your boss might be able to shed light on how they see your future at the company too.
How can I help our team succeed?
Asking this question shows that you have the big picture in mind, and that’s the company’s overall success. In addition, the answer will help you better understand how the work you do impacts your team and the goals set forth by your boss.
What skills should I improve to work towards a promotion?
If you want a promotion, ask what you need to do to get there. Your manager will appreciate knowing and could even direct you to get there. This might include assigning you different tasks to fulfill that align more with earning the promotion.
What can I do to make your job easier?
Your boss might be running from one meeting to the next, so hearing this might provide them some sense of relief and comfort. Knowing you genuinely care about making their job easier might be something they will want to provide for you too.
What changes do you foresee for the company?
A performance review allows you to determine your direction, but what about the company? Asking this question will give you a better idea of where the company is going, how you could fit in, or why you should consider moving on.
What goals should I work toward?
Show that you actually care about your job and being successful in it. Your goals might not be the same as those your boss sees for you. Clarify the goals and create a blueprint for how you achieve them.
As you walk out of a one-on-one with your boss, you should feel motivated, and your mind should be clearer on the next best steps for you.
What is the best question you’ve asked during a performance review, and how did it help guide your next steps? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out What to do After Accepting a Job Offer.