5 Questions to Ask at Your Performance Review

Performance reviews are an excellent time to get feedback and, of course, obsess over if you’re a pro at your job, where your career is heading and if your boss hates you. Or, is that just me?

Sitting down with your boss to assess how well you do can be nerve-racking to say the least. However, if you ask the right questions, you can come out feeling empowered and ready to improve your performance and take on the year ahead! In fact, you might even impress your boss with your preparations for the big meeting.

Go in with these five questions and you’ll fly through your evaluation with flying colors!


I plan to work on XYZ. What other skills should I work on developing in the coming year? How might you recommend working on these skills?

Believe it or not, your resume isn’t as important as you think. Either you’re disappointed or relieved by that statement, but regardless many companies are adopting interview styles that put little to no recognition on resumes and instead weight heavily on skill set and personality. That’s no added interview pressure or anything!

Take the initiative to self evaluate where you need to improve prior to meeting with your boss. On meeting day, share these ideas with your boss and request feedback on other areas your skills can be developed. Take notes and, if possible, brainstorm some concrete ways you will develop these skills. 


I want to focus on the correct goals. What goals should I focus to achieve before my next performance review?

This is a good time to suggest some goals you’ve come up with for yourself. Then let your boss tell you if you’re on the right track. Your goals should not only be for your individual work, but also for the company. For example, working on calling 10 new leads a week to increase sales opportunities would directly relate to the larger company goal.

Your boss might also suggest some additional goals. Don’t forget to ask how you can help them achieve their goals. Your boss depends on a team to help fulfill bigger goals. Show you’re the person your boss can count on and it’ll get your serious brownie points!


I love our team and the company and will definitely seek opportunities of growth in the future. How might I find more responsibility or potentially a future promotion? 

Despite common belief, millennials actually do care about compensation (seriously who thought we didn’t?).  Asking this question will help you in two ways. First, you will find out if there is a glass ceiling. Eventually we all want to move up and if there simply are no higher position for you to step into then your answer is simple and you will need to move out to move up. 

Second, asking this question will let your boss will know you’re interested in more responsibility. Your boss is busy and they may not realize you have the bandwidth (or ambition) to take on more work. Make sure they’re aware and you may be looking at a promotion in the near future.


Where do you see room for growth in my career?

Your boss might have ideas on how to add responsibility for you before you even ask! They might have noticed what a wiz you are with social media and want your input on a recent campaign or how you enjoy communicating directly with the consumer and set you up for some field work.

With their vast network, they might throw you a few bones on how to get involved in other projects aligned with your natural talents. Your boss can see skills that you cannot, so trust their advice and give these projects a try!


Any advice if you were in my shoes?

Your boss has assumably been around the company a lot longer than you. Use their expertise and survival through countless reorganizations to give you pointers in your career.

Navigating a career isn’t easy (trust me, I know!), but people are a lot more willing to give advice than we might think.


Hearing feedback can often be a nerve-racking dose of medicine, but walk in open to feedback and it won’t be that bad. In fact, I bet you’re in for some great feedback per all your MsCareerGirl.com advice you’ve read!

Jackie Thomas

Jackie graduated Rutgers University and currently works at internship turned big girl job (yes, that really happens!) at The Wall Street Journal. As a Springsteen loving Jersey girl, she loves to run, write and obsess over the latest episode of The Bachelor.

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