Skip to content

How to prepare for your annual job review


How to prepare for your annual job review

When it comes time for your annual review, take these steps ahead of time to leave you optimally prepared and set you up for success.


Be proactive

If you want to get good results from your review, you need to give something to give good results about.

In other words, be proactive and take the initiative to step up in your job and improve your own performance.

Waiting until it is the week before your review is too late to show your boss what the type of review is that you deserve, not to mention shows a lack of responsibility on your part; an inability to take initiative and poor self-motivation as a driver for success.

All of these things don’t really stack up to add much to your review.

Prepare a list of your accomplishments

It’s important before a job review to have a clear picture in your head of what you are going to use to back up your boss’s requests for evidence of your strong performance.

In the days leading up to the review, prepare a list of accomplishments or achievements that you have successfully completed in your tenure as an employee, focusing on the most current period.

Create a concrete scenario of these for your boss which details what you did, how it helped you improve and become better, and how it benefited the company in return.

Complete a self-review

Going into a review, it is important to have an idea of your own perception of your performance.

Doing a self-review ahead of time is a great way for you to quantify the accomplishments you have prepared and understand how they reflect towards your status as an employee.

More than that, it’s a great way to address your areas of low performance, preparing you for the inevitable challenging questions from your boss regarding improvement, growth, and personal development.

Expect to be challenged

A job review isn’t just about painting a pretty picture of what you have done in the last six months.

It’s also about assessing where you may have failed to show up to your maximum abilities, where you may have let your performance suffer, and when you chose to stay in your comfort zone instead of stepping out.

Your boss will seek to get these answers from you by asking some tough questions to propel you towards the right answers.

Make this easier on yourself by thinking ahead of time of questions that you may be asked and coming up with answers accordingly.

Practice for the money question

Finally, when you have given an honest reflection of your performance, spoken to your accomplishments and answered the hard questions, the outcome of a performance review comes down to the money question: can I have a raise?

You should have a good idea going into the review, based on your self-evaluation and your prepared list of accomplishments, whether a raise is a reasonable thing for you to be asking for.

If it is, prepare your statement accordingly.  If it’s not, ask for the right feedback to move forward so that you can be better positioned for a pay increase the next time.


The annual job review is nothing to be nervous about if you go into it with the right preparation.