How to Prepare for a Successful Annual Review


“Mental attitude plays a far more important role in a person’s success or failure than mental capacity”

 -Kemmons Wilson founder of Holiday Inn

Let’s talk about annual reviews. You’re sitting across from your immediate supervisor and you’re tasked with explaining what your value is to the team. For many, this is a frightening process. Not only is bragging about yourself uncomfortable, it can be challenging as well. But with the right preparation and a little self-confidence, you’ll be ready to knock your annual review right out of the park.

Since you know when your review is scheduled, leave yourself enough time to go over any goals, large projects, or achievements you may have had. A lot can happen in a year. Look through your calendar and comprise a list of all your successes. Maybe you had a few speedbumps along the way. What didn’t go as planned this year and what were you able to learn from it? It may seem difficult when things don’t turn out as expected, but learning from your mistakes shows ambition to do better next time.

After reviewing your year, prepare a list of areas to improve on. Be honest with yourself and come up with things you’d like to work on as well as a plan of action to help you get there. When you get to your review, ask your manager for insight. Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. Are there any new skills you’d like to learn that will benefit your company or aid in your success? Bring these to you manager’s attention and inquire about further training. This is also a good time to think about your future career path. Sharing career goals with your boss will allow them to lead you in the right direction for whatever your vision may be.

Walk into your interview with poise, confidence, and an open mind. You are your hardest critic. There’s a good chance that some of the things you feel you dropped the ball on, weren’t as big of a deal to your boss. Preparing ahead of time can help you to steer the discussion in a positive direction. That being said, it’s also important to keep an open mind. Criticism can be hard to swallow. Accept their suggestions and let them know you’ll do your best to work on it.

Your review is your moment to shine. Take the time to humbly remind your supervisor of all your success in the past year. Don’t shy away from the areas you may not have done as well in. Acknowledging your mistakes and sharing what you’ve learned from them is far more professional than sweeping them under the rug. You are a valuable asset to the company and this is your opportunity to present that to your supervisors through both your attitude and achievements.


written by Jordan Caffall

  • Mark O’Neill

    Annual is not often enough.
    Performance reviews should be at least quarterly – then it is not such a nerve-wracking event. And performance or goals can be adjusted.