9 Performance Review Questions-For Probationary Employees

9+ Performance Review Questions For Probationary Employees

Kelly Barcelos on December 23, 2022 in Employer Brand

Performance review questions allow you to track and evaluate your new employees efficiently and quickly. With it, you will be able to quickly identify any issues that will arise with the new hires and offer them hand-holding in areas they need help with.

Candidate management plays a big part in ensuring you always hire the best talent in the market. You can easily do a performance review on probationary employees by using the questions we’ll discuss later.

This article highlights the best performance review questions to gather enough data for your company. It delves into why performance review questions are conducted and gives you the ideal answers they should provide.

At the end of this article, you’ll know the most important points to raise during performance reviews and why it is essential to have effective performance review management for the company.

What Is A Performance Review?

Performance reviews help managers assess employees’ strengths and weaknesses to improve productivity by gauging progress, strengths, and weaknesses. Performance reviews usually occur once or twice a year, though they vary by company. Formal assessments are most effective when employees receive constructive feedback.

These days, web interviews have enabled easy access to facetime. Whether you’re conducting meetings or interviews, employees analyze everything, including the facial cues of the new hires.

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

  • Identify your goals
  • Be solution-focused
  • Determine where you are weak and where you are strong

When Is The Best Time To Conduct A Performance Review?

You can conduct a performance interview either quarterly or bi-annually to know the progress of your employees and their overall performance for the period. When you engage your employees, you can improve the retention rate in the process.performance review infographics

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9+ Performance Review Questions For Probationary Employees

Here are the best performance review questions for probationary employees and how recruits’ answers can give enough data to identify the processes, cultures, and tools that require changes. The data collected will be used as the baseline data for the company’s development plan.

When it comes to performance reviews, there are certain dos and don’ts to consider. Communication and regular feedback are certainly at the top of the list. You can keep these in mind as you go through each question with the employee.

  1. Do You Feel Fulfilled in This Role?

    Asking this question lets you determine if they feel satisfied with tasks and work responsibilities. Knowing their thoughts on the matter allows you to see if they see a long-term career with your company or if they’ll find career growth elsewhere.

    You should always ask this question, but it is especially pertinent if the employee has failed their probationary period. Often, companies set unrealistic expectations for their potential applicants.

    A good practice to find quality applicants is to use applicant tracking system that can help with shortlisting applicants best suited for the job. This will also reduce the manual hassle that comes along with the recruitment process.

  2. How Do You Evaluate What You Have Done So Far?

    With this question, you will determine whether they are confident in their abilities. Finding out what they think will help you decide whether they are suitable for the job, if they should be given other responsibilities, or need more training.

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

    Contextualizing performance is critical here. For instance, if you hired a salesperson to sell lingerie collections, you should provide information to employees on how to sell better. This includes researching what lingerie collections are hot in certain seasons, what upcoming events there are where you can sell costume-themed lingerie collections, and so on.

    Similarly, if you’re hiring a video editor, you have to check the quality of their videos, whether they are up to the standard. In case you feel there’s a lack of quality, you can always provide training to employees so they can work on their skills and improve further.

  3. Do You Grasp the Responsibilities Given to You?

    With this question, you should be able to gauge the employee’s self-assessment and level of comprehension to determine whether more explanation of the expectations is needed. Knowing whether they have a firm grasp on the scope of their duties will let you know if they need more orientation to fully understand their new role.

    A large percentage of UK employees need to gain digital skills. In contrast, only 9% of American workers believe they regularly know what is happening at their company. This seriously undermines their ability to work effectively.

    Employees should be able to tell you what they think your expectations are. If your employees are expected to sell face masks online, you should find out whether your employees know enough about the product i.e. face masks, air-borne diseases, and product material and effectiveness to perform well. This way, you can ensure everyone is up to speed with the product and the sales techniques to use.

  4. What Do You Feel You Need to Work On to Enhance Your Performance?

    Asking this question will help you determine if the new hire can identify needs so you can design practical training courses. To maximize the new hires’ contribution to corporate success, it’s essential to determine whether or not they have room for improvement in their current position.

    You should first ask new hires if they need any help or what help they need from you. Even a little effort on your part will set them up for success moving forward and improve their chances.

  5. How Can You Get the Job Done More Efficiently And Effectively?

    Asking this question will assist you in providing employees with resources that will allow them to do their job more effectively. Determining whether or not your organization has access to the software and hardware it needs to function efficiently will significantly impact productivity and staff retention.

    Unlike regular performance reviews, probationary reviews focus on you and your company as well as on your new employees. It is your job to make it easier for employees to work and get the job done as quickly as possible to avoid burnout.

    Despite how hard we try, there is always something to be learned and improvements to be made when it comes to the new employee experience. As with most things, you should expect only some of your employees to have an excellent experience 100% of the time.

    To build a better onboarding experience for your existing staff, ask for honest feedback about what can be done differently next time. This will also strengthen the relationship between your company and your current team members.

  6. What Are the Aspects of Your Employment That You Find Most Satisfying?

    By inquiring about how they feel working for your organization, you will learn what factors influence their satisfaction. To keep your employee engaged, finding out what they think about the situation will help you figure out what to leverage.

    When employees spend most of their waking hours in the workplace, they need more than just a paycheck to feel satisfied. You can motivate your employees to show up every day to contribute to the company’s ultimate success if you utilize their talents, engage them in challenging projects, offer incentives, and create a friendly and respectful, and low-stress environment.

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

    Various challenges and diversity in the daily grind keep work exciting as well. Successful managers should bring a range of responsibilities and challenges to workers regardless of the nature of their job.

  7. What Changes Would You Want to See Made to your Current Position and Company?

    Employee development is important. You have to plan for their next position, career path, and have regular performance conversations by asking employee evaluation questions.

