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Super-Effective Tactics to Handle Appraisal Meetings 1

Super-Effective Tactics to Handle Appraisal Meetings

One of the most dreaded events of a corporate year is the annual performance review meeting. You may know these as appraisal meetings or review meetings but those are all different names for the same thing. It’s an annual meeting where your whole year’s work is examined to determine how much of a raise you will get in your salary.

For obvious reasons, a meeting dedicated to bringing up your entire past year’s work can be daunting. Performance review meetings often incite feelings like panic, nervousness, or even overconfidence, all of which can be highly damaging for you. That’s why it is important to go into an appraisal meeting well-prepared.

If your appraisal meeting is just around the corner and you’re reading this because you’re freaking out, we’ve got your back. In this article, we will talk about:

  1. Tracking Down Your Contributions
  2. Organizing Your Claims
  3. Pitching Your Demands
  4. Negotiating

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

1.Tracking Down Your Contributions

Whether you get the kind of salary hike you’re looking for or not depends entirely on your performance in the past year. To make any kind of a claim, you will need to have a record of your accomplishments and efforts handy. 

If you’re the kind of person who maintains regular logs of your work, you’re in luck. All you need to do is go over your logs and note down the most important of your achievements. Take special note of things you may have done that are beyond your job description. Also see if you can jot down all the major obstacles you faced during the year. We will explain in the subsequent sections how that matters during an appraisal meeting.

However, we know that most Indian software engineers don’t have the bandwidth to be that organized. 

So, if you don’t have work logs, don’t worry. It might take more time to figure things out, but it can be done. Just scour your emails, official messaging platforms (like Hive or Slack, for example), and whatever other channels you typically use for official communication. And for future reference, take notes on how to be more organized at work.

2.Organizing Your Claims

During appraisals, you can ask for a salary hike, a promotion, and better benefits. You may already have some ideas on what to ask for. See if you find anything in your work history that warrants something more or less than what you had in mind. 

If you ask for a promotion, make sure you can prove that you will perform well in that new role. Find specific things in your work history that show how good you are at doing what that role will require. In case you’re only looking for a raise and better perks, you will need to simply prove that you are great at your job.

Basically, create a set of demands and facts to show why you deserve what you’re asking for.

3.Pitching Your Demands

How you put forth your demands makes a big difference to your chances of having them met. Remember that the person in front of you is going to be representing the company and not your interests. This doesn’t mean they’re your enemies, it simply means their priorities are different from yours. 

Pitch your demands confidently and in a way that tells your boss or manager how having them met will affect your work.

Discuss during your appraisal meeting what more you can do for the company. From their perspective, if they’re to give you more, it’s only fair to expect more from you in return.

Remember not to sound threatening or cocky, though. If you’re not mindful, it could sound as if you’re saying you will do ‘xyz’ more things but only if you get exactly what you’re asking for. You have to be prepared to walk away with something less or different than what you ask for, which brings us to the next step.


Make up two scenarios in your head: a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario. You do need to prepare for a best-case scenario, too, by the way.

The best-case scenario in a performance review meeting isn’t simply one where you get everything you want. It is when you make all your demands, your boss agrees to them all, and then asks you, “Anything else?”

The humble response here is, “No, I got everything I wanted, thank you.” However, if you think one or two of your demands are a bit too much, it’s a good idea to reserve them for a moment like this. Should this happen, you can tell your boss you’d really like that extra perk. Your chances of getting an over-the-top demand fulfilled rise significantly if you pitch it as a humble request rather than a demand. 

Coming to the less fun part—the worst-case scenario. We’re not talking about the one where you storm out and quit your job. The worst-case scenario should describe the least that you want, without which you will want to quit your job. Knowing this beforehand will help you stay calm even if the meeting goes badly.

If you prepare well, every meeting can go smoothly. With these four tactics, you should be able to walk into your appraisal meeting stress-free and confident. Just those two factors could go a long way in helping you get what you want from your annual performance review meeting. 

Good luck with your meeting! We hope you found this information useful.

Zaiba Fathima

Zaiba Fathima

Zaiba is Talent500's Product business analyst. Her degree in Computer Science helps her decipher the requirements of the product-engineering team, and understand both sides of the picture. Central to product development and delivery, Zaiba aspires to become a product manager at a young age and a director of the product team at rapid speed.

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