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Posts Tagged ‘performance’

Five Ways to Succeed in Your Performance Appraisal

June 6th, 2010

When you are waiting for your performance appraisal interview, you can use the time between when it is scheduled and when you walk into the room to ensure you get the best possible appraisal. There are a number of strategies that you can use when it’s time for a performance appraisal, the best of which is to have performed your job to the best of your ability in the preceding year. Beyond that, however, here are five tips to help you succeed in your performance appraisal.

1. Be rational and not defensive.

While it can be hard to resist jumping out of your chair and protesting when you hear that you aren’t doing a satisfactory job, take a deep breath and try to remain unemotional. Take an outsider’s viewpoint if possible and think about what someone new to the company who didn’t know you or your past sacrifices for the company’s sake would think of what you do in your role now. If necessary, take a few moments to clear your mind before answering when your employer says something that hurts your feelings.

2. Familiarize yourself with the discussion topics.

Before you enter the interview, you should have read the interview forms, your job description, the employee handbook, and anything else you think may be under discussion during the session. Familiarize yourself with your accomplishments and failures over the past twelve months, as it can be hard to remember just what you did right once a few months have passed.

3. Clarify what your manager means.

When you receive any feedback that can be used to improve your performance, clarify or ask for examples. It can be hard to improve based on a generic recommendation to focus on the team goals or pay attention to the policies in the employee handbook, for example. Ask your manager, in a non-confrontational way, to tell you some more specific instances of when you did things wrong and when you did things right. This will give you an idea what to focus on improving over the next year.

4. Don’t focus on the money.

Many employees use the performance appraisal as a chance to get considered for a raise. This makes you seem greedy and uncaring about your performance. While it’s understandable that you hope for a raise, just about everyone does, so focus on improving your performance first and the money will come later.

5. Communicate openly.

The performance appraisal is a chance for you to voice your own concerns and opinions, letting your employer know what you need in order to improve your performance. If you feel there are barriers holding you back from doing the best job you can, don’t let them monopolize the conversation; talk about what they can be doing to help you improve, too.

Some people see the performance appraisal as scary, while others see it as a chore. If you make sure you prepare for it properly, it doesn’t have to be either. Follow these steps to succeed in your next performance appraisal!

job hunting 101: impressing potential employers with a flawless job interview

October 11th, 2009

If you are on a job hunt, there are several things you need to have in order to attract the attention of potential employers: a glowing resume, notable references, and an overall positive aura. Although these elements are all very important, there is one aspect that takes much higher priority and that is your skill in doing job interviews. For most employers, a large percentage of the decision in hiring new people lies in an applicant’s performance during the job interview. In fact, some people get hired despite not having the best credentials among the bunch of applicants simply because they gave a stellar performance during the interview. For this reason, it is crucial that you learn all the skills you can in order to impress prospective employers during a job interview.

Come Dressed for Success

One of the first issues you need to take care of is your attire. Too many people underestimate the value of dressing in proper business attire even for a preliminary interview. If you show up wearing a smart professional outfit, you immediately gain the respect of the interviewers before you even utter a single word. On the contrary, a sloppy or overly casual outfit can easily turn off potential employers, no matter how good your interview answers may be.

Smart Answers to Interview Questions

Another important aspect of the job interview is your skill in answering questions. Most job interviewers tend to ask the same questions, so you can prepare most of your replies ahead of time. For instance, interviewers typically want to know your strengths and weaknesses, your ability to work with other people, and what you have that you can offer the company. While it is recommended that you answer each question honestly, you should also avoid dwelling on the negative. Highlight the positives in each of your replies instead. For example, when you are asked about your weaknesses, avoid falling into the trap of saying you don’t have any. Honestly say what your weakness is but do it in such a way that it can be viewed positively at the same time.

Towards the end of the job interview, you’ll probably be asked if there are questions you want to ask the interviewer. Even if there’s really nothing you want to ask, come up with something intelligent to inquire about. This showss the interviewer you are truly interested and want to learn more about the company or the job you’re applying for. The lack of questions is typically regarded as indifference and aloofness, qualities you certainly don’t want to portray to your interviewer.

Ending the Interview

Once your job interview is over, remember to give your interviewer a firm handshake and to thank him for his time and for giving you the opportunity to be considered for the job. This is the perfect way to end an interview because your professionalism and your courtesy will leave a lasting impression on the interviewer and may make a huge difference as they evaluate your performance.

Finding a good job is definitely harder these days, what with the economy as it is and with more and more fresh graduates making the competition tighter every year. But by following the above mentioned interview tips, you can give yourself a significant edge over other applicants and give yourself a greater chance of getting the job of your dreams.