Interview Scorecard: Pros and Cons | Why Use Them?

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Interview Scorecard: Pros and Cons | Why Use Them?

It can be invariably difficult to make the proper hiring decision when you take into consideration the many factors that are involved. Hundreds of businesses are led to regret welcoming a new hire every once in a while, as lapsing out of attention during the interview process or missing out on a few of the telltale signs of poor performance is natural. Fortunately, you can avoid all of that with an interview scorecard.

More and more companies these days are making a great effort to organize and set up a definite plan in place for conducting interviews. This is why interview scorecards have become all the craze, being seen as a casual yet serious way of quantifying employee skill, talent, and the likelihood of their success.

How do they work, though? Using scorecards can be very easy, though understanding why they are used and how best to use them is another matter altogether.

Fortunately for you, we’re here to clear it all up.

What Are Employee Interview Scorecards?

An interview scorecard is a sheet that has been designed in such a way as to accommodate both a ranking system and space for commentaries to make the interview process easier. They are primarily used by interviewers who need a place to write down their opinion on the answers received during an interview.

They are, therefore, a standardized evaluation of the candidates that have applied for the job. While such a close-cut level of organization might lead to inflexibility and the loss of the personal element of an interview, a well-designed interview scorecard can nonetheless do wonders for speeding along the hiring process and helping make the right decision.

Most interviewers are not used to conducting their interviews by using scorecards since they might distract from the process. As a matter of fact, most interviewers are used to (and even prefer!) relatively informal interviews. However, with that being said, they are a huge boon when objectively comparing the interview performance of candidates.

This is why some argue the benefits far outweigh the downsides.

Your average interview scorecard typically includes:

  • The required competencies of the job.
  • A ranking system for evaluation.
  • How well the candidate fits within the culture.

Benefits of an Interview Scorecard

The main reason to use an interview scorecard is to remain perfectly organized. It can be easy to lose yourself in the process if you are the interviewer and don’t write down notes. An interview scorecard already has the questions you need to ask, which helps make sure you always remain focused.

More often than not, an interview scorecard has a box for commentaries and opinions on a candidate’s answers to a question. It can be easy to forget about the details of what’s been talked about during an interview, which is why a dedicated space to write down notes is a large advantage.

The typical interview is relatively loose and unstructured. You welcome the interviewee in the room, break the ice, and shoot question after question, forming up opinions on the spot as according to their answers. Unfortunately, this can easily lead to a loss of perspective, as it is much easier to be biased or to allow a sour mood to influence you when you don’t have a structure set in place.

The subjectivity of the traditional interview must be emphasized, as it is frequently one of the aspects that detract the most from the experience. As an example, an interviewer might be far more biased to accepting a particularly social and friendly candidate over a more shy and reserved one, even though the position might not have anything to do with social skills in the first place.

Another advantage to using scorecards is that most of them have a list of skills relevant to the position at hand. More often than not, the exact concept of the “perfect” employee is very vague and hard to put a finger on. When you have a set of skills you can use to rate the interviewee, it can be much easier to put things into perspective, helping you realize exactly what it is you need in a candidate.

Keeping Record

You will also have a record of how the interview process transpired if you opt for an interview scorecard. What you write down is unlikely to be forgotten, allowing you to archive the scorecard so that you can learn from the experience and improve how your future interviews will go. It is important to be able to draw up scorecards of past interviews, especially if – and we hope that never happens – you happen to get sued over a botched interview. At the very least, you can present the interview scorecards as acceptable documentation in court.

Downsides of an Interview Scorecard

Interview scorecards are very formal, which makes it hard to put the interviewee at ease. This is generally disadvantageous to the interview, as the interviewee is likely already anxious. Making them significantly more so by removing the casual aspect of the interview can negatively affect their answers regardless of their capabilities.

There are actually hiring specialists who argue that a huge downside to using scorecards is that you don’t spend as much time looking the interviewee in the eyes. This is mostly because you’ll be spending time jotting down notes onto the scorecard. Eye contact is an integral aspect of every interview since the concept of an interview was invented in itself. Not making eye contact could lead you to miss out on important body language clues and information.

Another disadvantage to using scorecards is that they take up a long time to be set up. You have to determine what page design you want to go for and the interview questions that you want to prepare. This might take longer than expected.

Knowledge is Power

Whether you’re a traditional interviewer or one that is more fond of modern approaches, there is no doubt about the fact that an interview scorecard template would be very helpful to the overall process. We’d recommend giving scorecards a try – they might surprise you!

Want to learn more about the interview process? Check out this article!

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