The annual appraisal interview

The annual appraisal interview


The assessment, appraisal or progress interview makes it possible to :

  • Clarify, update and specify the job description.
  • Take stock of the quality of work, skills and contribution to the smooth running of the department.
  • Define the orientations to be followed for the coming year.
  • Identify possible training needs.

It is a central tool of the human resources policy, promoting the management of skills within the company


The principles of the interview

The appraisal interview is a one-to-one meeting between an employee (hereinafter referred to as an employee) and his/her direct supervisor (hereinafter referred to as a manager).

It is a privileged moment of communication, centred on the jobholder. It is :

  • The outcome, the concretisation of a daily dialogue.
  • A process of progress during which the manager aligns, as far as possible, the development of his or her department (management) with the personal development of the employee.

The aim is to assess the effectiveness of the employee in terms of meeting the requirements of the position (professional practices, intervention methods, management of crisis situations, etc.). It is also about identifying strengths and areas for improvement in terms of skills.

The interview is also the basis for determining an overall level of performance in a position. It is this level that can be used to manage the employee's career path. Everything that is said during the interview remains confidential. The minutes are official.


1. Conduct of the interview


  • The appraisal interview takes place once a year (even if intermediate interviews to monitor objectives are to be scheduled).

Before the interview

  • Preparation of the interview by the manager and the employee is essential.
  • The interview will be all the richer for having memorised together the significant facts concerning the progress of activities.
  • Only retain the salient and significant facts.

The material conditions

  • Make an appointment several days in advance (information on the interview period is communicated well in advance), at an opportune time and for a sufficient length of time.
  • Make yourself fully available.

Criteria for success

A successful interview is one in which the employee feels that

  • that they have understood what the manager expects of them for the coming year.
  • that they were able to express themselves.
  • That they have been heard.
  • That they are committed.
  • that he/she wants to succeed.

2. The meaning of evaluation

There are three reasons for evaluation.

Looking backwards, it allows :

  • to take stock
  • to detect possible symptoms of professional wear and tear or demotivation

Looking to the future, it allows :

  • to reflect on the means to raise the level of performance and develop skills.

3. The assessment interview is also a management tool

The employee has a specific project and you approve it.

Together, you will work out its implementation.

The employee has a specific project and you do not approve of it.

You try to understand his or her motivations for this project; you explain the reasons for your disapproval, and you can try to convince him or her. If you cannot, conclude the interview by saying that you will not support him/her.

He/she would like to develop but lacks confidence.

You help them to build their project. Make sure that they ask themselves useful questions that will guide their search (the key is often in their strengths).

Give them the information you have.

Conclude on a specific action that you will undertake immediately in an exploratory form if necessary.

He has no intention of moving on and it doesn't matter.

You accept his or her decision because it does not negatively impact on the department's activity.

You need the employee to get involved but he/she does not want to. You need the employee to get involved but he/she does not want to. Show them the harm of inaction. Open up the prospect of change through the door of success (what he does best).

4. Principles of communication

  1. When talking about what is wrong, use facts and look for solutions. No personal criticism, no judgmental or moralistic tone.
  2. Be careful not to use speech. Ask open-ended questions (how, why, what, which...?)
  3. Answer questions clearly if the employee asks them.
  4. Draw conclusions for action and decisions that will raise the level of performance.