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Who is better to ask for feedback from during the performance review cycle?

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Senior Application Scientist at Taro Community2 months ago

I am currently deciding whom to ask for feedback for my performance reviews (due in a couple of weeks). We are usually asked to give 2-3 names. I am trying to choose among the following: a TPM (he oversees most of the projects I have worked on and I have a good rapport with him), a staff scientist (he led a project in which I delivered a key result), a senior staff scientist (I worked with him recently in a project and I helped him with a quick task) and the Director of the GTM team (I worked with her nearly a year ago. I got good feedback from her earlier and I continue to work with her team).

Does it make sense to ask someone with whom you have worked with nearly a year back but are sure to give you a highly positive feedback compared to someone with whom you have worked with recently but might not be strongly positive? Also, are there any general strategies to follow in terms of seniority of the reviewers, how frequently you have worked with them, etc?

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Discussion

(4 comments)
  • 3
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 months ago

    One meta-comment: you should have a good idea about what people will say about you in a performance review.

    • You should have met with everyone, and potentially had a dedicated "career conversation" about your impact and what your goals are.
    • You should seed the feedback request by making it easy for them to write nice things about you: what you worked on together.

    I bring this up since it sounds like you have some ambiguity around how positive some colleagues may be.

    Does it make sense to ask someone with whom you have worked with nearly a year back?

    Yes, absolutely. This can only help your packet. And for cases of promotion, you are generally evaluated on all your impact since the last time you were promoted.

    You should have at least 1 reviewer who is one level higher than you. More is better.

  • 1
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    Eng @ Taro
    2 months ago

    The ideal person is someone who is more senior than you and can vouch for, back up, or amplify your impact since the last performance review cycle. You'd want to have worked with them enough where they'd be able to write a few paragraphs about the impact you've made.

    I agree with Rahul about meeting with them and reminding and priming them with what you want them to talk about in their feedback.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    Is it possible to break that 2-3 recommendation a little and go to 4-5? This would solve your entire dilemma: Just ask for both. I would be surprised if your manager was just completely averse towards going from 3 feedback -> 4 feedback.

    For context, only 2-3 data points for peer feedback seems really low for a senior-level person like yourself. Back when I was E5 (senior) at Meta, I would ask for 7-12 pieces of feedback across junior/mid-level engineers I was mentoring, peer E5 engineers, E6+ engineers, product managers, designers, and data scientists.

    Also, are there any general strategies to follow in terms of seniority of the reviewers, how frequently you have worked with them, etc?

    More senior feedback from people who know you better is generally great. More senior feedback has more weight and they can leave more accurate and positive feedback if they've had more exposure to your skills.

    I highly recommend going through this as well: [Masterclass] How To Navigate Your Performance Review In Tech

  • 0
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    Senior Application Scientist [OP]
    Taro Community
    2 months ago

    I understand the dedicated career conversations are around my impact and goals. Are there any questions/topics that I should avoid during these 1:1s?

    Also, whenever I have talked to my manager about what 'meeting expectations' and 'exceeding expectations' look like in specific projects, I have always got very generic and vague answers. Could you suggest some ways to get better answers here?