Dr. Nicole Gravanga, PHD Aug 25, 2021 10:15:00 AM 10 min read

Understanding Your Ratings: Breaking Down an Interview Scorecard

When it comes to the interviewing process, there is always room for improvement. Evaluating a potential candidate requires structure, complete data, and objectiveness. Otherwise, it's easy to make mistakes, let hidden bias seep through, and face serious problems with onboarding and retention.

Streamlining an interview appears complicated if you don't have the right tools. The manual approach to evaluation may seem personal but hardly always effective.

According to a psychological study conducted by Google, judgments made in the first 10 seconds of the unstructured interview could predict its outcome.

Using an interview scorecard helps you minimize bias, collect maximum information, and improve the experience for both the interviewer and the interviewee. Let's take a closer look at how an interview scorecard can improve your hiring process.

What Are Interview Scorecards?

An interview scorecard is a standardized form with a list of evaluation factors that interviewers refer to when speaking to the candidates.

The interviewer completes a scorecard for each candidate in order to get a full picture of his or her skills and qualities. After interviews are over, decision-makers use scorecard rankings to help choose the right candidate.

An interview scorecard usually includes:

  • Candidate's details (name, position, department, education, experience)

  • Specific competencies for the job

  • Criteria evaluating how well a candidate fits in the organizational culture

  • Areas of concern

  • Section for interviewer's notes

  • Hiring recommendations

  • Total score

The interviewer rates each element on the scorecard from 1 to 5, from excellent to poor, or by using another appropriate and consistent rating system. When making a decision, you can add the points or evaluate each element separately.

Interview scorecards are the pillars of a structured interview. They have numerous advantages, including:

  • Reduced biashidden bias doesn't just lead to wrong decisions. It keeps the interviewer from asking the right questions. A scorecard doesn't allow the interviewer to veer off the course, helping them collect maximum information.

  • Improved efficiency — when preparing interview scorecards, hiring managers can review their requirements to make sure they find the right candidate. Scorecards help turn the vague "experienced secretary" into a clear "3 years of experience, excellent communication skills, team working skills, flexibility, and attention to detail."

  • Speed — interview scorecards speed up the interviewing process, allowing the interviewer to collect as much data as possible in a structured manner.

  • Memory — when interviewing numerous candidates, filling out scorecards can help the interviewer remember each one of them. This eliminates the problem of similar candidates blurring together.

  • Consistency — if the candidate has to go through several stages of an interview, a scorecard can help evaluate the consistency of their responses.

As a bonus, interview scorecards can help employers in court. If the candidate sues your company, scorecards make it much easier to prove why you reject certain candidates. They are the much-needed documentation that can prove the non-discriminatory nature of your hiring decisions.

Overall, an interview scorecard is an effective tool that helps make better hires and simplify the interview process.

How Do Interview Scorecards Work?

In addition to being highly effective, interview scorecards are simple. However, designing them on your own can be time-consuming. With the right software, you can gain access to detailed scorecards for each position.

Get Scorecard Template

While many templates are available online, you still need to do extensive work to adjust them to your needs. With an interview platform, you can input role requirements and take advantage of the suggested scorecard template.

The template you'll receive is likely to fit your purposes perfectly or need minor adjustments. This can save you time and energy while improving DEI practices. Once you tweak the template for your needs, you can store it and use it for interviews in the future.

Some companies use high-quality scorecards as employee training tools.

Implement the Scorecard in Your Structured Interview Process

An interview scorecard complements your structured interview process. However, it's not the only part of it. Coupled with standardized questions, it can help you make the right unbiased decisions.

If you are using an interview platform, you can pull the right questions from the question bank and integrate them into the interview scorecard. These questions can be divided into categories:

  • Behavioral
  • Situational
  • General
  • Competency
  • Knowledge
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • And more

The scorecard can help you rate answers to these questions.

Asking each candidate the same questions can improve your decision-making process and help you evaluate each candidate's potential, even if their knowledge and skills aren't straightforward.

Evaluate the Rating

Once the interview is over, you'll have the following information to work with:

  • Rating of each question category
  • Total rating for the candidate
  • Additional notes for each candidate

This data allows you to compare different candidates and make the right hiring decision in a timely manner. You can review your previous hiring decisions to see which ratings resulted in successful hires.

Store the Data for Future Use

The information you gather with the help of an interview scorecard coupled with the hiring decision you eventually make can be highly useful in the future.

With time, you can learn which scores are sufficient to hire a candidate for a certain position. This can streamline your interviewing and evaluation processes even further.

The platform can help you adjust scorecards according to the new information and make it easier for your hiring team to design structured interviews in the future.

Implement Interview Scorecards with interviewIA

Structured interviews are gaining popularity due to their high efficiency and low bias. Interview scorecards are an integral part of an effectively structured interview process. By taking full advantage of them, you can make better and faster hires while keeping mistakes to a minimum.

An interview platform like interviewIA reduces the time of building a structured interview by providing scorecard templates and access to the question bank. Taking advantage of this tool can help streamline your interviewing process and improve employee retention rates.

For more information, please contact us at any convenient time.


Dr. Nicole Gravanga, PHD

Dr. Nicole Gravagna is trained as both a neuroscientist and an executive coach. Nicole blends neuroscience, behavioral economics, and organizational psychology into healthy human-centered design that drives business. She is well versed in venture capital and angel investing and is a co-author of Venture Capital for Dummies. Her second book was MindSET Your Manners, a guide for behavior change.