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The end-of-probation interview: sample topics and everything you need to consider as an employer

The end-of-trial interview is a crucial part of the probationary process between employers and employees. During this conversation, accomplishments, strengths, areas for improvement, future goals and feedback are discussed. Although not required by law, it provides a valuable opportunity to assess the employee and make informed decisions about continued employment. The most frequently asked questions from HR managers include: the importance of the interview, the topics discussed, giving constructive feedback, dealing with employee concerns, documentation, decision-making, fairness, objectivity and legal aspects. Using tools such as Learned, templates can be used to prepare and conduct effective end-of-term interviews. Learn all about this conversation? Then read on!


What is the end-of-probation interview?

The end-of-probation interview is an important part of the probationary process between employers and employees. It takes place at the end of the probationary period, which usually lasts 1-2 months. During the interview, the employer evaluates the employee’s performance and suitability for the position. They discuss accomplishments, strengths, areas for improvement and future goals. The end-of-probation interview provides an opportunity for the employee to receive feedback, ask questions and express any concerns. Based on this conversation, the employer can decide whether to confirm the employee in the position or terminate the employment.


What are examples of end-of-probation interview topics?

So the end-of-trial interview is, as it were, the first formal moment to reflect on the collaboration with the new employees. This provides an immediate opportunity to make adjustments to certain key aspects that you as an employer noticed during the initial period. We recommend at least considering the following topics during this conversation:

  1. Performance: Evaluation of the employee based on set goals and tasks during the probationary period.
  2. Strengths: Identify and highlight the employee’s strengths and skills.
  3. Areas for improvement: Discuss areas in which the employee can improve and what support can be provided to do so.
  4. Culture and team fit: Assessment of interaction with co-workers and to what extent the employee adapts to the company culture.
  5. Motivation and Engagement: Discuss the extent to which the employee is engaged in the work and the company.
  6. Future goals: Discuss the employee’s long-term goals and how they fit within the organization.
  7. Feedback and questions: Giving feedback to the employee and providing an opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns.


As an employer, should you conduct an end-of-trial interview?

Although we find the end-of-semester interview to be very useful, we still see that not every organization actually conducts the interviews. But can that actually just happen? We sought it out. It appears that there is no legal requirement for employers to conduct an end-of-trial interview. The probationary period is intended as a period during which employers and employees have the opportunity to evaluate cooperation before entering into a permanent employment contract. However, in some countries or industries, there may be specific rules or collective bargaining agreements that require an end-of-trial interview. It is therefore advisable to consult local laws and any industry agreements to determine whether there is a requirement for an end-of-trial interview in your particular situation. In addition, having such a conversation can be helpful in assessing the employee and promoting a positive work environment.


Frequently asked questions (and answers) about the end-of-probation interview

To help you get started organizing end-of-trial interviews as well, we have briefly listed the most frequently asked questions (with answers) about this interview:

  1. What is the importance of the end-of-semester interview and why should I conduct it? The end-of-trial interview is important for evaluating the employee and making informed decisions about continuing the partnership.
  2. What topics should be covered during the end-of-probation interview? Performance, strengths, areas for improvement, culture fit, motivation, future goals, feedback and questions.
  3. How can I give constructive feedback to the employee during the interview? Focus on specific examples, be honest and offer support for improvement.
  4. What if the employee expresses problems or concerns during the end-of-trial interview? Listen actively, show understanding and look for solutions.
  5. Do I need to make documentation of the end-of-trial interview and if so, what information should be recorded? Yes, document items discussed, goals achieved, feedback and any agreements.
  6. What are the possible outcomes of the end-of-trial interview and how do I make a decision about confirming the employee in the position? Confirm in position, extend probationary period, terminate employment, depending on evaluation and business needs.
  7. How can I ensure that the end-of-semester interview is fair and objective? Base assessment on actual performance and objective criteria; avoid bias.
  8. Are there any legal issues I need to consider when conducting an end-of-probation interview? Check local laws and ensure fair and non-discriminatory practices when making decisions.


Conduct end-of-term interviews in no time with the templates in Learned

Interested in also starting end-of-procedure interviews but still searching for the right interview format? No worries! The Learned platform lets you get started in no time with templates that more than 200 companies have now applied. That way, you can be sure you are discussing the right topics and getting the most out of the conversation.

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