How to prepare for your performance review

Posted On 15 Apr 2024

How to prepare for your performance review

15 Apr 2024
Welcome to the April edition of The Assistants Newsletter!

Candidate Resource, The Assistants Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of The Assistants Newsletter!

Welcome to the April Edition of The Assistants Newsletter. Next month, on Friday 3rd May, Australia celebrates Administrative Professionals’ Day. We would love to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge all the superstar Administrators. We know what a wonderful job you do!

As our gift to you in celebrating Administrative Professionals’ Day, the first 20 people to email with their Australian postal address will receive a free copy of our wonderful book, Employable: 7 Attributes to assure your working future!

At this time of year, performance reviews are often on the horizon. So, in this month’s edition we explore how to prepare for yours! Whether you are just starting your career or are a seasoned professional, reviews can be nerve-wracking. But they don’t need to be, especially with some preparation. Use our tips below help navigate a successful and productive performance review!

Good luck!

Much Love,


How to prepare for your performance review

A performance review is something most people do on an annual basis. Although in recent times, the frequency to which these are conducted have also changed. Some are even quarterly now; such is the changing nature of our workplace environments. The formality and format will vary from, business, industry, and region, but the end game is always the same – to objectively assess how you are performing in all areas of your role.

Typically, they rate the elements of your job, look to areas for development, strengths as well as the areas needed to expand your skillset. It is important to note, performance reviews don’t come hand in hand with salary discussions. Some organisations may include salary negotiations at the same time, but most use this time to solely focus on your performance at work.

Most performance reviews are scheduled well in advance, so use the time to prepare. If there is a document to complete in advance of the meeting, take the time to do this thoroughly. Perhaps even allow enough time to revisit what you have written and add to it. This could be a once-a-year opportunity, so use it wisely.

The review document should act as a catalyst to focus on the nuances of your role. To get the most from your review, be open and honest with yourself and your manager. It should be a flowing two-way conversation and an opportunity for both parties to discuss work to date, reflect and set targets for the year ahead.

To start preparing, re-read your job description. Often these are read when starting a role and then forgotten about, however, they are the perfect framework and tool to remind you exactly what you should be doing! Then depending how long you have been in your role, review the notes from your last review, what targets did you set, what else did you discuss.

If you have key performance indicators (KPI’s), provide evidence of how you have achieved these. Or, if not achieved, give an explanation why. Some things are out of our control. If this is the case, articulately explain what happened, take responsibility, not ‘my dog ate my homework’.

Show the areas of improvement. It might sound obvious, but often requires some reflection and can easily be forgotten and missed. Recall in the past, the parts of your role that you may have struggled with and now how you deal with them. Think technical, hard, and soft skills acquisition. Continuous improvement is important, so don’t be afraid to point out the new skills, what you have learnt and the areas you have focused your attention. Link your achievements directly back to your role and the positive business impact.

As you prepare, cast your mind back to examples throughout the year where you have done well and the areas you think you could do better. Examples help to clearly articulate your position and demonstrate your point of view. Additionally, what are you most proud of this year? Make sure you have your top 3 wins at the tip of your tongue! Practice saying them out loud at home, so on the day you can be eloquent and confident.

Feedback from colleagues can also play a crucial role, ask those who you work closely with you for their thoughts. What they share with you may be different to how you think you are being perceived, knowing this advance will allow you to process and digest the information ahead of time. They may also highlight areas of success you may have forgotten about.

As we mentioned above it is a two-way conversation, so have ready the questions that are important to you. This is the prime time to ask about your role, any additional responsibilities you want to take on, area’s you need support with or anything else you feel would benefit you and the business. If appropriate this maybe the time to raise a salary review, promotion, or a change in other benefits, but remember, these items are not always tied to a performance review.

Finally, mentally prepare yourself for feedback. We all like being told when we are doing well but it is sometimes confronting when discussing areas for improvement. Take this as a gift and opportunity to really listen, understand and grow in your position.

Good luck!

How to prepare for your performance review

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About the author
Roxanne Calder
Managing Director

As Founder and Managing Director at EST10, Roxanne has an all-encompassing role that includes building and growing the business, as well as actively recruiting and consulting.

After completing a Bachelor’s Degree at Monash University, Roxanne began her recruitment career with renowned recruiter Julia Ross. From there, Roxanne worked in HR and recruitment with a number of global players and boutique businesses throughout Australia, the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong for over 20 years. She has been responsible for managing large teams and projects, implementing RPO models, managing and assisting businesses to an IPO and assisting companies in setting up their recruitment teams and processes.

Following completion of her MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management, Roxanne launched EST10 in July 2010. In doing so, she hoped to combine the flexibility and high touch service levels of boutique agencies with the structure and strategy afforded to larger firms. Roxanne believes in high-touch, high-care consulting and is always on the lookout for consultants that share this vision of recruitment.