May We Recommend...

Appraisal Interviews: What To Say & How To Say It
By Andrew E. Schwartz

Summary: Some sound advice on how to conduct an effective performance appraisal interview. Focuses on what to say and how to say it.


Dont say: You just dont seem to care about doing a good job. You seem to be more interested in scoring points against Charlie than in working with him. Youre too defensive. Do: Stick to behavior. say, Heres what I saw, or, Heres what I heard you say.

Here is some advice for supervisors that will contribute to a successful appraisal interview.

1. Stick to goals. Measure performance against previously discussed and agreed upon goals.
2. Do not discuss rewards. Make a statement at the beginning such as, While this appraisal may be the basis for a raise, we are getting together today to review performance past and present and then discuss an improvement plan. Information about raises and promotions will need to come at a future time. We can set up a date to discuss them at the end of this meeting.
3. Consistently ask for the employees view throughout the discussion. By asking for the employees view, the supervisor establishes the two-way nature of the performance appraisal process. The supervisor learns how the employee feels about the work environment. This will very often provide important insights into the employees job performance quality.

Here is some advice for supervisors that will contribute to a successful appraisal interview.

1. Listen to employee. The successful evaluation is a dialogue. The supervisor must be prepared to listen to the employee, just as the supervisor expects the employee to listen. After all, the employee has a very important stake in the evaluation. Also, the employee usually wants the evaluation to be a success: that is, with the result that the employee will be more effective on the job. 2. Accept employees feelings. The employee may show signs of stress, anger, or disagreement. Accept them. Thats not the same thing as agreeing or believing the feelings are justified. Accepting feelings (I acknowledge that you feel that way) and proceeding with the meeting allows you to avoid getting into a debate as to whether the reactions are genuine or justified. Move on.

Copyright AE Schwartz & Associates All rights reserved. For additional presentation materials and resources: ReadySetPresent and for a Free listing as a Trainer, Consultant, Speaker, Vendor/Organization: TrainingConsortium



About Company

Bacal & Associates was founded in 1992 by consultant and book author, Robert Bacal. Robert's books on performance management and reviews have been published by McGraw-Hill. He is available for consultation, training and keynote speaking on performance and management at work.


Robert Bacal

Bacal's Books
About The Company
About Our Performance Management Philosophy
Privacy Policy

Our Related Websites

Leadership Resource Center
Upgrade your understanding of modern leadership in a complex world. Stay current.

The Planning Resource Center

From strategic planning for businesses, small and large, right through to financial planning for millennials, stay current with the latest thoughts and actions on planning.

Bacal & Associates Store
Free and paid guides, books, and documents on business, management and more.

Small Business Resource Center

For anyone who owns, runs or would like to start their own business. Filled with advice, tips, articles.

We Believe

  • Performance management and appraisal MUST be a partnership between manager and employee where BOTH benefit.
  • Performance management can be the lever for improved employee engagement.
  • The review process is the LEAST important part of performance management
  • If managers aren't managing employee performance, why are they there?

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (613) 764-0241
  • Email:
  • Address:

  • Bacal & Associates
  • 722 St. Isidore Rd.
  • Casselman
  • Ontario
  • Canada, K0A 1M0