What is an interview scorecard?

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An interview scorecard is a key component of structured hiring. It provides a framework for everyone involved in interviewing or assessing candidates. It tells the interviewer what they should be looking for during the interview or assessment and provides space for the interviewer to leave their feedback and recommendations. Using a scorecard allows the hiring team to make confident hiring decisions based on a candidate’s attributes instead of potentially biased decisions based on their feelings. The specific components of an interview scorecard will vary depending on the company and role in question, but here at Greenhouse, we’ve standardized our scorecards to include the following:

  • Qualifications: The absolute must-haves to get the job done
  • Interpersonal skills: The personality traits and emotional intelligence needed to be successful in the role
  • Technical skills: The knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform in the role
  • Non-required attributes: Qualities that are nice to have but not prerequisites

How to use an interview scorecard

One of the most important tips for using interview scorecards is deceptively simple: Everyone on the hiring team needs to fill one out! This provides a more well-rounded perspective on candidates and also increases your likelihood of identifying red flags. Of course, the trick is to get everyone to fill out their scorecard in a timely and (at least somewhat) consistent manner. We generally recommend asking each member of the hiring team to fill out their own scorecard as soon as possible after an interview and not to discuss their assessment of a candidate until after everyone has submitted their scorecard. This approach reduces the chances that those on the hiring team will influence each other’s decisions.

Ideally, you’ll provide a rubric to help interviewers know how to score different types of answers they are likely to hear from candidates. When you’re first getting started, you might just provide the questions, topics or skills you’d like the interviewer to assess and then give them space to leave their answers.

If you’re designing an interview scorecard for the first time, there are a few important points to keep in mind: list the key attributes that will make someone a top performer in your company, define the purpose of the interview, reference your list of attributes to design questions that are relevant and meaningful to the information you need, and systematize interview feedback. At Greenhouse, for example, we use an icon system to represent the interviewer’s overall recommendation, like a thumbs-up to indicate moving forward with the candidate or a positive endorsement of the skill or trait in question. These worksheets help walk you through each step of designing your scorecards.

Interview scorecard template

Here’s a very simple interview scorecard template. You can use it as is or adapt it to your specific purposes. You can also download an interactive version of this template here.

Role name:

Candidate name:

Interview type: [Phone screen, Second phone interview, Take-home skills assessment, Skills interview, Traits interview, Culture-add interview, etc.]

Purpose: [Add the purpose of this specific interview, such as: To determine whether the candidate’s values are aligned with our organization’s]

Questions to ask: [Add the questions you would like the interviewer to ask during this specific interview. If time and space allow, provide more details about what you’d consider great, acceptable and unacceptable answers.]

Skills: [List any skills you’d like the interviewer to assess.]

Personality traits: [List any personality traits you’d like the interviewer to assess.]

Qualifications: [List any qualifications you’d like the interviewer to assess.]

Other details: [List any other details you’d like the interviewer to assess.]

Notes: [You can note anything not covered in the other sections of the scorecard here.]

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