Appraisal interview

An appraisal interview is an exchange between a supervisor and an employee that is designed to evaluate the employee’s past performance and to support and build on their achievement potential.


  • Appraisal interviews should be held at regular (yearly) intervals.
  • They enable the employee and the supervisor to look back on past performance and to agree on future goals and tasks.
  • Appraisal interviews follow a clear structure, are well documented and shall be binding for both parties involved. The exchange remains confidential. No content of the interview (except agreed‐upon training measures) is passed on to third parties. ‘
  • Finally, it also provides an opportunity to getting to know each other better.
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To consider

  • An appraisal interview should provide enough time (45-90 minutes) to discuss the employee’s performance at length.
  • Both parties should be prepared for the interview. Usually, employees are asked to complete a self-appraisal form, which serves as a basis for the conversation.
  • Most organisations offer their own appraisal forms to their employees.
  • An appraisal interview provides an effective setting for monitoring strategic inclusion and diversity management on the level of an individual staff member. Institutional IDM objectives should be measurable activities, cascaded throughout the organization and integrated in performance descriptions of relevant staff members.


Usually the following points are discussed during appraisal interviews:

  • Performance of the past year with a focus on challenges and achievements (self appraisal).
  • Tasks, work conditions, team climate, cooperation and coordination.
  • Has the employee learned a new skill during the past year? Have they taken on new tasks that are outside their job description? Have they self-identified a weakness and started working on ways to improve it?
  • View on the future: goals and objectives for the coming year, in addition to larger career goals and career trajectory. Define skills that are important to build on. Agree on measures that might help to reach the goals.

Concluding remarks

  • It’s important to put the employee at ease during the performance interview, to give multiple opportunities to provide their perspective and to provide fair and honest feedback during the interview.
  • It is not advisable to zoom in on weaknesses alone but to highlight achievements and strengths as well.
  • The individual learning curve of the employee should be discussed during the interview. Thus, a comparison of team members in terms of their achievements is not appropriate.