20 Best Performance Review Questions To Ask Your Manager

Guest Post By Indeed Editorial Team

Previously posted at Indeed.com 

Throughout your time at a company, it’s important to get feedback from your manager. Positive feedback can help you feel more motivated, while constructive criticism can help you learn any areas that may need improvement. Periodic performance reviews are a great opportunity for you to learn more about yourself and improve your success at work, but it’s important to ask your manager the right questions to get the most out of your evaluation.

In this article, we share 20 of the best performance review questions to ask, along with potential responses to expect.

Key takeaways:

  • Performance reviews may happen annually or bi-annually as a discussion between an employee and their manager to examine successes and challenges in their work performance and help the employee get actionable insight into improving their abilities.
  • You can ask many questions to your manager to gain valuable feedback on your performance and future with the company, so it’s vital to talk about specifics and listen for honest and direct answers.
  • Attending performance reviews may involve promotions or raises, but not always, and it can help increase your motivation and encourage your professional growth by establishing career goals or improvement plans.

What happens during a performance review?

A performance review is when you and your manager meet to discuss your performance at work. During this meeting, your manager will share what they think are your strengths, successes and areas for improvement.

A performance review may also be a time when your manager offers you a promotion or raise. Toward the end of your performance review, your manager will give you a chance to ask any questions.

Questions for performance reviews and sample answers

You can ask several questions during a performance review to learn more about how you’re viewed at work, as well as the future of your department or the company.

Here are 20 of the Best Questions to Ask During Your Performance Review:

1. Is there room for growth within our department?

If you plan to stay with your company for a while, you should ensure there’s room for you to grow there. This question will give you insight into whether your manager has plans to expand your team or if they’re looking to downsize tasks.

What to expect: Look for an honest, straightforward answer. Your manager should be able to tell you where they hope to see the department in the next year. The best-case scenario is that they foresee the department expanding, which could lead to promotions or raises for your team.

2. What goals should I work toward?

This question shows you care about your role and want to do your best at work. It also helps you tailor your goals to what your manager wants so you can become a more valuable employee.

What to expect: Your manager should give you a few important goals to work toward. The goals should be specific to your role and department. If you are unsure how to work toward these goals, ask a follow-up question to clarify.

Related: ​​​​15 Tips for Goal Setting

3. How can I help our team succeed?

You’re showing your manager you’re a team player by asking this question. A quality employee wants the entire company to succeed, and this happens through collaboration and cooperation. Their answer will help you learn what contributions you can make to help your team achieve its goals.

What to expect: Your manager may share examples of what your coworkers are currently doing to help each other succeed. Use these examples to guide you in your own efforts. Your manager should also share specific things you can do to help while taking into consideration your position and skills.

Read more: ​​How To Demonstrate Collaboration in the Workplace

4. What would make me a candidate for a promotion?

If you want a promotion, this question helps you understand exactly what you should do to achieve this goal.

What to expect: A good answer includes goals the manager wants to see you work toward. They may assign you more responsibilities to see if you have the capabilities for this position. Your manager might also explain the application process for a promotion within the company.

Related: ​​How To Effectively Negotiate a Promotion Salary Increase

5. Am I meeting your expectations?

The purpose of a performance review is to get feedback on your efforts. When asking this question, be prepared for your manager to share what areas you could improve on. This will only help you become an even better employee.

What to expect: Your employer should give you a “yes” or “no” answer and then give a detailed explanation for their reasoning. If you’re meeting their expectations, they should give you positive feedback. If you aren’t, they should explain what their expectations are and what you should focus on.

6. How are you measuring my progress?

This question helps you understand what metrics your manager is using to measure your progress. Going forward, you can rely on these metrics to analyze your progress yourself.

What to expect: Your manager should have set criteria for employee progress. This may include progress reports, charts or graphs. If they don’t have metrics, they should work toward creating a system to help employees track their goals.

7. What skills should I improve to grow in this company?

If you are ready for a promotion opportunity, this question helps you determine which skills to work on to improve your chances.

What to expect: Your manager should indicate whether they think you have a future with the company. Then, they should share specific skills to work on in addition to any resources that may help.

