Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Acing your annual job evaluation

You walk into the boss's office and feel the first beads of sweat
on your forehead. You heart begins to race, your mouth gets dry, and you feel like an 8-year-old facing interrogation over a broken lamp.

It's the annual employee evaluation, a time for paranoia, sweaty palms and painful silences that stretch out longer than the director's cut of Apocalypse Now. But relax. These answers to common evaluation questions will help you get through it.

Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?

A. Taking on bigger challenges, expanding my role with the company and helping the company strengthen its position for the future.

(Strategically vague, it's the perfect answer to an evaluation question because it says nothing.)

Q. How do you feel you benefit the company?

A. I'm a team-oriented person who works hard and wants the company to improve.

(Important note: Never say you are willing to do "whatever it takes" to help the company improve. "Whatever it takes" would include working weekends.)

Q. In what ways do you think the company can improve?

A. By dedicating itself to improvement, nourishing an environment that allows for improvement and taking bold steps toward improvement.

(Exquisitely nonsensical. You might sound like a politician, but at
least you're playing it safe.)

If you're still worried about your evaluation, remember this: the boss isn't listening very closely, anyway. He or she is probably busy scheduling a meeting on how to have effective meetings.