The Ultimate Self-Evaluation Guide (+Tips and Examples)

While self-evaluation may not be your favorite activity, it is essential for personal and professional growth.

May 6, 2022
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How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
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What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
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Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
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Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
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What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
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Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
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Pick any band to play at your funeral.
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Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
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What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
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Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
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What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
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Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
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When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

Most professionals don't need so much convincing on the need for performance reviews by their managers. But, when it comes to self-evaluation, the enthusiasm isn't often the same. And we get it! It's not always easy to identify our strengths and weaknesses. However, no review is a walk in the park. Even managers also need tips to maximize their performance reviews. 

So, while self-evaluation may not be your favorite activity, it is essential for personal and professional growth. It's a time to demonstrate what an asset you are to the company by analyzing and reflecting on your performance and contribution throughout a given period and putting it in writing.

Why does Self-Evaluation Matter?

Self-evaluations vary from organization to organization. Some use self-evaluation templates for different self-assessment activities while others allow their staff to freestyle. Regardless of how formal or informal it is, self-assessing is important.

A paper by Harvard Business School highlights the connection between the intentional attempt to articulate lessons and optimal performance.

So, here are three reasons to evaluate yourself today:

1. Recognizing Accomplishments

You may have never recognized some achievements without a deliberate retrospection because achievements may be vague until they're highlighted. 

Employees can reflect on accomplishments by candidly assessing wins and opportunities and patting themselves on the back. They can also see opportunities for improvement and prepare goals for the next year to accommodate tasks that will aid development and growth.

2. Improved Job Security

A good performance appraisal can lead to a raise and improved job security. Often, employees may try to get a raise without adequate data and metrics to back it. Self-evaluation sessions allow you to correctly highlight all the areas that make you a good fit for a raise and use them to make your case. In addition, if an employee's contract is ending, a self-evaluation allows you to increase your chances of getting a retainer instead of relying solely on your manager for a befitting performance review.

3. Boost Your Morale

An effective self-evaluation session is often the perfect morale boost. It could serve as the driving force an employee needs to do more. By summarizing a year or quarter (as the case may be), you can see how great you've been doing despite a supposedly bad year.

On the other hand, it may also highlight the areas for improvement. There may be situations where employees realize they've not been doing as great as they thought. And while this may seemingly look bad, it can also serve as an excellent opportunity to map out smart goals and improve instead of just striving in the dark.

Now that we understand the benefits of self-evaluation, how do you craft effective reports to ensure that your evaluation is on par with others? Let's jump right in! This article will guide you with some tips and self-evaluation examples for making the most of this process in your professional life.

5 Tips for Writing an Effective Self-Evaluation Report

An effective evaluation will ensure that you score highly and are recognized for your efforts. No matter how familiar you are with self-evaluation sessions, there's always room for improvement. 

Here are five tips for writing an effective self-evaluation report:

1. Carve Out Enough Time – The more time you have, the less pressure you feel

While working in a timely manner is typically a plus, it may not apply here. Completing your self-evaluation a few minutes before the review period may not give you the best outcome. Like most other vital reviews or assessments, adequate time allows you to answer questions in detail without avoidable pressure.

Reflecting on a year's wins, challenges, and achievements requires proper data collection, brain-racking, and research. If your organization doesn't have a template for self-evaluation, you may need even more time to reflect and make jottings, then draft out, build it, and finally proofread. 

2. Be Specific – Specificity gives your review context

In addition to other uses, self-evaluation results may be a deciding factor for a raise, promotion, or contract renewal. Therefore, being vague may do the opposite of increasing your chances.

Specificity gives context and allows you to highlight your skills, approaches, wins, time management, and the challenges you encountered strategically. You can also highlight instances where you showed particular skills that align with the company's values and how you achieved them. It could be collaboration, innovation, or being proactive. If specificity is a challenge for you, you can list the skills and abilities you want to highlight, then build on them using instances that illustrate them.

3. Be Honest – Honesty means taking responsibility, and that's always a good thing

Whether you have more losses than wins or didn't meet your KPIs as you would be proud of, it's still important to highlight them. While being honest about challenges and shortcomings, endeavor to frame weaknesses as opportunities for growth.

