Table of contents
  1. Why Conduct a 90-Day Review?
  2. How to Conduct a 90-Day Review
  3. 12 Questions to Ask During a 90-Day Review
  4. Conclusion

A 90-day review is a performance review conducted at the end of an employee’s first three months with an organization. It typically marks the end of the formal onboarding process for a new hire. 

30 and 60-day reviews are more often focused on the onboarding process for new employees and getting them settled into the organization. 

A 90-day review is a final touch point with an employee before they complete the onboarding phase and should contain an element of performance review.

Why Conduct a 90-Day Review?

The first 90 days in a new position are likely to involve a steep learning curve as an employee familiarizes themselves with the organization, the duties and expectations of their role, and the company culture. It’s also a key period for establishing professional relationships with coworkers, clients, customers, and other significant stakeholders. 

An employee’s onboarding experience has a direct impact on their overall job satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. Companies with formal onboarding programs can see 50% better retention and 62% greater productivity among new hires, so getting the onboarding experience right is also a key factor in reducing employee attrition rates. 

If you only conduct 30 and 60-day reviews, it will most likely be another 10 months before an employee has their annual review—and you could miss the opportunity to address any issues that arise during this time. 

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What should be the focus of a 90-day review?

A 90-day review is a good opportunity to evaluate your new hire’s performance, revisit their longer-term goals discussed during the 60-day review, and obtain their feedback on the overall onboarding experience. 

After three months in the role, an employee should have a good understanding of their day-to-day tasks and broader responsibilities, as well as organizational processes. 

90 days is also a good point to get a measure of the employee’s performance based on their manager and coworkers’ observations. Identifying any areas of concern and providing constructive feedback at this time helps an employee to grow and address any issues before they become a bigger problem. 

How to Conduct a 90-Day Review

Here are some best practices for conducting effective 90-day reviews with your new hires. 

Before the review

  • Give the employee sufficient notice of the review. In addition to mentioning it at the end of their 60-day review, send a reminder to the employee several weeks prior so they have time to prepare. 
  • Define the objectives of the review. Identifying what both you and the employee hope to get from the review will help keep the conversation relevant and productive. 
  • Prepare a short performance evaluation. As this is the key part of the 90-day review, a structured evaluation will help guide the process and allow you to refer to examples if necessary. Base this on the feedback you’ve obtained from the employee’s manager and colleagues. 
  • Provide the employee with a short list of questions in advance. To ensure the review is collaborative rather than one-sided, give the employee time to prepare for the questions you’ll be covering. 

During the review

  • Focus on reflection rather than a probationary period. Employees may feel anxious about a 90-day review as you will most likely be evaluating how they’ve performed during their probationary period. But employees shouldn’t be expected to operate at 100% in a new role from day one. Their first three months should be spent learning the role as well as the organization’s culture and processes. A 90-day review allows for reflection on this so you can provide constructive feedback on areas of improvement, if necessary. 
  • Facilitate a conversation, not an interview. This review is also an opportunity for the employee to raise any concerns they may have. Give them the space to provide their feedback on the onboarding process, their role, and the organization more broadly.
  • Set out goals and expectations moving forward. As the employee won’t have another review for some time, it’s important to revisit and reinforce ongoing progress at the 90-day mark. You can also help the employee to plan how they will achieve these objectives. 

After the review

  • Keep a record of the performance evaluation and review. As well as being best practice from a record-keeping perspective, it’s useful to revisit the notes made as part of the 90-day review before an employee’s annual review. The employee should also be provided with a copy of these notes. 
  • Explain the next steps. As there may not be any further formal reviews before the employee’s annual review, advise them of this and explain how they can raise any concerns or questions in the meantime. 

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Use an employee management app with a timeline feature so you can oversee your employees’ previous and upcoming milestones for more productive evaluations.

12 Questions to Ask During a 90-Day Review

As you’ll be evaluating the employee’s performance so far, ensure the review is a two-way conversation. 

You want to ask a variety of questions during a 90-day review relating to the position as well as the employee’s experience within the company. Here are some examples:

Questions about the training process

  • Can you describe your experience with the onboarding process?
  • What aspects did you find most helpful, and what areas do you think could be improved?
  • How effective did you find the training provided in preparing you for your role? Were there specific areas where you felt more or less prepared?
  • Did you feel adequately supported during your initial days? Were there sufficient resources and guidance available to you when you had questions or faced challenges?

Questions about the role

  • How clear are you on your role and the expectations associated with it? Are there any aspects of your job description or responsibilities that you find unclear or need more clarification on?
  • What challenges have you faced in your role so far, and how have you addressed them?
  • How satisfied are you with your current role and responsibilities? Are there aspects of your job that you particularly enjoy or find less engaging?
  • Do you feel you have the support, resources, and tools necessary to perform your job effectively? If not, what additional support or resources would be helpful?

Questions about their goals in the company

  • What are your immediate goals within your role, and how do you plan to achieve them in the next few months?
  • Looking ahead, what are your long-term career aspirations within our company? How do you see your role evolving to achieve these aspirations?
  • What skills or knowledge do you feel you need to develop to reach your professional goals here? How can the company support you in this development?
  • How do you see your personal career goals aligning with the company’s vision and values?

As always, ensure the employee has the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns they have during their 90-day review. Their responses can provide crucial insights into how they’re adjusting to your organization. 


A 90-day review is often the final review during an employee’s formal onboarding process. Three months into a role is an ideal time to conduct a small performance evaluation, identify any areas for potential improvement, and address any concerns that either you or the employee may have. 

The value of 30, 60, and 90-day reviews should not be underestimated as they can be a useful tool for understanding early factors that might affect an employee’s performance or long-term commitment to your organization.