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Performance Evaluation: Key Questions for Probationary Employees

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Performance appraisal questions allow you to track and evaluate your new employees efficiently and quickly. This allows you to quickly identify problems that new employees are experiencing and offer them support in areas where they need help.

Applicant management plays a key role in ensuring that you always hire the best talent on the market. You can easily conduct a performance review of probationary employees using the questions we'll discuss later.

This article introduces the best performance appraisal questions that can help you collect enough data for your business. He addresses why performance appraisal questions are asked and gives you the ideal answers they should provide.

By the end of this article, you will know which points are most important in performance appraisals and why effective performance appraisal management is essential for the company.

What is a performance appraisal?

Performance appraisals help managers assess their employees' strengths and weaknesses to improve productivity by assessing their progress, strengths and weaknesses. Performance reviews typically take place once or twice a year, but vary from company to company. Formal appraisals are most effective when employees receive constructive feedback.

Nowadays, web interviews provide easy access to face-to-face conversations. Whether you're conducting meetings or interviews, employees analyze everything, including new hires' facial features.

Employees should benefit from effective performance reviews in the following ways:

  • Identify your goals
  • Be solution-oriented
  • Determine where you have weaknesses and strengths.

When is the best time for a performance review?

You can conduct performance reviews quarterly or semi-annually to determine your employees' progress and their overall performance over the period. Engaging your employees can improve employee retention.

9+ Performance Appraisal Questions for Probationary Employees

Here are the best performance appraisal questions for probationary employees and how employee answers can provide enough data to identify the processes, cultures, and tools that require change. The collected data is used as base data for the company's development plan.

When it comes to performance reviews, there are some things you shouldn't do. Communication and regular feedback are certainly at the top of the list. You can keep these points in mind as you review each question with the employee.

1.Do you feel fulfilled in this role?

This question helps you determine whether the employee is satisfied with their tasks and responsibilities. Knowing what the employee thinks will help you determine whether they can see themselves having a long-term career with your company or whether they will pursue a career elsewhere.

You should always ask this question, but it is especially important if the employee has failed their probationary period. Companies often have unrealistic expectations of their potential applicants.

A good way to find quality applicants is to use an applicant tracking system, which can help shortlist the most suitable applicants for the job. This also reduces the manual effort required for the hiring process.

2.How do you rate your work so far?

You can use this question to determine whether applicants are confident in their abilities. Based on their opinion, you can decide whether they are suitable for the job, whether they should be given other tasks or whether they need further training.

A qualitative format can strengthen this question, but you can also use it with a rating scale to gain greater insight.

It's important to put performance into context here. If you e.g. For example, if you have hired a salesperson to sell lingerie collections, you should provide employees with information on how to sell better. This includes researching what lingerie collections are popular during certain seasons, what events are coming up where you can sell costumed lingerie collections, and so on.

When you hire a video editor, you also need to check the quality of the videos if they are up to standard. If you feel that quality is lacking, you can always offer training to employees so that they can work on their skills and improve further.

3.Do you understand the responsibilities given to you?

With this question, you should be able to assess the employee's self-assessment and understanding level to determine whether further clarification of expectations is needed. Knowing whether the employee understands the scope of their responsibilities will help you determine whether they need more guidance to fully understand their new role.

A large percentage of the UK workforce needs to acquire digital skills. In contrast, only 9% of American workers believe they regularly know what's going on at their company. This seriously undermines their ability to work effectively.

Employees should be able to tell you what they expect from you. If your employees are expected to sell face masks online, you should find out whether your employees know enough about the product, about face masks, airborne diseases, and the material and effectiveness of the product to do a good job. This way you can ensure that all employees are up to date with the product and the sales techniques to use.

4.What do you think you need to work on to improve your performance?

This question will help you determine whether the new employee can identify needs so you can develop practical training courses. In order to maximize the new employees' contribution to the company's success, it is important to determine whether or not they still have room for improvement in their current position.

You should first ask the new employees if they need help or what help they need from you. Even a small effort on your part will set them up for future success and improve their chances.

5.How can you get the job done more efficiently and effectively?

This question will help you provide employees with resources to do their jobs more effectively. Whether your business has access to the software and hardware it needs to operate efficiently has a significant impact on productivity and employee retention.

Unlike normal performance reviews, probationary reviews focus on you and your company as well as your new employees. It's your job to make things easier for employees and complete tasks as quickly as possible to avoid burnout.

No matter how hard we try, there is always something to learn and improve when it comes to the new employee experience. As with most things, you should only expect a subset of your employees to have a great experience 100% of the time.

To improve onboarding for your employees, ask them for honest feedback about what can be done differently next time. This will also strengthen the relationship between your company and your current employees.

6.What aspects of your job are you most satisfied with?

By asking how they feel working at your company, you will learn what factors influence their satisfaction. To keep your employees engaged, it helps you find out what they think about the situation and what you can do.

When employees spend most of their waking hours at work, they need more than just a paycheck to be happy. You can motivate your employees to show up every day and contribute to the company's success if you leverage their talents, involve them in challenging projects, provide incentives, and create a friendly, respectful, and low-stress environment.

Employees find their work most attractive when they are satisfied. Workers find it more satisfying to grow and overcome obstacles when they can retain a certain level of autonomy.

Diverse challenges and variety in everyday working life also keep the work exciting. Successful leaders should provide employees with a range of tasks and challenges, regardless of the type of job they do.

7.What changes would you like to see in your current position and your company?

Employee development is important. They need to plan their next position and career path and have regular performance discussions by asking employee evaluation questions.