The best self evaluation responses don't focus solely on what was done well, but it's not enough to just mention the problems. It would be best if you also wrote how you could improve, including areas where you need external help. Like suggesting ways that you think managers can help, e.g.: clearer timelines, benchmarks, etc. This will show that you can be critical and objective about your job performance.

4. Use Numbers – Metrics enable employers to connect performance and results

Metrics serve as evidence to back up your accomplishments. Numbers not only put results in perspective, but they also help employees have a clear standard to assess their performance.  Numbers also allow you to build measurable goals and track your progress. Showing numbers also gives you leverage to negotiate raises or other benefits on the table.

5. Use Proper Terms - Business-speak reduces the chances of a misunderstanding 

It's easy to assume that managers know the nitty-gritty of your work. But they may not. While they should know a substantial amount, the manager they report to may not have the slightest clue. So, proper terminologies are crucial to writing an effective self-evaluation.

Endeavor to clearly describe what you do in relation to your team and organization. You can also highlight other self-development activities that may not be strictly about work, ranging from volunteer work in a nonprofit organization to courses you've taken. 

Self-Assessment Examples to Guide You When Writing Your Self-Evaluation

Writing an effective self-evaluation can be tricky, it calls for a certain level of self-awareness. But, it's not impossible.  Based on roles and responsibilities, and desired professional development, different organizations have different methods and specific metrics to measure. 

You can also make your self-evaluation process easier by learning about the Self-Evaluation Flow.

You’re probably wondering, what do you write in a self-evaluation and what are some performance self assessment examples? Here are some employee self-evaluation sample answers to help you stay on track while writing a self-review that demonstrates performance and highlights areas for growth:

Teamwork and Collaboration


- Working in a team allows me to bring out the best in myself and my teammates. I produce the best outcomes in a team because everyone is comfortable enough to put their best foot forward when they can and take a step back when they genuinely can't. This allows for inclusivity and higher productivity. 

{Give an example of a situation where effective teamwork produced an excellent result, the role you played, and the results}

Opportunity for growth

- I often struggle with delegating complex tasks to team members, especially the new staff, and it overwhelms me. As we advance, I would suggest that we have a departmental onboarding in addition to the company-wide onboarding. There, I can attend and ensure that the new employees for the department understand their deeper tasks. 



- I have strong interpersonal skills that help me effectively identify the best ways to communicate with clients and colleagues. I have also improved my communication skills with the help of tools such as Slack and Workplace. I am a team member who is consistently working on their listening skills.

{Give an example of a situation where clear communication saved a misunderstanding, the role you played, and the results}

Opportunity for growth

-I realized that when I feel stressed or under pressure in meetings, I often struggle to share my thoughts or concerns. In the future, I can improve on this by jotting things down before sharing my opinion. I'd also like my manager to tell team members about the meeting agenda before the meeting so that people are more prepared. 

Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking


-I excel in solving problems because of my analytical skills. I'm comfortable taking issues piece by piece until I find the root cause. I also took a problem-solving course last quarter to develop this skill. This skill has come in handy in team tasks as I can find solutions quickly and carry my team along the process when the need arises. It also helps me develop my leadership skills.

{Give an example of a situation where critical thinking helped you solve a problem, the role you played, and the result}

Opportunity for growth

-I often get caught up while solving complex problems, and my other tasks suffer. Moving forward, I'll work with other team members to get things done quicker, and I'll also manage my time better by allocating time slots to various tasks and sticking to them. 

What should you not say in an evaluation?

While there are no hard and fast rules on what to include and what not to do, a self-evaluation session is not the time and place for some things. It’s not the time to:

  1. Defend your mistakes
  2. Push the blame
  3. Only give credit to teamwork or teammates
  4. Ask for a raise
  5. Pretend to understand manager feedback when you don’t

Ready to Begin?

When it comes to curating self-evaluation questions, the main goal is to improve your performance, so you're better able to get the job done. Identify where you are making mistakes in your work and use that to improve yourself. It's vital to know what went wrong and what was good, then fill those knowledge gaps to become a better employee. 

One final key: Your self-evaluation will only be as strong as you make it. It's best to do your own self-evaluation regularly throughout the year to stay on top of what's important and how you can make improvements.

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