Interview Scorecard: An Effective Evaluation Tool for Assessing Candidates

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An interview scorecard is an essential tool in helping hiring managers and stakeholders who are involved in the interview process to accurately and objectively rate and compare candidates to make the right hiring decision.

Behavioral and performance-based interviewing is used to evaluate predetermined competencies that are fundamental to success in a particular role. But with multiple interviewers and multiple candidates, how can you make assessments that are truly fair, accurate, and consistent across the board?

The answer: by developing an interview scorecard.

What Is an Interview Scorecard?

An interview scorecard is a tool used by hiring managers (and anyone involved in the hiring process) to assess candidate competencies and ultimately add value in determining who is a fit — or not a fit — for the position.

An evaluation tool, the scorecard is to be completed by each interviewer for each individual candidate. It is created in conjunction with the job description and will list out competencies, performance objectives, motivation, and skills that are vital to success in the role.  The interview scorecard will highlight behaviors that relate to success in the position — in other words, a top candidate will rate higher if they display key traits and performance indicators.

Each interview scorecard should include:

  1. List of each critical competency and specific, detailed skills that relate to each: This will allow the interviewer to clearly see the vitals aspects of the job profile and use these competencies/skills as a guide in driving the interview.
  2. Rating system: This should be a clearly define rubric that each interviewer will follow when scoring candidates on each competency. Use a 1-5 rating system (1= not acceptable; 2=weak; 3=average; 4=above average; 5=outstanding). Each rating should detail what it means to be “4=above average,” so that each interviewer is assessing the same way. For example, a good definition of “4= above average” could be: Strong evidence of desired competency/skill. Candidate provided several detailed examples.
  3. Notes section for each competency/rating: With each rating, the interviewer will note the pros and cons behind his or her rating. This will hold each interviewer accountable for his or her rating.
  4. Interviewer’s overall recommendation/decision to hire.
  5. Comments: Any additional information the interviewer would like to provide.

Evaluating Interview Scorecards

Once the interview round is complete, the recruiter will use the scorecards from each individual interviewer to assign an overall score to the candidate. Scorecards allow for the hiring team to provide one another with fair and accurate assessments of each candidate. Once an overall score is assigned, the hiring team should then meet to discuss the scorecards and feedback on each candidate.

Benefits of Interview Scorecards

Using a scorecard increases accuracy of a successful hire.

Consistency

Scorecards help to establish a more consistent interview process by providing each interviewer with a guide to follow when interviewing candidates, as well as a list of the core competencies and profile that a successful candidate will have.

Objectivity

Because each interviewer fills out the assessment individually, and each rating decision and reasoning is reflected in the notes section, the scorecard is objective. The rating is based on specific answers and behaviors, as opposed to “gut feelings” or “assumptions” that sometimes worm their way into hiring decisions.

Scorecards can also help to limit the impact of interviewers changing their opinion of a candidate based on bias and/or feedback from others.

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