Showing that you care about their well-being will make them feel supported. The needs of the employees are the same as the needs of the company.

If you show your employees that their professional development is also a priority for you, you will have a more loyal workforce.

8.Are you sure that your suggestions will be heard, discussed and ultimately implemented?

They will feel valued when their opinion is sought to improve the situation. Finding out whether an employee feels heard and valued is crucial to maintaining their interest in work.

It's important to actively listen, analyze, and then find the best possible solution when asking for feedback on suggestions. Giving constructive criticism allows everyone to see how they can focus and improve their results. This also creates a healthy flow of communication between employees.

When you receive a proposal, review it within a specific time frame so that employees understand why it was accepted or rejected. If a suggestion is rejected, you should always thank your employees and encourage them to make further suggestions to promote open communication.

For example, if you offer link building services, your staff might suggest new or better methods for reaching out to you and ensuring quality links for your affiliates. Since this is a repetitive task, you need to be open to suggestions to make your performance evaluation process as simple and efficient as possible.

9.How much trust do you have in your group?

Asking this question will give you a better understanding of the team's attitude towards new team members and make them feel comfortable.

Based on their answers, you can see where you need to adjust how you interact with them. During breaks, you may feel the need to ask your colleagues what they're reading or what's on the agenda for the weekend.

A good part of dealing with your colleagues is showing them respect. You may not like everyone you work with. However, if you show respect to the other person, you can maintain a positive relationship even if that person is challenging for you.

In many cases it is better not to talk too much about personal things at work. Maintain a professional yet friendly relationship with your colleagues by keeping your work conversations positive and light, unless you are close to a person.

10.If you could see your future in the company, what role would you want to play?

Giving your employees the opportunity to express their hopes for the future of the company is a huge win for strategic planning. By asking these questions, you can find out if employees have a long-term vision for themselves at your company and what will excite them about working at your company.

It's easy to become focused on the next job, especially when you're leaving a toxic workplace.

Why should managers care about their employees' performance reviews?

Managers should care about these appraisals because they provide a good opportunity to fairly evaluate employees based on expected and actual results.

All questions in the employee interview should focus on newly learned skills, personal goals, opportunities for improvement, evaluation of one's own performance and working conditions.

You can inform employees about future development opportunities and praise them for the best work in their current role. Asking the right questions is key to helping employees reach the next level of development in the next quarter or performance review.

Annual performance reviews can help employees increase their productivity:

  • Reinforcing positive behaviors
  • The opportunity to give constructive feedback
  • A clear idea of what is expected and what values the company represents

Performance reviews not only provide employees with an opportunity to evaluate their work progress and performance, but they also provide managers with a structure that allows them to meet with employees one-on-one and help them achieve their goals to reach.

What can managers do to ensure effective probation reviews?

You should include the following components in the appraisal program that managers create for their employees:

A. Create a system of communication

Through regular, constructive feedback, managers can support their employees in preparing for performance reviews. Keeping employees updated at work helps boost their productivity.

B. Maintain a professional, growth-oriented approach

Provide managers with guidance for performance reviews that highlight employees' accomplishments and weaknesses. Employees are empowered and motivated by positive praise and constructive criticism - support managers in voicing concerns, perspectives and respectful feedback.

C. Train employees

Train your employees to develop and improve their skills. For marketing employees, for example, marketing courses can help educate employees and give them the professional and academic knowledge they can use to achieve better results.

Another helpful example is technology companies: their developers should be familiar with different technical stacks, languages and databases. Make sure they have the basics down. One way is to provide manuals on MySQL or other useful technical software to familiarize them with the art of technical development.

D. Update employees

The performance review should be announced to employees (especially newbies), along with a description of what will be discussed. During preparation, they can note their progress, achievements, goals and areas for improvement and assess their work performance based on the evaluation criteria.

E. Organizational culture

Incorporate fun and engagement into the company culture to improve rapport and relationships. Here you can incorporate some mind games, e.g. an anagram puzzle game.

F. Analyzing and organizing results

If you are venturing into podcasts as a business, you need to hire experienced people in the field. You need to find out why employees are not performing well and (if necessary) investigate the reasons why. There are many team members behind podcasts; You need to ensure the performance of each employee to achieve good results.

Create a simple action plan that employees can follow to improve the way they work. For a podcast, create a plan that outlines each member's work and measures the success of their contributions. One of these metrics can be topic contribution and scripting.

You should organize the results discreetly. It's best to manage results digitally so HR can easily track employees' progress. Only authorized employees can access employee information, protecting employee privacy. This can also help speed up the performance evaluation process with hard results.

How can effective performance reviews improve company culture?

An effective performance appraisal gives employees the opportunity to reflect and improve. Through this framework of positive reinforcement, managers and employees can build a strong bond, have constructive conversations, set goals together and increase work performance.

Employees will inevitably want to be part of a company culture based on honest and supportive relationships between managers and employees, where they receive good feedback on their overall performance and have the opportunity to self-assess.


A well-planned performance management system ensures that all managers and employees recognize the importance of these discussions for their professional development and the success of the company.

HR can encourage productive performance conversations that promote alignment and increase employee engagement.

Conversations about an employee's performance review have significant implications for the individual and the company. If done correctly, they will increase the productivity of your managers and employees.

Read more of our blogs for helpful HR and management advice on creating a productive and enjoyable workplace culture.

Elevate your organization's performance management with strategic appraisal questions and IceHrm's innovative solutions. Drive employee growth, strengthen company culture, and foster productive conversations for lasting success.

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