All the best practices for getting the most out of your evaluation interview

by Danique Geskus | Nov 8, 2023

Evaluation conversations are critical for assessing and discussing performance, goals and development between employers and employees. In my latest blog article, I unravel the essence of evaluation interviews, their differences from performance and assessment interviews, and provide valuable tips for employees to best prepare. In addition, I share key best practices for employers to conduct successful evaluation interviews. Also discover how Learned’s conversation module can help create objective and fair evaluation conversations. Read on for insights and practical tips for getting the most out of evaluation interviews.


What is an evaluation interview?

An evaluation interview is a scheduled conversation between an employer and an employee to discuss performance, goals and development. It serves as a formal opportunity to provide feedback, assess performance, identify strengths and discuss areas for improvement. During the evaluation interview, goals and expectations for the future are often set and possible rewards or promotions can be discussed. It allows employees to provide feedback and express their needs and concerns. A properly conducted evaluation conversation promotes communication, motivation and growth for both the employee and the organization.


How is the evaluation interview different from the performance and assessment interview?

The evaluation interview, the appraisal interview and the performance interview each have slightly different focuses and objectives, although they are all formal conversations within the HR cycle.

An evaluation interview focuses specifically on assessing an employee’s performance over a period of time, such as quarterly or annually. Its purpose is to provide feedback, assess performance and set goals for the future. A performance review, on the other hand, usually involves looking back over the past year. This centers on a one-sided assessment from the employer. A performance appraisal is more focused on the employee’s overall performance within the organization. It is a regular conversation, often semi-annual or annual, in which performance as well as broader aspects such as personal development, collaboration and job satisfaction are discussed.

While there may be some overlap between these conversations, they differ in their specific focus, time frame and objectives within the HR cycle.


How do you prepare for an evaluation interview as an employee?

Unlike the appraisal interview, the employee’s word is also important in the evaluation interview. To arrive at this interview as an employee well prepared, we have listed the most important points to consider:

  1. Reflect on your performance: Reflect on your own performance during the evaluation period. Identify your strengths, achieved goals and any challenges or areas where you want to improve.
  2. Gather evidence: Collect examples, results and feedback that support your performance. Think of specific projects, tasks or situations where you were successful or added value to the organization.
  3. Set questions for yourself: Make a list of questions you want to ask during the evaluation interview. These could be questions about your accomplishments, development opportunities, goals or expectations for the future.
  4. Identify goals: Think about what goals you want to set for yourself for the coming period. Make sure these goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
  5. Prepare for feedback: Be open to feedback, both positive and constructive. Open yourself to suggestions and ideas for improvement. Consider how to respond to any criticism and how to learn and grow from feedback.
  6. Think about development needs: Identify areas in which you can further develop your skills, knowledge or competencies. Think about what trainings, workshops or learning experiences you could attend to support your professional growth.
  7. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own development and growth. Think about what you can do to improve yourself and what support you need from your manager or the organization.
  8. Be prepared to talk about your career goals: If you have career aspirations, consider how to discuss them during the evaluation interview. Think about what steps you can take to achieve your career goals and how your manager can support you in doing so.


Best practices for conducting an evaluation interview

Good preparation is half the battle. Successful implementation of the evaluation interview is an important other half. There are several things to consider as an employer to keep the conversation on track.

  1. Open communication and two-way communication: Encourage open and honest communication during the evaluation interview. Give the employee the opportunity to share his or her perspective, ask questions and discuss any concerns or challenges. Be an active listener and provide constructive feedback. The conversation should be a two-way street in which both the manager and the employee can contribute and work together for the employee’s growth and development.
  2. Focus on accomplishments and goals: During the evaluation interview, focus on specific accomplishments, goals and results. Be concrete and specific in your feedback and use examples to support your points. Jointly set goals and expectations for the future and make sure they are measurable and achievable. Offer support and resources to help the employee achieve his or her goals.
  3. Promote growth and development: See the evaluation interview as an opportunity to promote growth and development. Discuss not only current performance, but also identify development needs and opportunities for growth. Consider what training, mentorship or other development opportunities can help the employee further develop his or her skills and abilities. Ensure an action plan is in place to support these development goals and monitor progress regularly.


Conduct objective and honest evaluation interviews with Learned

With Learned’s conversation module, you can not only use the Learned conversation templates consisting of various themes and KPIs that achieve objective evaluation. In addition, this module provides options for retrieving 360° feedback, keeping call notes and viewing all feedback you have received from your colleagues throughout the year. Ideal for coming up with relevant example situations that reinforce your conversation.

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