Tag Archives: Tammisha Willis

Writing a Meaningful Self-Assessment

The annual review cycle begins with the self-assessment of your performance.

DSC_0045While it may be easy to get caught up in the details of writing the assessment and meeting deadlines, remember, it is important to focus on content. Don’t take this opening for granted, now is the ripe time to inform your manager of your achievements while discussing challenges, opportunities, and goals.

ONE THING TO KEEP IN MIND — How you perceive your job performance may be quite different from the evaluation by your supervisor.

You may be feeling confident in believing you’ve gone above and beyond job requirements until reality creeps in with a sucker-punch. The other side of truth does not always match. Truth is, your supervisor’s perspective may view your performance as being “average.”

For those not believing average can define them, average can be the product of many factors and not just the one or two you thought of. Unfortunately, factors include misunderstanding of expectations, a need for additional training, communication issues, or as simple as your manager not being aware of your day-to-day interactions.

Positive Shift: This is your chance to take control of your career by giving feedback and informing your manager of any training or resources necessary to future success. In order to do such a thing effectively, there’s no time like the present to take an objective self-assessment and then get with your manager for a realignment of sorts.

Is this a lot of work? Sure it is. Is this worth the effort… you bet’cha.

A clear and well-written self-assessment has the following attributes:

  • Restates objectives. Paraphrasing job objectives gives the manager a clear picture of how well an employee understands job performance expectations.
  • Highlights most significant achievements. The assessment doesn’t need to be lengthy; however it should highlight major achievements during the review period. Don’t forget about achievements made early on in the performance review period. (This is where keeping a journal can be your career advantage—you don’t want to forget accomplishments) States why the achievement matters. Show a cause and effect of the contribution. Describe how the achievement has profited the company. This information should paint a clear picture of how important your job is to the company.
  • Emphasizes when your actions were an important factor in success. Employee conduct or behavior is commonly taken into account in the performance rating. Be sure to bring up specific instances where behavior made a positive difference in the outcome of an objective. Acknowledges challenges. The word “challenges” has a negative connotation. However, overcoming a challenge shows you are able to achieve goals despite setbacks or obstacles. These obstacles may be technical, personal, or even limited resources available that an employee may need to rise above.
  • Offer specifics to improve performance in the future. Be detailed when writing the self-assessment. Tell/Show how your performance will improve and give a timeframe for the progression.

Following these simple instructions increases your chance of getting eyebrows raised from your manager and entices them to see the added value brought to the company by your exceptional work performance.

The key here is how well you organize. Keep detailed notes with numbers when applicable. Truth is, most managers want you to succeed and wants you to show how you completed the task. Throw in positive bottom-line results and you may be the winner the company is looking to promote.

Hope to see you at the finish line,

Your CC Connection
Tammisha Willis

Tell Me About Yourself…What now?

DSC_0011Finally, the recruiter calls you in for an interview with the hiring manager. This is not the time to be shy… now is the time to illustrate relevant skills and work experience to get to the next stage.

First things thing, make sure professionally written copies of your cover letter and resume are readily available in your portfolio… a simple common sense mistake many partake in.

After days of mentally and physically preparing, you walk into the conference room anxiously waiting for the interview to begin. Hiring manager, Tom, introduces himself and starts the session. After a typical introduction, Tom looks up and asks: “tell me about yourself.”

Suddenly your hands begin to sweat profusely because you didn’t anticipate on being asked this question. Crazy and doubt-adding “self-talk” bounces around, only to make matters more stressful.

Before “telling more about you,” and potentially embarrassing yourself, let’s take a moment for a quick course on how to respond effectively. After all, there is a specific way to answer the question “tell me about yourself.” There’s also a few not so-good ways.

When it comes to the not-so good ways, you need to know what’s really going on. First of all, do not give personal information such as age or number of children. Don’t mention any hobbies that are NOT related to the job or company. “Tom” does not care if you enjoy cocktails by the poolside or perform karaoke on Friday nights at Applebee’s.

Truth is: Too much or irrelevant information rarely results in positive outcomes.

On this note, Tom definitely wouldn’t want you to answer his request by asking one of your own: “What do you want to know about me?” Answering in such a way portrays unprofessionalism and a lack of confidence. This is a for sure way of getting a “we’ll call you” at the end of the interview and probably getting your resume thrown in the trash seconds after leaving. We don’t want that now do we?

Keep in mind—the company wants to know how you can benefit them. In other words, when it comes to responding to the “tell me about yourself” question, highlight your most important achievements that are relevant to the position.

With that said, follow these five tips to keep the interviewer engaged in the conversation:

Tip #1-Introduce yourself (Who are you as a professional)

Tip #2-Explain your current status (last job position, degrees (if any))

Tip #3-Describe your current experience and transferable skills related to the position

Tip #4-Describe accomplishments directly related to the position and/or company mission

Tip #5-Explain why you want to work for the company

One more thing… all the above information must be relayed under a minute or two. In other words, don’t become a chatter… less oftentimes can mean more. By way of example, Here’s my response to this challenging interview question:

I am a recent graduate from City College with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. I have over 5 years’ experience in coaching individuals, problem solving and time management in the health insurance field which has allowed me to excel in previous leadership roles. In my last position monthly quality scores increased 20% because of my persistent coaching techniques which improved product knowledge and confidence in representatives. My skills provide excellent customer service and truly define who I am and what I will bring to this company.

This is a lot to remember…but…if you practice, practice, and practice, answering the “Tell me about yourself” question will roll off your tongue naturally. Just follow my advice and you’ll be on the way to a well-deserved career. I’m rooting for you…fingers crossed.

One more thing, keep me posted on the outcome!

Tammisha Willis

Your CC Connection