Some Tips for preparing the annual interview of your employees.

  • If the annual meeting is an important moment for the employees convened, it is also for the person who initiated this invitation, namely the hierarchical superior. Done well, this exercise allows you to establish an effective and constructive dialogue with your team member.
  • Do you manage a team and wonder how to conduct an annual interview?
  • Discover in our article some tips for preparing the annual interview of your employees.

Start from the previous report to properly prepare the annual interview of your employees.

If you have been managing the same team for at least more than a year, review the interview report from the past year.

If you arrived later, please do not hesitate to ask the HR department, or directly to your supervisor, to give you the previous writing. It will allow you to remember what you said to yourself, to check whether the objectives set for the previous year have been achieved, and will serve as a basis for effectively conducting the individual interview to come.


Tip: don't arrive on D-Day with your hands in your pockets. Conducting an annual interview prepares for it to be productive on both sides. It is very likely that your interlocutor will also have to prepare for his annual interview.

Make the employee a stakeholder in his annual interview.

Taking balance of the past year is undoubtedly the most delicate step to perform, the manager is required to list both the strengths and areas of the progress of his employee.

To avoid doing a monologue, you can suggest that your interlocutor does his own assessment. This will allow you to reflect on certain aspects mentioned and create a real dialogue.

Value the work done to prepare for the annual interview with your employees.

Everything is never all black or all white, even in the professional context. You conduct the annual interview, you set the pace.
It is very important to value your team when there is a reason to do so. It contributes to the feeling of recognition at work. Illustrate with concrete examples of situations where your interlocutor has particularly excelled.
If you have a good element in your team, it's time to tell him.

Provide areas for improvement.

Effectively carrying out an annual interview also means providing your interlocutor with areas for improvement in one or another aspect of their job. Either because he is less good at part of his job, or because you have development plans for him and want him to deepen certain aspects of his skills.
What about the evaluation grids? Many managers use evaluation grids for this interview.
Is it a good idea?
Which are the errors to avoid? Indeed, the annual maintenance support plays an important role and in this matter there is everything! Between excessively detailed evaluation grids, which may include about twenty criteria and those which do not include any, there is a compromise to be found.
Use common sense and don't necessarily follow your support to the letter.


Tip: Be careful not to be too direct in your words. The idea is not to target your interlocutor but to make him grow in his functions.
To do this, pay attention to the vocabulary used. For example, it is better to use the term "areas for improvement" or "areas for improvement" rather than "the negative points".

Give the word to your interlocutor.

Once the delicate stage of taking stock of the past year has been passed, the manager must turn to the present time and to the feelings of the employee.
This is the time to ask him how he feels in the company, in his team, in his position, and in the missions that have been entrusted to him.
Ask them about their personal work-life balance: home-work trip, working hours, or even the possibility of setting up teleworking.
You need to be prepared to hear good and bad feedback to complete the annual maintenance. You've probably made some management mistakes, use those failures to bounce back and improve this year.

Set new goals during the interview.

Traditionally, an appraisal interview ends by discussing the year ahead and the goals to be set.
This step is crucial.
This is the time to ask how to develop the strengths of the employee and highlight the possible margins of progress.
Bring in your interlocutor and ask them what are the goals/challenges they think they can achieve and what they plan to do to achieve them.
The interview should ideally end with a testimony of the manager's confidence in his employee, in order to start the New Year on a positive note.

And what about the employee's requests in all of this?

Who says annual maintenance says potential "reward" of deserving employees! Bonus, increase, training ... Various forms can depending on company guidelines, recognize the good work done by your team.
Three options are available to you:
• You have already thought about and acted on the reward for your interlocutor, now is the time to tell him! And possibly discuss with him if the proposal made does not meet with the expected reception.
• Ask him if he has any wishes. In this case, you will come back to him later after having discussed it with your management.
• Immediately defuse requests that will not succeed because you have already had directives.
Tip: This is certainly one of the trickiest parts of the annual interview, and can even shatter all your efforts if you have to break the bad news. You will need to be diplomatic in your words, with a listening ear, and to take your courage in both hands so as not to sever the bond forged with your team.
You are not always in control of business decisions and that is the most difficult part. Your speech should be encouraging for the coming year if the other person is demotivated. Get him the message that if it's not for this year, next year will surely pay off for his efforts and hard work.

For a successful annual evaluation interview, the keys to success can be found in our article on this subject.

Note: there are several methods of evaluating a company's employees. The “classic” interview in which the direct supervisor assesses a member of his team, but also the 360 ° interview in which several people who work with the employee assess him.