30+ Performance Review Questions to Ask Employees

Manager-driven performance management is being embraced by forward-thinking organizations. But the conversation quality matters just as much as frequency or style.

Research shows there is a correlation between how frequently employees need feedback and how many reports their manager has. So, if you have just one report, you may find yourself talking through issues frequently anyway. Alternatively, a manager with ten or more reports needs to talk to each of them individually, more frequently.

No matter when your performance review takes place, it’s important to ask good questions to not only share feedback with your employee, but also to receive feedback to improve team dynamics. Here are some tried-and-true questions.


Describe your key accomplishments over the past review period.
Describe three strengths and three areas for improvement.
List 3-5 contributions you’ve made to the company during the past review period that you’d like to highlight to your manager.
What are your biggest accomplishments at work?
In what ways did you impact the company and/or team?
Of my responsibilities, what did you accomplish?
What impact did those accomplishments have on the company’s goals or objectives?
What could you have done better?
What are your biggest accomplishments at work?
In what ways did you impact the company and/or team?
Where do you see your career progressing in the next 12 months?
Is there anything keeping you up at night?
What elements of your job do you find the most challenging and why?
What actions can be taken to increase your success by your manager?
What can the company do to help you improve?

Direct Report Review

What went well for this person during the last quarter?
What should this person’s focus be in the next quarter?
Are there any areas of concern, or in need of improvement?
What is the plan to address issue(s), if any?
Given what I know of this person’s performance, I would always want them on my team.
This person is at risk for low performance.
This person is ready for promotion today.

Upward Review

What you would like to see more of from your manager?
What are some examples of activities, feedback or coaching your manager provided that helped you.
How would you describe your working relationship with your manager?
What are actionable areas of development you’d like for your manager to focus on?
What is this person’s biggest development area as a manager?
What is this person’s biggest management strength?
What specifically can your manager do to become more effective?

360 or Peer Review

Continue: What does this person do well?
Start: What could this person start doing that would benefit their career and the company?
Stop: What could this person stop or reduce to benefit their career and the company?
What does this person do that you particularly appreciate?
What are 1-2 accomplishments from this person you were impressed with?
What did this person do well?
What could this person improve on?
Given what I know of this person’s performance, and if it were my money, I would award this person the highest possible compensation increase and bonus.
How would you characterize this person’s interactions with yourself, other members of your team, and the rest of the company?
Is working with this person easy?
What advice or feedback would you give this person to further develop their role at the company?
What will you do to help this person be successful?
What are the skills this person demonstrated in solving problems and arriving at solutions and improvements?