Interview Scorecard

Hiring Success Glossary

Table of Contents

What is an interview scorecard?

Hiring teams use interview scorecards are used to standardize the evaluation of candidates in the interview process. In its most basic form, each interviewer completes a scorecard for each candidate. Once the hiring team compiles scorecards for every candidate, they compare rankings and identify the strongest candidates.

Interview scorecards typically include:

  • The job specific competencies
  • How well a candidate fits in the organizational culture
  • Notes highlighting or elaborating on a candidates' responses to various questions
  • Potential reasons or areas of concern
  • A hire / not hire recommendation

The primary goals of of utilizing interview scorecards are:

  • Establishing a method of consistent and objective assessment across the interview process.
  • Ensuring all interviewers are aligned on how to assess candidates and determine whether they are a good fit for a specific role.
  • Setting a uniform interview methodology to ensure productive collaboration among the hiring team.

When used properly and consistently, interview scorecards help remove potential interview bias, create a quantitative standard for candidate evaluation, and help your organization to make better hiring decisions.

How to use interview scorecards effectively?

Interview scorecards offer organizations an opportunity to analyze and measure the success of their hiring managers. By comparing the short, or long-term job performance of employees to their interview scorecards, companies can assess how accurately their interview process predicts future job performance, organizational fit, etc.

If your interview questions are effective and coordinated across your organization, you should expect correlation between a candidates score on their interview scorecard and and their future performance as an employee. More than an individual employee, you should also expect general correlation between scorecards and future performance. A few outliers are to be expected, but if you do not consistently inconsistent relationships between interview scorecards and future performance, you should consider adjusting your scorecard, interview questions, and perhaps larger elements of your hiring process, in an effort to yield more favorable and predictable results down the line.

Interview Scorecard Template

An interview scorecard should not be overly complicated. You should start with around five interview criteria, as well as an easy-to-tabulate scoring system. Click here for more about the resources SmartRecruiters offers to help you create your own personalized interview scorecards. The Harvard Business Review provided a great sample interview scorecard here that you can use as a template.

After you’ve scored all of your candidates, you should coordinate your scores with the rest of the hiring team. Significant disparities between applicants is cause for further discussion. Most importantly, by filtering your interview process through and interview scorecard, you are able to pre-determine and stay focused on the qualities and skills you require, and how each candidate fits those criteria.

Moreover, interview scorecards are an effective way to assess the efficacy of your hiring managers and interviewers. For example, you may find through your analysis that a certain hiring manager is too lenient or strict on a particular interview question or category. Or you may discover a certain interviewer does not assess a particular criteria effectively and therefore may need more support or training. Either way, scorecards provide opportunities to not only assess your applicants, but also the performance of your hiring managers.

The downside of interview scorecards

Although scorecards offer an important method to quantitatively evaluate candidates and assess the efficacy of your hiring process, it is not without its flaws. The downside, therefore, of scorecards include:

They limit the eye contact and personal engagement in interviews: because interviewers are focuses on filling out their scorecards, they often fail to properly engage and connect with candidates. One way to help prevent this tendency is to wait until the end of an interview to fill out the scorecard. This way, you minimize distractions during the interview but also ensure the information the candidate shares is still fresh.

Scorecards can restrict the interview process: while scorecards normalize the interview process, by doing so they also can restrict it. As all hiring managers know, thorough interviews are somewhat organic--they rely on exploring topics and ideas as they present themselves. The rigidity of a scorecard, therefore, can foreclose these more organic opportunities to evaluate a candidate.

Time: scorecards require significant time. You must establish your hiring goals align them with organizational goals and culture, determine questions to meet those goals, etc.

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