Appraisal interview: the best practices for modern interpretation

by Danique Geskus | Nov 8, 2023

An appraisal interview is a periodic conversation between employee and supervisor to discuss performance and development. It promotes feedback, goal setting and development opportunities. Best practices include preparation, open communication, specific feedback, targeting and follow-up. A performance review is more focused on the employee’s overall performance and future goals. Continuing appraisals is important because of feedback and development, performance management, communication and engagement, and legal/ethical issues. They provide structured feedback, promote growth, and serve as a basis for decisions. Learned allows a modern approach to appraisal interviews for valuable experiences. Want to learn more about the meaning and best practices of the appraisal interview? Then read on.


What is the assessment interview?

An appraisal interview is a periodic conversation between an employee and his or her supervisor to discuss the employee’s performance and development. The purpose of the conversation is to provide feedback on the results achieved, highlight strengths and identify opportunities for improvement. During the appraisal interview, goals can be set for the coming period and development opportunities can be discussed. It is an opportunity for both the employee and supervisor to gain insight into progress and to express any concerns or expectations. An effective appraisal interview contributes to employee motivation and growth.


Best practices for conducting an appraisal interview

To get started most effectively with organizing appraisals within your organization, consider the following:

1. Preparation: Ensure that both the supervisor and the employee have had sufficient time to prepare for the interview. Gather relevant information, such as performance data and feedback, and create an agenda of topics to be discussed.

2. Open communication: Create an open and honest communication environment in which both parties can speak freely. Encourage the employee to share his or her opinions and ideas, and as a manager, be prepared to listen to feedback.

3. Specific feedback: Provide specific and constructive feedback on the employee’s performance. Highlight both strengths and areas that need improvement. Provide concrete examples to support feedback and suggestions for growth and development.

4. Goal-oriented: Discuss clear goals and expectations for the future. Together with the employee, set achievable goals aimed at growth and development. Agree on any support needed to achieve these goals.

5. Follow-up: Provide follow-up after the appraisal interview. This may include regular check-ins to discuss progress, coaching and mentoring, or further development opportunities. Stay in touch with the employee to ensure ongoing engagement and support.


The difference of an appraisal interview from a performance interview

The appraisal interview is often confused with the performance interview. Yet there is a difference. An appraisal interview is aimed at assessing an employee’s performance over a specific period of time, often annually, and providing feedback based on it. The purpose is to provide a formal assessment and determine rewards or development opportunities. A performance appraisal, on the other hand, focuses more on discussing the employee’s overall performance, including strengths, development needs and goals for the future. It is more of a two-way conversation in which both the employee and supervisor give input and work together for the employee’s growth and improvement.


Why you, as an organization, should not stop appraisals in the first place

Over the past few years, there has been much discussion around the topic of “stopping appraisals. On the contrary, we think organization should not stop doing this. Appraisals are essential because they enable feedback and development, help with performance management, promote communication and engagement, and support legal and ethical issues. They provide a structured opportunity for executives to give feedback, assess performance and set goals. This encourages employee growth and contributes to personal and professional development. Moreover, appraisals serve as the basis for decisions about rewards and career paths. They promote open communication and engagement, while also providing a documented history of performance for legal and ethical consideration. In short, plenty of reasons to properly make this conversation part of your interview cycle.


Put a modern spin on appraisals with Learned

With Learned’s science-based interview templates, you’ll be organizing a review meeting your employees are ready for in no time. Look back on the past period, give your employee real space to provide input, and set new goals for the time ahead. Click here to get started with modern assessment conversations in Learned.

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