The new-style annual interview in practice with examples

by Danique Geskus | Nov 8, 2023

The new-style annual interview is more than just an annual formality; it is a powerful tool that can help your company grow, engage employees and improve performance. In this blog, we explore the value of the new-style annual interview and how it can contribute to the success of your organization.


Meaning new style annual interview

The new-style annual interview marks a shift from traditional, one-way evaluation to a more interactive and engaged approach to performance appraisals. This modern approach centers on open communication, with managers and employees working together to set goals, discuss performance and identify development opportunities.

The new-style annual interview integrates 360-degree feedback and a continuous dialogue throughout the year and promotes growth, feedback and engagement, making it not only an annual obligation but a valuable tool for professional development and performance improvement.


The new-style annual interview as a strategic tool

The annual interview is not just an opportunity to assess your employees’ performance; it is a strategic tool that can help your organization in a variety of ways:

  • Performance Management: The annual interview allows you to evaluate and assess the performance of your employees. This helps identify strengths and areas for improvement, which is essential for effective performance management.
  • Employee development: The annual interview provides an opportunity to talk about employees’ development needs. By discussing how to improve their skills and competencies, you contribute to their growth and development.
  • Goals and strategy: During the annual meeting, you can set clear goals for the coming year. This ensures alignment between the goals of individual employees and the strategic goals of your organization.
  • Talent Management: The annual interview provides insight into your employees’ strengths and potential. This helps with talent management decisions, such as promotions, training and succession planning.
  • Employee engagement: When employees feel heard and valued during the annual interview, their commitment to work and the organization increases. Engaged employees are often more productive and stay with your company longer.


Sample new style annual interview

In a modern approach to annual reviews, the focus shifts from a one-way evaluation to a more interactive and developmental dialogue between managers and employees. Let’s look at an example of what such a new-style annual interview might look like with examples:


The Beginning of the Conversation

In this first stage of the conversation, the tone is set by a friendly and open greeting. It is important that both parties feel comfortable speaking freely.

Sample questions:

  • How do you feel about your work and the past period? Is there something specific you would like to discuss?
  • What are your expectations for this conversation and what do you hope to accomplish/discuss?
  • Is there anything in the past year that you would like to pay extra attention to before we continue our conversation?


Review of Achievements

In this part of the conversation, the employee is encouraged to reflect on his or her accomplishments over the past year and share some specific successes.

Sample questions:

  • What projects or accomplishments from the past year are you most proud of and why?
  • Can you name some challenges or obstacles you overcame and how did you do it?
  • Is there any specific feedback or recognition from colleagues or clients that you have noticed and would like to share?


Developmental Needs and Goals

Here the focus is shifted to the future and the employee is invited to reflect on his or her development needs and goals for the coming year.

Sample questions:

  • In what areas do you see opportunities for personal and professional growth in the coming year?
  • Are there specific skills, competencies or areas of knowledge that you think could help you in your role?
  • How do you think you can further develop yourself to contribute to the success of the team or organization?


Action Plans and Support

At this stage, the supervisor becomes actively involved in helping the employee create concrete action plans and offers support and resources.

Sample questions:

  • What steps do you think you can take to achieve your development goals, and what support do you need to do so?
  • Are there training, courses or mentoring opportunities you have in mind to help you grow?
  • How can we work together to identify and overcome any obstacles as you work on your development?


Closing and Looking to the Future

The conversation ends on a positive note and a shared sense of commitment to the employee’s growth and development. This example illustrates how new-style annual appraisals focus on a constructive and forward-looking approach, with the employee’s development at the center.

Sample questions:

  • Is there anything else you would like to share or discuss before we conclude our conversation?
  • Are there any clear action items or agreements we identified during this conversation that you would like us to summarize?
  • What are your thoughts on how we can continue to work together in the future to achieve your development goals and support you in your role?


Is the annual interview mandatory?

Legally, there is no requirement for an annual interview between employee and employer. In many cases, however, it is standard practice within organizations to hold annual performance or development reviews. These conversations provide a structured opportunity for managers and employees to discuss performance, set goals and plan for the future. They help improve communication and involve employees in their own growth.

While annual interviews are often considered valuable, it is important to note that their nature and frequency may vary. Some organizations conduct formal annual appraisals, while others prefer informal, frequent check-ins. It depends on the corporate culture and the specific needs of the organization. In some cases, government regulations or union agreements may also impose requirements for annual reviews. In general, however, annual appraisals, in any form, can be a valuable tool for improving performance and supporting employee development.


How to use Learned to transform your annual reviews into development opportunities

With Learned, you can effortlessly prepare and organize annual interviews using our specially designed templates, including various topics and themes focused on development. By using new-style annual interviews. By integrating 360° feedback into the conversation, you get a concrete picture of your employees’ performance, competencies and potential from various perspectives. Learn how to use annual appraisals as a starting point for development with Learned!

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