Imagine you’ve just completed your 10th interview for an urgent role. One candidate had great experience but performed terribly, whilst another had a great personality but lacked a lot of the essential skills. The rest? Well, you can’t even remember them.
With so many factors to consider when interviewing, it’s no wonder that hiring can sometimes feel like trying to navigate a minefield.
If you've ever struggled when making a hiring decision, you should consider using Interview score cards.
Interview scorecards make hiring easier, quicker and more accurate, creating a standardising scoring system for you to fairly judge interviewees.
To help you out, we've put together a comprehensive guide to using and creating interview scorecards, so you can hire smarter and with less stress.
What is an interview scorecard?
Interview scorecards are a type of scoring system used to evaluate job candidates during the interview process. With scorecards, the candidates being interviewed are effectively ranked or scored depending on how they respond to the interview questions.
Most interview scorecards include a rating out of 5 or 10 to identify how good or bad a candidate's responses are. A basic interview scorecard template may include a range of questions relating to the requirements for the role such as:
- What level of experience do they possess?
- What soft skills do they possess for the role? (e.g. communication, interpersonal, organisational)
- What hard skills do they possess for the role? (e.g. proficiency in Excel, sales experience, graphic design skills)
- Do they appear enthusiastic about the role? (e.g. did they research the company, did they ask questions at the end)
- Are there any areas of concern with the candidate? (e.g. do they have unexplained gaps on their resume, are some of their answers unrealistic?)
You can design your scorecard to suit any number of roles, customising the skills and experience section to make them relevant to a certain sector. Once created, hiring managers can use them as a guide to fairly rate candidates on how they best match the criteria.
What are the benefits of using an interview scorecard?
- Reduces unconscious bias - With a structured scoring guide, the interviewers cannot rely on a "gut feeling" that may really be unconscious biases towards the candidate relating to factors such as race, gender, age, or disability.
- Doesn't rely on human memory - With the scoring system based entirely on a standardised and highly organised set of criteria, there is little room for interviewers to make little errors or misremember interviewee answers.
- Helps inexperienced interviewers - For those not accustomed to conducting interviews, having a standardised set of questions and an objective rating system can help them do a good job.
- Improves the quality of hire - Interviewers are able to be objective and focused on the attributes required for the role, meaning only those candidates with the relevant and most impressive skills get the job.
- Speeds up the hiring time - Instead of debating over the quality of each candidate, the interview panellists have a set scoring system to judge candidates on, speeding up the candidate selection process.
What are the disadvantages of using an interview scorecard?
- Can feel unnatural - Some find that having set questions is too rigid, preventing the natural flow of conversation and limiting the chance for follow up questions.
- Reduced engagement - With interviewers concentrating on the scorecard, engagement between the parties can be diminished, resulting in a poorer candidate experience.
- More preparation involved - Preparing an interview scorecard for every new role can take a lot of effort, as you have to identify desirable traits for the job, choose the best interview questions for each trait, and then pick a suitable rating scale.
How to create an interview scorecard?
Once you know what you're looking for, creating a standardised interview scorecard is pretty straightforward.
Take a look at these steps to help you narrow down your focus:
- Figure out "who" you're looking for by creating a list of your ideal candidate and what skills, experience and attributes they'd possess.
- Using this essential criteria for the role, write down a set of interview questions that relate to these skills and experience.
- Create a system to rate your candidate's answers, such as a number out of 5 or a simple tick or cross method.
- Decide on a scorecard format and then transfer your questions onto it with a column for your ratings.
- Distribute these scorecards to your hiring team and ask them to fill out the scorecards the best of their abilities during an interview.
- At the end of the interview, the hiring team should total up each candidate's score so that each interviewee has a numerical rating to be scored on.
Using a scorecard can help your business follow a fairer and more structured hiring process by creating a standard rating system to judge candidates by. Whilst it requires some preparation, hiring teams that use interview scorecards make better hiring decisions that don't rely on fuzzy memories but on solid data.
If you want to save yourself or your team members some time, download our FREE easy-to-use interview scorecard template below.