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Filling out your employee self-evaluation form seems like a daunting task, but it shouldn’t be. In the best circumstances, your employer has given you the form at least a few days before your evaluation is scheduled to give you time to reflect on the questions at hand and give honest, reasonable answers. Even if it was handed to you the day of your evaluation, there are a few ways to make sure the self-evaluation is as useful as it was intended to be.
Clarify your employer’s objectives. If you received no instructions with the form, go to your employer, manager or human resources director to get a better sense of what you should do. You should know when the due date is and who will be present during the evaluation. You should also ask whether the form is meant for your eyes only as an exercise or whether it will be used during the evaluation.
Understand the rating scale. If you aren’t sure what a “10” or “satisfactory” really means, get a definition from your boss, so your ratings are accurate.
Rate yourself reasonably. It is not reasonable that you should give yourself all “excellent” or “10” ratings. But you also should not count yourself short on your accomplishments and talents. If you feel unsure of your ratings, shoot for a “B” average.
Answer qualitative questions, such as "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" honestly, seeking input from your co-workers as necessary. Your evaluation is not an interview, and there is no need to put a positive spin on negative questions. If you struggle using newly installed software, for example, be up front about it so your manager can help you learn how to use it.
Give yourself the time. Check with your supervisor to find out what, if any, paid time you are allowed to use on the evaluation. Even if you are not allowed any or sufficient paid time, take this opportunity to demonstrate you value your employer, even if that means taking the form home with you.
Write notes. If your form does not give room to explain yourself, then take separate notes to explain why you gave yourself the ratings you did and bring these to your evaluation meeting.
Look at the form from a different angle. Instead of seeing the form as a way to criticize yourself, realize that the employee self-evaluations are really ways for your manager to see if she is doing her job. It is also a good chance for you to ask for the tools you need, such as additional training or a more efficient workspace.
Heather Finch has been a freelance writer since the turn of the 21st century. Her official career began during her freshman year of college writing editorials about anything from manners to politics. Writings by Finch have appeared in the Western Herald, the Sturgis Journal and eHow.com. She has a bachelor's degree in creative writing and environmental studies.