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POP Interview


In a POP interview you make agreements about the personal development plan (POP). This allows you to further develop both your employees and your company. What steps do you take with a POP call?

A personal development plan (PDP) is a handy tool with which you can bring out the best in your employees. With this plan you make concrete agreements about the career of an employee. These agreements are based on the personal ambitions of your employee and the objectives of your company.

The trick is to coordinate the two as well as possible. You do this during a POP conversation. This interview requires the necessary preparation from both you and your employee. Then you steer the conversation in the right direction. The goal is to actually contribute to the development of your staff .

Career interview in 5 steps

A POP interview is also called a career interview. For an optimal conversation between you and your employee you go through the following steps:

Step 1. Prepare

A POP interview requires proper preparation for you and your employee. If both parties have sorted things out, it's easier to make concrete agreements during the interview.

In preparation, make the employee think about questions such as:

What are my points for improvement and development? Where are my ambitions? Do I want to move on to another position? What do I have to do for that?

As a manager you also think about improvement and development points. You also consider whether it's necessary for the employee to continue to grow within or outside of his position. This requires a clear picture of the (expected) developments within the company. You get this by getting started with strategic staff planning .

On the basis of the above, you both draw up a list of discussion points. You send that list to each other a week before the interview. That way you and your employee can prepare well for the interview.

Step 2. Discuss the POP

You discuss the personal development plan in an open and equal conversation. You also give the employee plenty of room to present his own ambitions and points for improvement and development. Have him finish talking and don't give a response right away.

Only when the employee has spoken, do you tell how you yourself think about his career development. State the possibilities within your company. Where possible, seek alignment with your employee's ambitions.

Together you ultimately set goals that benefit both your employee and your company. Try to set measurable goals, also called KPIs . To achieve that, you make specific agreements about development activities. If that isn't immediately possible during the POP interview, plan a follow-up appointment.


A program may seem the most obvious way to develop employees. But more roads lead to Rome and it's worthwhile looking at other ways to develop staff. Consider, for example, coaching by colleagues, job and task rotation, and internships within or outside your company.

Step 3. Record the agreements

After the POP interview you put the final agreements on paper. You set these agreements according to the SMART principle:

- Specific: are the goals clearly defined?
- Measurable: can you measure its progress?
- Acceptable: do both parties fully support it?
- Realistic: are the goals achievable?
- Time- bound: is this bound to clear planning?

The POP form is a useful tool for this step. This is a format that you use to record the agreements made.

The final PDP with all the agreements forms the 'development contract' between you and your employee. Your employee is committed to achieving the set goals, while you as a manager promise to support him in this.


It's important for your company that employees continue to develop. That's why it's useful to prepare a new POP from time to time. As a result, employees are constantly challenged, which contributes to their motivation and sustainable employability .

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