In a performance appraisal interview, the key is to be honest with the employee and request honesty in return.
An employee performance appraisal interview is an interview in which a supervisor discusses an employee’s performance and compares it to a standard or expectation. Any time a person is being evaluated, the person is going to be nervous. Begin the interview by reminding the employee of the purpose for the interview. Explain that strengths and weaknesses will be identified, but the purpose is to increase employee performance.
If the employee is not honest, you will not get enough information to correct the problem. Employees have to trust the interviewer and be at ease. The interviewer should begin by explaining the purpose of the meeting and reassuring the employee that he or she is doing well, but could do better. There is always room for improvement.
If the supervisor is honest with the employee and provides constructive criticism with specific suggestions, then the employee is more likely to listen and more likely to be honest in return.
The supervisor can get the employee to be honest by pointing out specific areas that need improvement and asking the employee to make suggestions on what he or she thinks can be done to improve. This puts the ball in the employee's court, and reduces the adversarial relationship to a partnership.