Read more: How To Develop Your Skill Set To Advance Your Career

8. Are there any opportunities for professional development?

Many companies offer continued education for their employees. Find out if your manager would be open to this or other professional development resources.

What to expect: If your company values employee improvement, your manager will encourage you to look for professional development opportunities. They may share different courses, training or seminars that the company or outside sources offer.

Related: ​​10 Key Areas of Development for Employees (with Examples and Tips)

9. Can we discuss my compensation?

If you feel like you’re proving your value at work, it might be time to discuss your compensation. Your performance review is an appropriate time to do so.

What to expect: Your manager should either offer you a raise or give you a timeline for potentially getting a raise. They might also share ways you can prove you deserve a raise, or provide information on the company’s current stance on merit-based raises or salary increases based on cost of living.

Read more: How Often Should You Get a Raise? (With Tips)

10. What are my strengths?

Knowing your strengths helps you continue to work hard and feel motivated. It’s also a good feeling when your manager notices what you excel in.

What to expect: Your manager should share specific things you are doing well, in addition to how you help the team or company.

11. What are my weaknesses?

This question might be challenging to ask, but it can help you become a better employee. Use their feedback to motivate yourself toward new goals.

What to expect: Most managers will be polite when telling you your weaknesses. They should offer realistic ways for you to improve and give you positive feedback to offset the criticism.

Related: 10 Examples of Constructive Feedback

12. How can I support my team better?

There might be times at work when you’re unsure of what task or goal to accomplish next. This question can help you get ideas for things you can do to help everyone in your free time.

What to expect: Look for an answer that explains what your coworkers might be struggling with. Your manager should think about your skills and then discuss how you can use them to help others.

13. What can I do to make your job easier?

Managers are usually busy, so hearing this question will give them a sense of relief. Knowing that you care about their wellbeing might help them reciprocate the same for you.

What to expect: Your manager should think of tasks they do that you could take over and use this as an opportunity to train you in new areas.

14. What changes do you foresee for the company?

This question helps you understand where the company is headed and will help you determine if you want to stay or start looking for new job opportunities.

What to expect: Areas such as new clients, company growth or pain points are changes your manager might discuss. A good response is one that’s transparent and realistic.

Related: ​​How To Be Transparent in the Workplace

15. What’s our company’s greatest challenge right now?

This question helps you think of ways you can help your employer succeed. It also tells you about the future of the company.

What to expect: Along with identifying the company’s biggest challenges, your manager should share what the company is doing to address these issues. If they have a plan in order, you can feel more at ease about your company’s fate.

16. What goals are you working toward?

This question gives you better insight into the day-to-day of your manager.

What to expect: They will share their most important goals and how they plan to achieve them. A good answer will give you inspiration for achieving your own goals.

17. How do you hope to grow with the company?

This helps you learn if your manager plans to stay with the company for a while. It also might help you plan your own career path based on their answer.

What to expect: Your manager might hint that they are looking for employment elsewhere. If so, they should have a plan for the rest of the team. If they’re looking for a promotion, they might discuss how other employees can take over their role.

Related: 15 Signs of a Good Manager

18. What were your biggest successes this past year?

Asking this question helps you determine what your manager considers success and how they work toward their own goals.

What to expect: They should share what their successes are, how they achieved them and what challenges they had to overcome along the way.

19. What am I focusing too much of my time on?

This question helps you prioritize your tasks and redirect your focus to more important ones.

What to expect: They should share what tasks are most important for you and which ones are not, in addition to feedback on the time it should realistically take to complete these tasks.

20. What could I focus more time on?

Likewise, you might not be focusing enough time on important tasks. This question gives your manager a chance to go over your responsibilities again.

What to expect: They will explain their expectations and the company’s mission, as well as how you can put in more effort in certain areas of your job.

Why performance reviews are important

Performance reviews help you stay motivated, encourage professional growth and give a sense of purpose. Hearing positive feedback reinforces the hard work you’re already doing and learning what you could improve upon gives you a chance to work toward a new goal. When you discuss your employment with a company, you have time to reflect on your progress and create meaningful goals.

Although a performance review doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a promotion or raise, it can give you a better idea of when these might occur. During your review, your manager may share more insight into where the company is going or any upcoming changes in the organization’s structure, which could be indicators of potential career mobility.



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