Quick Employment References — Your Performance Reviews

Do you have copies of your written performance reviews? Yes? If your reviews were good to great, then take them with you to interviews. They likely address many of the topics employers would cover in a reference check.

Give Your Performance Reviews to the Interviewer

As the conversation closes, hand the interviewer a file folder that holds your reviews. Tell the interviewer you thought they might be interested in what your managers have said about you and your job performance. You know, an instant reference check!

The Nuance

Be sure to use a file folder, not an envelope. It’s almost impossible to hold a file folder without opening it, especially if there’s something juicy, like a confidential performance review, inside it.

Conversely, it’s pretty easy to toss an envelope aside.

Trust me, after you leave, they will flip the folder open and read the positive feedback that you have received from past managers.

If your interview left them with doubts about your candidacy, this information will help relieve their concerns.

If they liked you, this information will confirm and help solidify their good opinion.

No Performance Reviews — Yet

What if you don’t have any written performance reviews? If you’re working, ask your boss for a review.

If they don’t want to prepare it for you, write it yourself and offer it your boss as a draft. Ask for edits. Then copy it to your company’s form for your boss’s signature.

The Speed Reference Check

If the employer wants to hire you, your performance reviews might satisfy them to the extent that they forego further reference checking.

That can speed up a job offer by a week or two. I have seen it happen more than once.

Image: Fotolia/nd3000
Updated October 2018

© 2010 – 2019, Donna Svei. All rights reserved.

Comments 5

  1. I was really happy to receive this email from a reader last week:

    “I read your blog about bringing my performance review to the interview and I did but I didn’t make a copy for them. I missed that bit in your blog. One of the interviewers actually asked what I think my supervisor would say about me? So I said, “Well, actually I have these performance reviews for two years of my employment with X Company.” I let him read them and he was really impressed. Thanks for such a terrific idea.”

    Thank you for sharing this.


  2. Great tip, Donna. I agree. At a recent interview, a candidate brought her last performance review. Any doubt I had about the her skills on the job were assuaged by the excellent performance review. Just make sure it’s recent, i.e., if you’re still working, don’t bring an excellent review from 2 years ago but not the past year. It will make the employer wonder why you didn’t bring the last one and might conclude that your performance declined.

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