Asking employees to do what's known as a self-evaluation is a normal part of the performance review process. In other words, we ask them to analyse and reflect on their performance and their contribution to the company throughout a given period and put it in writing.
To ensure we receive accurate, complete and honest self-evaluations, especially when doing so for the first time, we recommend looking at other employee self-evaluation examples or use pre-designed templates. The HR team can also provide a script or questionnaire on how to write a performance evaluation self-evaluation as a reference for employees.
Below, we take a look at some examples of self-evaluations for performance reviews to clear any doubts:
Harvey Mudd College proposes a questionnaire that enables the user to choose which questions they want to answer and customise their self-evaluation. The questions are also split into categories to make it easier to understand.
- How would you describe your main responsibilities?
- Have these responsibilities changed over time
- Do you carry out any other tasks, and if so, which?
- Is there anything in your work you would like to change, and if so, how would you do it?
- What could your line manager do to help you be more successful in your job?
- How do you think your department could improve?
Performance vs achievements
- What action have you taken to fulfil your responsibilities?
- Do you feel you've been successful during this period?
- Do you think you could have done anything better?
- How do you think you have contributed to our department during this period?
- What are your main strengths?
- In which areas do you feel you could improve?
- What objectives have you reached during this period?
- Which ones did you not manage to achieve, and why?
- What objectives do you propose for the next period?
- Do you think you need help or extra resources to reach these objectives?
- What training programmes have you taken part in?
- Are there any areas you would like to train in?
- Do you need extra resources or training to do your job?
- What could your line manager do to help you achieve your professional development goals?
Free Self Evaluation Template
To help you and your employees with their next self evaluation, we've created this self evaluation template that you can download for free. With this template, you and your employees will be able to prepare themselves in no time for their next performance review - with the added benefit that all your future self evaluations will be consistent in style and form. If you do have any additional questions that you would like to add to our template, you are of course more than welcome to modify it.
Self-evaluation sample answers
Properly preparing the self-evaluation answers is just as important as having a script, as they will be a part of the company's final assessment. Some inspiration for possible answers:
1. Collaboration and teamwork
Positive option: "I believe that my skills and my ability to work in a team have been valuable during this period. I have taken an active role in my department, working with confidence and expressing my ideas and opinions."
Negative option: "I realise that I can be too controlling in a project, and I don't give other members of the team enough room to contribute or develop their ideas. I must learn to give others more space and let them take the initiative too."
Positive option: "I have consistently shown commitment and motivation ever since I joined the company. I meet set deadlines and objectives on time."
Negative option: "As I'm a perfectionist, I think that I sometimes spend too much time on one task. I must learn to use resources more efficiently."
Positive option: "I feel that I lead my team by example. My actions are what defines my work." That's why I spend time thinking about how to solve the problems and challenges that may arise."
Negative option: "Maybe I should try harder to promote the company's culture and values within my team. While I regularly hold meetings with this in mind, I should focus on boosting team spirit and collaboration."
Positive option: "I have demonstrated my problem-solving skills several times during my time in the company." I manage to solve difficult situations efficiently, always taking the rest of the team into consideration."
Negative option: "I sometimes feel overwhelmed when having to make an important decision, so I ask others for advice. I need to work on my ability to solve complex problems."
5. Decision-making skills
Positive option: "When faced with a difficult decision, I make a rational assessment of the positives and negatives, as well as the possible outcomes." I do research and seek expert advice to make an informed decision."
Negative option: "When it comes to making decisions, I tend to fall back on past experiences instead of looking for new solutions. I should spend more time reflecting and avoid making the same mistakes."
6. Working under pressure
Positive option: "I manage my time effectively to meet deadlines, however tight they may be." I have the ability to prioritise the most important tasks, and if I can't do it, I'll delegate to others who have the experience."
Negative option: "Time management is one of my weaknesses. I usually leave the more difficult or least appealing tasks until the last minute. My attention to details gets worse as the stress builds."
Positive option: "I value conversation and debate among colleagues. I actively listen to my team and encourage joint decision-making. I try to build positive relationships when communicating with clients."
Negative option: "I need to work on my ability to deal with emotions and not let them affect my working relationships. I sometimes find it hard to communicate."
Positive option: "I adapt to change and I try to do my bit during transitions." I appreciate feedback when things don't go well, I stay calm and positive."
Negative option: "I must work on supporting change and avoid micromanagement. I find it difficult to take on new tasks or those that don't fall under my responsibility."
9. Negotiation and problem-solving
Positive option: "I successfully negotiated (fill in as applicable) during this period which resulted in (add information about gains) for the company. I'm an analytical thinker which enables me to accurately assess situations and steer the conversation towards achieving results."
Negative option: "While I feel I have progressed with my negotiation skills, I still think there's room for improvement. I approach meetings appropriately, and I always try to use active listening."
10. Emotional intelligence
Positive option: "I'm aware of my strengths and weaknesses, which enables me to deal with emotions more easily. I try to understand and listen to everyone."
Negative option: "I often feel frustrated, and I find it hard to communicate when faced with certain behaviours by other team members. I get distracted and don't take other people's opinions into consideration."
Tips on how to write a performance evaluation self-assessment
As well as taking these self-evaluation examples into consideration, below are some general tips that can be useful when writing the document.
1. Use numbers to your advantage
Include figures that add value to your work, if possible. It's always better if you use numbers to speak for themselves. Also, a self-evaluation should include metrics and KPIs.
Wrong: "I achieved great success in 2020."
Correct: "I exceeded my sales targets by 135% in 2020."
2. Mention results
Don't take anything for granted or think that numbers speak for themselves. Mention and explain every one of your achievements during the period in question. Don't expect your boss to remember every single one.
For example: "In the third quarter, the marketing campaign achieved twice as much visibility than the previous quarter."
3. Take the company's objectives into account
One good way to stand out in your evaluation is to consider the company's objectives and explain how your work has contributed to achieving them. Find specific figures and justify them.
For example: "I increased my own sales by 10% as part of the department's general sales strategy."
4. Record your achievements in real-time
Make notes throughout the year in preparation for the self-evaluation. Record them regularly, or even at the time, instead of having to remember everything at the eleventh hour.
If we don't think this system is feasible, we can also go back through the schedule to remind ourselves what happened at each stage. This is a good exercise for jolting the memory.
5. Take your time
A well-written self-evaluation takes time. It's not something you can do in 20 minutes, nor in a day. Spend whatever time it takes to ensure that it shows your worth.
Try to reserve a few days in your calendar before the deadline to work on the text.