Whenever a performance review is looming, an important first step is to look back at the objectives you were set. Then ask yourself the same questions any manager or supervisor will be considering. Have you met your targets? If so, then how? And if not, why not?
If unsure where to start, you can always refer to your original job description.
It helps to write down some specific achievements since your last review. Try also to link each of them to a resulting benefit for the company - improved efficiency, cost savings - or an improvement for your team. This helps to support the value of your contribution and provides something concrete to discuss.
Take time to think about training needs, next objectives, and your potential career path with the organisation. For example, you might want to learn about finance, volunteer to chair department meetings, or feel ready to take on additional projects. Good preparation will make it easier to present your case and explain the reasons.
If your self-evaluation reveals you are some way short of achieving previous objectives, you can still take steps to turn things round or, at least, point out where difficulties occurred. In this way, the review can focus on ways of making progress, rather than personal shortcomings.
Overall, the key is to remain factual and to see the performance review as a chance to advance your career. It is also worth researching the current "market rate" for your position.
Emma Charnock, regional director, Hays Hong Kong & China