How To Handle A Poor Appraisal

It’s time for your semi-annual review at work. You walk into your supervisor’s office not knowing what to expect. Before you realise it, the appraisal starts heading south. You end up getting a bad review. What can you do and how should you re-act?

First accept your humanity. You are not perfect, you are human and you make mistakes. The worse thing you can do at this point is to get defensive. The best thing you can do is listen to the evaluation and try and learn from it. Being professional means that you want to focus on what you can do better.

When you go to the meeting take a notepad with you. Write down five constructive things that you can take from the interview. This will show your supervisor that you are open to constructive criticism. Take that notebook and look at it often. Make sure before your next review that those five things have improved.

The worst thing you can do during a bad review is to get overly emotional or angry. Don’t live in the moment of that interview. Try relaxation techniques and breath in and out slowly. Resist the urge to tell your supervisor exactly what you are thinking regarding the situation. The supervisor may have never done your job a day in her life. She may not even understand what you do. She may just not like you. It doesn’t matter. Like it or not she is your boss. You must make an effort to grin and bear it.

A meeting like this is full of pressure. You may be worried about keeping your job in a bad economy and you may overreact to the criticism. Keep your composure and tell yourself this is simply a learning experience. You are not being fired. Nobody likes hearing criticism. If you can separate your hurt feelings and not take it personally you will be the better person for it.

Instead of thinking of your feelings take time to truly listen to what the supervisor is saying. You can turn the situation around to your favor by saying something like “You are right, sometimes I get so involved in the details I don’t function as a team player as well as I should.” Turn every negative around to a positive.

If you are asked for an explanation of something answer the question honestly. Point out what led you to make the decision you did. Whatever you do resist the urge to blame another employee. Be mature enough to keep your negative comments regarding your co-workers to yourself. Blame shifting shows a lack of mature judgment and demonstrates a weak character.

At the end of the review stand up and shake the supervisors hand. Tell her, “I appreciate your time today as it has opened by eyes to some things I can work on to assure my success here.” Then hold your head up, smile and leave. Whatever you do resist the urge to give the supervisor a dirty look. It won’t change things and it makes you appear to be a hostile person.

When you leave the supervisor’s office don’t talk to other employee’s about your review. It would feel good to vent your frustration but you don’t want to do it. Many times we display our weaknesses unnecessarily. It simply magnifies our mistakes and puts ammunition in the hands of our enemies.

Make up your mind that in the future you are going to do whatever it takes to get along with your supervisor. Try to put the interview in the proper perspective. It’s not the end of the world. Make it a game to turn the supervisors opinion of your performance around by the time of your next review.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


Phone: (01904) 902 102


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Order Process

Other Bits

Why Us?
CV Writing Articles