If the thought of being evaluated makes you anxious, you are not alone. While you may be a stand-out employee or entrepreneur, the idea of having an extra pair of eyes on your performance can be nerve-racking and stressful. Whether it’s from a potential investor or simply your quarterly review, the pressure can be intense. Fortunately, there are several ways you can prepare for these opportunities.
By following the tips below, you will be able to present your best self and give your business the representation it deserves during your most challenging evaluations.
1. Do Your Research. One of the best ways to be prepared for an evaluation is to do your research beforehand. It’s important to know details such as what specific areas will be evaluated, who will be evaluating, and what are some key expectations. By taking some time in advance to answer these questions, you can demonstrate your skills with confidence. You can turn to friends and colleagues to learn more about their experience, or you can go online for help, where you are sure to find an abundance of information by others in the same industry.
2. Establish goals. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to recognize your past accomplishments as well as your future goals. By getting clear on your current skill set and establishing the next steps, you will be able to articulate a thoughtful response regarding your progress. You may have a number of personal and professional goals that will contribute toward your overall growth and development. For example, maybe you desire to seek an online masters in aerospace engineering or business management. By identifying these goals, you will demonstrate your drive and ambition toward greater potential and outcomes.
3. Highlight accomplishments. Although you may not realize it, you have many noteworthy accomplishments under your belt. Each of these achievements should serve as a source of pride and a sense of accomplishment. While you may wonder if it’s appropriate to share these details, your evaluator will appreciate knowing more about your background and the value that you bring to the organization.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice. The best way to do your job, evaluation or not, is by continuously refining and developing your skill set. By maintaining an attitude of continuous improvement and approaching each day with a desire for excellence, you will naturally improve your skills, knowledge and ability to do your job seamlessly. A great habit to adopt is simply asking yourself each day how you can be better at your job today than you were the day before. Questions such as “What can I do differently?…What other approaches will work?…How can I think outside the box for this task/project?” will all help to ensure you are consistently putting your best foot forward.
5. Anticipate the Tough Questions. While you likely did your best to prepare for your evaluation through thoughtful research, there are a few things you will have to anticipate. For example, evaluators may ask a few challenging questions that help them gauge your thought process, experience level, or approach to difficult tasks. You may wish to check with colleagues to learn about their experience with tough questions in this situation. Remember to remain calm and confident throughout- be yourself and answer any tough questions to the best of your ability.
Evaluations can be nerve-racking, but they don’t have to be. By being prepared with research, practice, and knowledge of your business, you will be able to navigate any tough questions that come your way. It’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself as this will only make things worse. Maintain an attitude of calm and allow your confidence to shine through. Your evaluators are eager to see you succeed as well as use this opportunity to demonstrate your abilities and expertise. And who knows? Your next evaluation could be the start of something great for your business.