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Performance assessment interview

A performance assessment interview is a planned and prepared personal interview. It addresses the working situation and can be used as a tool for planning and development.


  • The interview is based on mutuality and reciprocity, providing an opportunity for both parties to channel their wishes and needs. The purpose of the interview is to promote mutual trust and openness, good communication and good cooperation so that the individual is as capable as possible of carrying out his or her tasks.
  • A performance assessment interview may be difficult, and therefore requires openness from both parties. The performance assessment interview does not replace regular contact; it is a supplement and an opportunity for a more planned and systematic exchange of opinions with respect to the working situation.

Interview partners

Who the most natural interview partners are will depend on working conditions and areas of responsibility:

  • For administration employees, it will be an interview between an employee and his or her immediate superior.
  • For academic employees, it will be an interview with a head of an institute or another professional leader or coordinator.
  • For technical personnel who are closely linked to research, it will be with the scientific employees for whom the individual works, e.g. the leader of the research group.


  • For a performance assessment interview to be experienced as meaningful, it is important that it is prepared. To arrange for mutuality and reciprocity, it is helpful if both parties are prepared for what the interview will include.
  • The outline for performance assessment interviews is a form that is meant to help preparations. It is not necessary to follow the form slavishly, but it can be a useful aid in carrying out the interview and in making it easier to follow up on what you agree. The interview must be arranged in good time before it takes place and should last at least an hour.


  1. Follow-up and conclusions following the previous performance assessment interview
    If you have previously participated in an performance assessment interview together, a review of what has happened during the period beginning with the conclusions you agreed upon then is sensible.
  2. Clarifying the institute’s/faculty’s/section’s goals
    The performance assessment interview shall address the faculty’s/department’s/section’s goals and the employee’s tasks in relation to these.
  3. Working tasks
    You will discuss the tasks you have today and their prioritization, and any wishes for new or other tasks. An understanding of one’s own work, what the important and less-important working tasks are, and how you can get your work done in the best possible way should also be clarified.
    For academic employees, the distribution of work duties with respect to the special agreement can be addressed.
  4. Working environment
    Different aspects of the working environment may be addressed, both the psychosocial and physical environments. Here it is important that both parties state their views. Whether you are content, and how cooperation with colleagues and other staff functions should be discussed. If needed, you should discuss what might be done to make improvements. Concrete wishes/complaints in connection with the physical working environment may also be discussed.
  5. Leadership/Management
    Here you should provide feedback to the leader/manager about how you perceive him/her as a leader/manager and how he/she fulfils his/her leadership/management function.
  6. Professional and personal development
    This part is about how you function in your position today, e.g. as scientist, teacher, liaison, administrator. Here you will be able to give your view of you own development needs and plans, and simultaneously receive feedback as to whether the needs and plans are realistic.
  7. Plans and goals
    Discuss the plans and goals that you both regard as important to prioritise during the next period, i.e. until the next performance assessment interview. Any goals you set should be realistic, have a deadline and lie within your area of responsibility and authority.


  • For the interview to have an effect, it is important to draw conclusions and to ensure that you agree on what should be followed up. It should be clearly stated what is to be done by whom, by when, and according to which standards. Both parties are responsible for following up what they have agreed on.
  • The performance assessment interview should be conducted regularly: once a year should be an aim.

Local guidelines and routines

Some units have issued more specific guidelines and routines for performance assessment interviews, see Norwegian page.


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Published Dec. 29, 2009 11:57 AM - Last modified Apr. 9, 2019 2:41 PM