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Be Prepared for Your Next Review

The dreaded performance review.

Performance reviews can be intimidating and stressful; you feel like you are under a microscope and under pressure to prove what a phenomenal job you do. However, aside from hearing valuable feedback from your manager, this is also your chance to request a possible pay-raise or to discuss expanding your current role. But, no matter what you hope the outcome of your review – heading into the meeting well prepared is the key.

Depending upon your goals, preparation for the review may start months in advance. Are you eager for a promotion or bigger role in the company? You’ll need time to show you are up to the task by accepting additional duties, proving yourself with completed projects showing excellent results, displaying leadership ability, or possibly learning new programs or skills.

Going for a raise? Again, you’ll need a stretch of time to exhibit exceptional project results, ways to save the company money, or handle additional projects.

So, let’s get prepared for that review!

  • Collect some data. List some projects you have been spearheading or completed. What were the results in money saved, money earned, or other benefits to the company or your team? Objectively look at the work you’ve done since your last review. Have you done your best work? How can you display that to your manager? List your accomplishments.

  • Think about your goals. What are you hoping will be the outcome of this review?

  • Line up some questions for your manger. Ask for clear feedback on how you are preforming and specific ways you can reach your future goals within the company.

  • Talk it out. Before your review, practice discussing your job performance out loud. If your hope is for more vacation time, practice asking for that out loud as well. Practice enough so that you are not stammering over your thoughts and words, but not so much that you sound like you are reading a script! Be yourself.

When you actually sit down for your review, listen. Listen to what your manager has to say. Don’t be so focused on what you have prepared that you can’t wait to talk. Your preparation should help you feel calm and equipped for the meeting. Hear what the manger is saying and go from there.

Be Prepared for Your Next Review

Soft Skills to Highlight during Your Next Job Interview

Once you have been invited to a face-to-face interview, we can probably assume you have the technical skills to successfully fill the open job for which you are being interviewed. You’ll be prepared with examples of how you have positively impacted your previous employer, the necessary skills you possess, and your relevant education.

If the hiring manger didn’t think you had the potential to do the job well he/she would never have wanted to meet you in the first place. So, let’s step away from those how-to’s of the practical interview – Let’s talk about some of the less obvious soft skills you should be showcasing during the interview process.

  • Strong communication skills. Are you well spoken? Confident, but friendly? Practice speaking some of your interview answers out loud. Obviously, consider your grammar and tone. Express yourself calmly and well. Communication is key. Work on it.

  • Convey a strong work ethic. Use your strong communication skills to tell your interviewer you are motivated, conscientious, and will get the job done. Let them know you have a solid work ethic, and continue to prove it when you get the job!

  • Upbeat Attitude. Be positive and upbeat. Be optimistic.

  • Be Resourceful. Be ready to talk about how you can take ownership of problems should they arise and creatively solve them.

  • Demonstrate active listening. We have talked about this skill in previous blogs. Active listening means listening to learn and really hear what the speaking is conveying. Resist the temptation to jump in and start talking. Actively show non-verbal signs that you are listening; make eye contact, lean slightly forward with good posture, keep a positive facial expression, and refrain from fidgeting. Keep your attention on the speaker.

  • Show your collaborative style. Exhibit that you work well with others and are a team player.

Take the time to actually think about the soft skills you possess and those which require some improvement. Now, work on consciously improving your soft skills every day, not only will this improve your chances of landing that next great role, but improve your daily life as well!

Soft Skills to Highlight during Your Next Job Interview