    If you demonstrate concern for their well-being, they will feel supported. Determining what employees need is the same as deciding what the business requires.

    Once you show employees their professional development is your priority too, you will have a more loyal workforce.

  8. Are You Certain That Your Suggestions Will be Heard, Discussed and Ultimately Put into Action?

    They will feel appreciated if their opinions on how to enhance the situation are sought out. Finding out whether an employee feels heard and valued is crucial to keep them interested in their work.

    Listening actively, analyzing, and then thinking of the best possible solution when asking for feedback on suggestions is essential. Consecutively, providing constructive criticism lets everyone see how they can improve their focus and results. It also creates a healthy flow of communication among people.

    Whenever you receive a suggestion, review it within a specific timeframe so employees understand why it was approved or denied. When a suggestion is rejected, always thank your employees and encourage them to keep suggesting to promote open communication.

    For instance, if you’re providing link-building services, your employees might come up with newer or better processes for outreach efforts and ensuring quality links for partners. Since it is a repetitive task, you have to be open to suggestions to keep your performance review process as simple and efficient as possible.

  9. How Confident Are You in Your Group?

    By asking them this question, you’ll gain a better understanding of the team’s attitude toward new team members and they will feel at ease.

    Knowing their answers allow you to see where you need to adjust your dealings. During your break time, you might realize the need to ask your coworkers what they’re reading or what’s on their weekend schedule.

    A good part of getting along with coworkers is showing respect for them. You may not like everyone you work with. However, by showing respect to the other person, you can maintain a positive relationship even if that person proves challenging for you.

    In many cases, it’s better to avoid oversharing personal matters in the workplace. Maintain a professional yet friendly relationship with your coworkers by keeping your work conversations upbeat and light unless you are close to one.

  10. If You Could See Your Future With the Organization, What Role Would You Desire to Play?

    Allowing workers to voice their hopes for the company’s future is a massive boon to strategic planning. By asking these best questions, you will discover whether employees have a long-term vision for themselves at your organization and what will keep them inspired to work with your company.

    It’s easy to become laser-focused on your next job, particularly if you’re leaving a toxic workplace.

Why Should Managers Care About Employee Performance Reviews?

Managers should care about these reviews since they provide a good opportunity to evaluate employees fairly based on expected vs actual results.

All employee review questions should focus on new skills learned, personal goals, areas of improvement, own performance evaluation, and working conditions.

You can inform employees about future growth opportunities and commend them on the best work in their current roles. Asking the right questions is the key to helping employees reach the next level of growth by the next quarter or the next performance review.

For employees to improve their productivity, annual performance reviews can provide them with:

  • Reinforcement of positive behaviors
  • An opportunity to provide constructive feedback
  • A clear understanding of what is expected and the company values

In addition to providing employees with the opportunity to evaluate their work progress and achievements, performance reviews provide managers with a structure that will enable them to meet with employees one-on-one and help them achieve their goals.

What Can Leaders Do to Ensure Effective Probationary Reviews?

You should include the following components in the assessment program that leaders build for managers:

A. Create A System Of Communication

By providing regular, constructive feedback, managers can assist employees in preparing for performance reviews. Keeping employees informed at work supports their productivity.

B. Cultivate A Professional Growth-Minded Approach

Provide managers with guidance on performance reviews that highlight employee accomplishments and weaknesses. Employees are empowered and motivated by positive praise and constructive criticism—support managers in expressing concerns, perspectives, and respectful feedback.

C. Educate Employees

Train your employees to develop and enhance their skills further. For instance, for marketing employees, using marketing courses can help upskill employees and allow them to get the professional and academic knowledge that they can use to produce better results.

Looking at tech companies as another helpful example, your developers should be well-versed in dealing with multiple tech stacks, languages, and databases. Make sure they master the basics. One way is by providing guides on MySQL or other useful tech software to make them well-versed in the art of tech development.

D. Update Employees

The performance review should be announced to employees (especially rookies), along with a description of what will be discussed. During preparation, they can take note of their progress, achievement, goals, and areas for improvement and rate their work performance according to the evaluation criteria.

E. Organizational Culture

Include fun and engagement in the company culture to improve rapport and relationships. Here, you can add a few mental games like anagram unscrambler.

F. Analyze And Organize Results

If you’re venturing into podcasts as a business, you need to hire experienced people within this space. You must identify why employees aren’t performing well and (if necessary) investigate the reasons. Many team members work behind podcasts; you need to ensure the performance of every employee to produce good results.

Create a simple action plan that employees can follow up on to improve their work practices. For a podcast, create a plan that identifies the work done by each member and measures their input’s success. One of these metrics can be, topic contribution and scripting.

You should organize results discreetly. It is best to maintain results digitally so HR can track employee progress easily. 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 review allows employees opportunities to reflect and improve. Managers and employees can create strong bonds, engage in constructive conversations, set goals together, and raise work performance through this framework of positive reinforcement.

Employees will inevitably want to be a part of a company culture based on honest and nurturing manager-employee relationships where they receive good employee feedback on their overall performance and have the chance to do self-evaluation.


A well-planned performance management system will guarantee that all managers and employees recognize the significance of these discussions for their professional development and the company’s success.

HR can facilitate productive performance talks that aid in alignment and increase employee engagement.

Conversations about an employee’s performance evaluation will significantly impact the individual and the organization. If you implement them correctly, they will boost the productivity of your managers and workers.

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

Kelly Barcelos

Kelly Barcelos is a progressive digital marketing manager specializing in HR and is responsible for leading Jobsoid’s content and social media team. When Kelly is not building campaigns, she is busy creating content and preparing PR topics. She started with Jobsoid as a social media strategist and eventually took over the entire digital marketing team with her innovative approach and technical expertise.