15 Performance Review Questions That Drive Growth and Success

15 Performance Review Questions That Drive Growth and Success

Performance reviews are more than just annual or quarterly rituals; they are essential milestones in the professional journey. They offer a unique opportunity for employees and managers to reflect, align, and chart a course for future success. At the heart of these transformative discussions are performance review questions, the catalysts that turn a simple meeting into a dynamic dialogue for growth.

In this blog, we dig deeper into the art of crafting and answering performance review questions. Whether you’re a manager seeking to conduct more effective evaluations or an employee eager to prepare for a thoughtful discussion, this blog is your compass. We’ll explore why these questions matter, how to construct them effectively, and the significance of each category. 

What are performance review questions?

Performance review questions are a set of inquiries that managers use to evaluate and assess an employee’s job performance. These questions help managers and employees engage in constructive discussions about strengths, areas for improvement, and goals for the future. The questions may vary depending on the organization’s goals and the nature of the job.

Why are performance review questions important?

Performance review questions are important for several reasons:

  • Assessment of progress: These questions allow managers to assess an employee’s progress and accomplishments over a specific period. This evaluation provides a structured way to measure whether the employee’s work aligns with organizational goals.
  • Feedback: Constructive feedback is crucial for employee growth and development. These meetings create a platform for managers to provide feedback on strengths, areas for improvement, and specific examples of performance. This feedback helps employees understand where they excel and where they need to make adjustments.
  • Goal setting: Performance reviews often involve setting or refining new goals. The questions help employees and managers collaboratively establish goals that are clear, achievable objectives for the upcoming review period. 
  • Two-way communication: Performance review meetings encourage open dialogue between employees and managers. They allow employees to voice their concerns, ask questions, and discuss their career aspirations. This two-way communication promotes engagement and a sense of belonging within the organization.
  • Identifying development needs: Through performance review, managers can identify areas where employees need additional training, coaching, or support. This helps tailor development plans to address specific skill gaps.
Performance review questions provide structure to the performance management process. 

Strategies to create effective performance review questions

Crafting effective performance review questions is crucial for fostering meaningful discussions and evaluations. Some strategies to help managers prepare such questions:

  • Understand the purpose: Begin by understanding the purpose of the performance review. What aspects of job performance, behavior, or competencies are you aiming to assess or improve?
  • Be specific: Ask questions that are specific and focused. Avoid vague or general questions that can lead to ambiguous responses. For example, instead of asking, “How’s your work going?” ask, “Can you describe a project where you demonstrated exceptional problem-solving skills?”
  • Use the STAR method: When seeking examples of behavior or accomplishments, use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to encourage detailed responses.
  • Link to job responsibilities: Ensure your questions directly relate to the employee’s job responsibilities and performance expectations. This helps employees understand how their performance aligns with their roles.
  • Balance strengths and areas for improvement: Include questions that allow employees to highlight their strengths and accomplishments. Also, ask about areas where they can improve, ensuring a balanced review.
  • Encourage self-assessment: Incorporate questions that encourage employees to self-assess their performance. This can provide valuable insights into their perception of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Focus on goals: Questions related to goal achievement and future goals should be essential to the review. Ask employees about their accomplishments against the goals set in the previous review and their goals for the next period.
  • Use open-ended questions: Open-ended questions encourage employees to provide detailed responses rather than simple “yes” or “no” answers.
Crafting effective performance review questions requires careful thought and consideration. It’s essential to balance assessing past performance and fostering employee development for the future. 

Performance review questions to ask employees

Overall Performance

1. What accomplishments this quarter are you most proud of? This question allows employees to reflect on their achievements, fostering a sense of accomplishment and motivation.

Sample Answer: “I’m most proud of successfully leading our team through a challenging project. It required exceptional teamwork and problem-solving skills, and we delivered ahead of schedule, exceeding client expectations.”

2. Which goals did you meet? Which goals fell short?

This question assesses goal attainment, highlighting areas of success and where improvement is needed.

Sample Answer: “I met my sales target, but I fell short on the customer satisfaction metric. I plan to enhance customer interactions to address this in the next quarter.”

3. What motivates you to get your job done?

Understanding employee motivation helps managers tailor tasks and rewards to boost engagement.

Sample Answer: “I’m motivated by the opportunity to solve complex problems. Knowing that my work contributes to the team’s success and the company’s goals keeps me driven.”

Employee Strengths

4. What makes you the best fit for your position?

This question invites employees to reflect on their strengths and how they contribute to their roles and helps managers understand their strengths.

Sample Answer: “My strong analytical skills enable me to quickly identify issues and find effective solutions, which is critical in my role as a data analyst.”

