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How To Prepare for the 90-Day Performance Review

Monday, June 8th, 2015

While the initial relief of landing a new job offers momentary relief, that triumphant feeling is often short-lived. Now that you’re sitting at your desk, working away, the reality sets in: now you have to perform, and live up to your résumé. With the 90-day performance review looming on the horizon, “settling in” quickly isn’t an option—it’s a requirement.

It’s human nature to fear any kind of review, especially one that happens on the heels of the feeling-out process. However, new recruits should look at the 90-day performance review as an opportunity, and prepare accordingly. Here are three things to consider as this three-month milestone approaches:

Treat Your Review Like an Interview

Sure, you interviewed to get your position. Obviously, you were successful. But now, you can impress your boss further by coming prepared. For example, have you saved your employer money, or generated revenue? Have you gone beyond the call of duty on a particular project? Selling yourself—as you probably did in your initial interview—shows how well you’ve adapted to your new role, and how you’re fitting into your new company culture. That’s why you should view your 90-day review as a presentation, one that highlights your contributions.

Be Prepared for Constructive Criticism

Unless you’re a rock star, you’re probably going to receive some negative feedback along with the good. This is only natural since you’re still getting your feet wet in your new position. Your 90-day performance review is also an important part of the onboarding process for management, so remember to put yourself in their shoes—they’re on your side, and want you to succeed. While constructive criticism can sting at first, it’s valuable information that allows you to show improvement between now and your next evaluation.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

In many ways, the 90-day performance review also serves as a way to clarify any confusion you might be having about your performance requirements, company policies, or what resources you might not be utilizing effectively. This is also a great time to ask when your next review will be, since some employers have another one mid-year, while others might do reviews annually. This is the time to ask any of those burning questions you might have. If you treat the review as an open forum now, there’s far less chance of surprises later.

Your Attitude Is Everything

Like many things in life, your attitude going into a 90-day performance review will go a long way toward having a successful one. While some mild anxiety is to be expected, taking a deep breath and focusing on what you’ve done over three months will start to make you feel more confident. Again, the review allows you to quantify what you’ve done, and uncover what you can do better. When you break it down like that, there’s really no reason not to view it as yet another opportunity. Now, rather than securing a job, you’re taking a step toward securing long-term employment instead.

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