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07/18/08
The Critical Self Appraisal
Filed under: Career, Performance
Posted by: John Hadley @ 1:18 pm

Do you dread performance appraisal time?  Or do you see this as an opportunity to market yourself?

I hope you see it as the latter!

Obviously, you need to be working throughout the year to make sure that you are doing a great job, and that this is visible to your boss, your co-workers, and other key influencers in your organization.  Now that you get to performance appraisal time, it’s your chance to do a good summary to cement your performance in your boss’s mind.

Ideal is when you are asked to do a self-appraisal.  If not, do one anyway.  Put together your thoughts and provide them to your boss ahead of time.  Offer it as a way to help make his or her job easier.  (Boss’s rarely look forward to performance appraisals either!)

When you go to do your self-appraisal, don’t get stuck in all of the details of what you did.  Think about your critical goals, and particularly what will be critical to your boss, and then use that to focus and order your presentation.  Then concentrate on what you accomplished, and what results that created for your unit, your department, and your company.  You need to articulate that part very clearly, because in the end the results are the ONLY reason your salary is being paid.

Also think carefully about what challenges you encountered along the way, and succeeded in overcoming.  One of the most important benefits you bring to your boss is your ability to overcome challenges, particularly if you are able to make it look easy.  If you do a great job with that, how likely is it that your boss truly recognizes what you are accomplishing?  It’s easy to notice an issue, it’s much more difficult to notice and remember an issue that goes away!

The self-appraisal is your chance to clearly articulate those challenges you dealt with, and remind your boss of all of the value you are adding to his or her organization!

If you’d like to talk more about this, post a comment!

1 comment
07/05/08
Closing The Deal
Filed under: Interview
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:42 am

In an article in Career Tips, 2008 Volume 7, I wrote:

Asking for the next steps is a good idea, though it should be AFTER you’ve asked questions to uncover any problems that might exist with your candidacy. One way to ask is along the lines of:

“What else can I tell you to convince you I’m the person you would want to hire for this position?”

(If you would like a copy of 2008 Volume 7, just drop me an email at John@JHACareers.com.)

Toni wrote in response: 

“I think your response is excellent and bold. I say bold because if you’re clearly lacking some qualifications, to have it pointed out or highlighted at the end of the interview may make them eliminate you on the spot. Where as if most of the people they are interviewing lack this same skill you could be still in the running. On the other hand, the lacking quality may be something that was not listed in the resume and the interviewee did not articulate a response that gave them the answer they were looking for. The additional questions at the end of the interview would give the interviewee one last chance to set themselves about the rest.”

Here’s more on the subject:

Toni:

Thanks for weighing in!

You need to come across in an interview as confident in what you bring to the table, and as if you truly belive you are the best candidate. If you are worried about something you may be lacking, and trying to avoid it, you will rarely succeed. The point of asking a question like

“What else can I tell you to convince you I’m the person you would want to hire for this position?”

is to surface objections that already exist in the interviewer’s mind, so you can address them. If there are objections, and you leave them unaddressed, you will rarely make it to the next round.

I suppose it’s possible, as you suggest, that everyone else has the same issue, but then that means you are hoping to be no worse than everyone else they talk to. By getting the chance to address it right on the spot, you have the opportunity to differentiate yourself as better than everyone else.

By the way, I often hear about candidates asking a variation of this question in a negative way, like

“Do you have any concerns about my candidacy?”

The problem with asking the question this way is that it invites the interviewer to focus on the problems with your candidacy. It is much more effective to have them focused on the positives - which is why I suggest the question the way I did in my article. Plus, the question I posed presents an air of confidence in your candidacy.

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