Many employees dread performance reviews or feel like they are a waste of time. Employees see performance reviews as a place for their boss to tell them how terrible a job they have done over the past year.

It’s time to change that narrative and flip the tables on your boss by asking them questions in your performance review.

A performance review is a chance for you and your boss to sit down and discuss your performance over the past. It’s also an opportunity for you to ask questions and get feedback. By asking the right questions when it’s your turn, you can show your boss that you are committed to your job, want to learn more, and deserve adequate compensation.

This blog will discuss what a performance review is, what happens during one, why you should ask questions during it, and the six powerful questions you should ask in your next performance review to get the respect and raise in pay you deserve.

What is an Employee Performance Review?

A performance review is a meeting between an employer and an employee to discuss the latter’s performance over time. This discussion should include feedback, both positive and negative. The purpose of a performance review is to help the employee improve their performance going forward.

There are software programs that employers can use to make employee performance reviews more streamlined. They offer features such as analytical performance reviewing, goal setting, 360-degree feedback, and even real-time coaching.

Also Read: Employee Performance Review for Remote Employees

What Happens During a Performance Review?

The performance review usually starts with the employer giving feedback to the employee. After this, it’s the employee’s turn to ask questions. This is where you can ask the six powerful questions listed below. Finally, the employer and employee will set goals for the future. The best way to set goals that are good for both employee and employer is to set SMART goals — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

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Why Should You Ask Questions in a Performance Review?

Asking questions shows that you are engaged in the discussion and want to improve your performance. It also shows that you are willing to take feedback seriously.

Furthermore, asking questions allow you to get clarification on the feedback you’ve been given.

Finally, asking questions will let you show your boss that you are interested in their opinion and value their input.

What Are the Top Six Questions You Should Ask in Your Performance Review?

You’ll want to avoid the generic questions that everyone asks, if possible, such as

  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • What can I improve on?

First, your boss will probably or already has answered these questions. Second, you’ll want to show you can go more in-depth with your questions. This will show your employer that you’ve put some thought into how you can improve at your job.

Here is a list of the top six questions you should ask your employer after or during your performance review.

1. Have I Met the Expectations You Had For Me This Year?

Asking your boss if you have met their expectations for your performance is an excellent way to get honest feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. This question shows that you are interested in improving your performance and are willing to receive constructive criticism.

In addition, this question allows your boss to give you specific praise or recommendations for improvement. If the answer is yes, you can expect recognition and if they answer no, they should give you recommendations on areas for improvement.

Either way, this question is valuable for getting feedback on your performance and learning how to improve going forward.

2. What Technical Skills Should I Improve?

Asking this question demonstrates to your boss that you are eager to improve and grow within the company. If you have a specific skill, bringing it up shows that you are proactive and want to know if learning it is necessary for your job.

Furthermore, you can expect honesty from your bosses in response to this question. If your boss thinks you have a future with the company, they will likely provide resources to help facilitate your growth.

However, if the boss does not think you have a future with the company, they will likely be less forthcoming with helpful information.

3. What Opportunities Are Available for Furthering My Professional Development?

This is a great question to ask because it helps you better understand the company’s stance on how it views employees’ growth. This is an excellent opportunity to mention if you want to learn an online course, earn a certificate, or learn about new software that will help the business.

If you really want to show your boss you want to excel at your job, you can prepare a presentation or a pitch to show that the course you want to take, benefits both you and the company.

Your manager should enlighten you about the available training and coaching programs, and explain how you can participate in such opportunities. They will then recommend you the ones they feel would be most beneficial to your professional development.

This question not only shows that you’re interested in developing your skills but also shows that you’re invested in being a part of the company for the long haul.

4. Can We Discuss my Compensation for the Upcoming Year?

Asking about compensation during a performance review is an excellent way to gauge where you stand with your employer. If you have done well over the past year, this is the perfect time to ask for a raise or promotion. Most employers have already budgeted for raises and promotions, so don’t expect to get one immediately.

However, asking about it will let your employer know your interest in moving up within the company. They may either consider your request or plot a timeline for your next raise. If they feel you’re not yet deserving of a raise, they should tell you what track of success you need to prove.

Also Read: 10 Employee Performance Review Tips To Improve Performance

5. What is Our Company’s Biggest Challenge for This Year?

Asking about the company’s biggest challenge for the year is an excellent question in a performance review, as it shows you are invested in the company’s success and want to contribute to its growth.

It provides insight into the company’s plans and the latest industry trends. Your manager should share the company’s most significant challenge with you and discuss the strategies they have to solve the problem and how you can fit in to help the company overcome its current challenges.

6. How Can I Make Your Job Easier?

You can build a better relationship with your manager by asking this question. Most managers are usually busy. So by asking how you can help them, you’re looking for ways to ease their burden and make work easier.

Your manager might want to review new tasks, wherein you can help or more similar work can be assigned to you. They can also use this question as a jumping-off point to prepare you for a higher position.

Asking this question shows that you are invested in the company’s success and willing to go the extra mile to help. It’s a win-win for you and your manager, setting the tone for a productive performance review.


Asking these six powerful questions during your performance review will show your boss your interest in the discussion and in improving your performance.

Remember, a performance review is a chance for you to get feedback, ask questions, and show your boss that you are a valued employee. So please make the most of it!

performance review

This article is written by Andrew Dunn.

performance evaluation

Andrew Dunn is a serial business builder with over seven years of experience growing businesses. He is the founder of, providing valuable insights for business owners to leverage technology to 10x their businesses. He is passionate about scaling businesses using SEO, paid media, and remote teams.