5. What skills do you have that we could use more effectively?

Employees may have untapped skills that managers may need to be made aware of that can benefit the organization, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Sample Answer: “I have a strong aptitude for data visualization, and I believe we could leverage this skill to enhance our client presentations.”

6. What kind of work comes easiest to you?

Recognizing tasks that come naturally to employees helps managers assign roles that align with their strengths.

Sample Answer: “I find project management comes easiest to me. I enjoy coordinating tasks and keeping projects on track.”

Areas of Improvement

7. What goals/deliverables were you least proud of? Why? How will you do those differently in the future?

Addressing areas of improvement promotes self-awareness and a commitment to growth and lets managers know how they can help the employee.

Sample Answer: “I was least proud of missing a project deadline due to a lack of time management. In the future, I’ll implement better scheduling practices and prioritize tasks more effectively.”

8. What two things will you focus on in the next quarter to help you grow and develop?

This question encourages employees to set specific developmental goals, fostering personal and professional growth, and gives managers a perspective on what they can delegate to the team members based on their goals.

Sample Answer: “I plan to improve my public speaking skills and enhance my proficiency in data analysis to contribute more effectively to team meetings and projects.”

9. What can I do to help you better meet your goals?

  • Significance: This question shows the manager’s commitment to supporting the employee’s success.
  • Sample Answer: “Regular feedback sessions and guidance on setting SMART goals would greatly help me align my efforts with the company’s objectives.”

Future Outlook

10. What are your most important goals for the next quarter?

This question sets the stage for goal alignment and prioritization for employees and managers.

Sample Answer: “My top goal is to increase customer retention by implementing a proactive customer outreach program.”

11. What professional growth opportunities would you like to explore to get there?

Identifying growth opportunities helps managers in planning career development paths for the employee.

Sample Answer: “I’d like to attend a customer service training workshop and participate in a mentorship program to enhance my client relationship management skills.”

12. What type of career growth is most important to you?

This question reveals an employee’s career aspirations and long-term goals, aiding talent development and retention.

Sample Answer: “I’m focused on moving into a leadership role, so career growth that hones my leadership and decision-making abilities is a priority for me.”

Manager-Employee Relationship

13. What concerns do you have when giving me feedback? How can I alleviate those concerns?

This question promotes open communication and helps the manager provide a supportive environment for feedback.

Sample Answer: “I sometimes worry about how my feedback may be received. Creating a safe space for open dialogue would alleviate those concerns.”

14. How do you prefer to receive feedback or recognition for your work?

Understanding an employee’s feedback preferences enables managers to communicate more effectively.

Sample Answer: “I appreciate regular, timely feedback and prefer it to be constructive and specific. Public recognition in team meetings also motivates me.”

15. What are two to three things I could do differently to manage you better?

This question demonstrates a commitment to improving the manager-employee relationship and enhancing the work experience.

Sample Answer: “Providing more clarity on project priorities, having regular check-ins, and being more accessible for questions would help me thrive.”

These performance review questions facilitate constructive conversations, align employee goals with organizational objectives, and foster a positive and productive working relationship.

How can managers prepare for performance review questions?

Managers can prepare effectively for performance review questions by following these steps:

  • Review employee records: Before the review, revisit the employee’s performance records, including their job description, goals, and past performance evaluations. This will help you provide specific feedback.
  • Set clear objectives: Clarify the objectives of the performance review. Understand what you aim to achieve from the discussion, such as assessing strengths, identifying improvement areas, or setting future goals.
  • Collect feedback: Gather feedback from peers, colleagues, and other team members who have worked closely with the employee. This external perspective can provide valuable insights.
  • Familiarize yourself with examples: Consider specific examples of the employee’s positive and negative performance. These real-life examples will add depth to your feedback and make it more actionable.
  • Practice active listening: Listen to what the employee says during the review. Allow them to share their perspective and respond to their comments thoughtfully.
  • Prepare for questions: Anticipate questions the employee may ask during the review. Be ready to address queries about career development, performance metrics, and growth opportunities.
  • Plan developmental goals: Collaboratively set goals for the employee’s professional development. Discuss how these goals align with the organization’s objectives.
  • Document the review: Take notes during the review to document key points, agreements, and action items. This documentation can be helpful for future reference.
By thoroughly preparing for performance review questions, managers can conduct more effective and productive reviews that contribute to employee growth and success.


In professional development, performance review questions are the bridges connecting the past, present, and future. They serve as the instruments of reflection, feedback, and alignment, fostering an environment where growth and progress are encouraged and expected.

As we conclude this blog performance review questions, one truth stands out: these inquiries are not mere formalities but conduits through which individuals and organizations evolve. They provide a platform for acknowledging achievements, addressing challenges, and setting new horizons. When approached with intention and care, performance review questions empower employees to take charge of their careers, enable managers to become effective mentors and propel organizations toward greater success.

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