What is a scoring sheet for an interview? (With template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many organisations can use interview scoring sheets to provide a consistent interview experience for all candidates. Creating one can involve analysing the company's performance to determine its needs and setting questions relevant to the job. Learning about scoring sheets can help you understand their importance in the recruitment process and how to create them. In this article, we define a scoring sheet for an interview, explain its benefits, outline steps on how to create one and provide a template and example to guide you when creating your own.

What is a scoring sheet for an interview?

A scoring sheet for an interview, also known as an interview scorecard, is a tool used by hiring managers and recruiters to grade candidates objectively during recruitment. It uses the same criteria to assess all candidates for the job position, which provides the company with a uniform way of interviewing its candidates. This provides a fair method for assessing candidates' skills and experience. Using a standard interviewing tool can also eliminate bias and personal preference from the interviewers.

Interview scoresheets can help organisations save time, as it's typically unnecessary to plan different interview questions for candidates applying for the same job. A hiring manager may create a scoresheet that covers the relevant qualifications the organisation is looking for in a candidate, allowing them to scan and determine the best-suited candidate for the opportunity. The components of an interview scoresheet can include:

  • a biodata section for the candidate's personal information

  • specific questions aimed at evaluating the candidate's traits and qualifications

  • points for each question

  • a comment section

  • a total score section

Related: How to create an interview guide (plus what to include)

Benefits of an interview scoring sheet

Here are some benefits of using a scoring sheet for interview purposes:

Helps interviewers to remain focused

Candidates can provide answers that may lead the interview towards their strengths rather than what the company is looking for. It may be easy to get distracted during unstructured interviews. An interview scoresheet provides structure and a written reference for the interviewer, which may help avoid distractions. The scorecards may also have a comments section allowing the interviewer to take notes on the candidate's performance on each question, which may help the interviewer maintain concentration.

Eliminates bias

A systematic candidate grading system can help avoid bias from hiring managers based on personal preference. The scoresheets standardise the questions asked to each candidate, giving them an equal opportunity to succeed. The scoresheet also has a fixed number of questions, which may regulate the time each candidate takes for the interview, providing uniformity.

Related: What is a biased sample? (Examples and tips to avoid it)

Prioritises company requirements

Determining the questions on the scoring sheet can allow a hiring committee to focus on the company's needs. It may be a good idea to analyse the company's performance to identify areas that require improvement. This can influence the choice of interview questions so that they focus on the qualifications that the organisation requires to grow. The brief nature of the interview scoring sheet also encourages companies to focus on asking relevant questions that prioritise their goals.

Related: How to conduct action research (including best practices)

Emphasises candidate skills

Some candidates may have the skills a hiring manager is looking for but can't express themselves appropriately during an interview. Implementing an interview scoring system may benefit such candidates, giving them a chance of employment. A scoresheet system can emphasise candidate skills rather than personal preference by eliminating many open-ended questions and minimising personal conversations with the interviewer. This can help an organisation make skill-based recruitments that may fill the gaps in the company structure.

Related: How to develop your skill set for career success

Allows different perspectives

Panel interviews, in which each interviewer fills out a scoresheet for each candidate, may result in diverse opinions. The members of the hiring team can all score the candidate based on their answers, and they can use these scorecards to compare notes and get a better understanding of the qualifications of each candidate. Comparing different opinions can help the hiring team assess each candidate, which may ensure the selection of the most suited person for the job.

Related: What is teamwork? (Including definition and characteristics)

Avoids legal issues

A standard set of interview questions may be less likely to be challenged in court as discriminatory. Consider working with a lawyer or an advocate when creating a scoring sheet to ensure legal security for the company you work for. It may be important to provide documentation to prove the interview process isn't discriminatory. You can also have a lawyer draft a terms and conditions agreement that the candidates sign before agreeing to participate in the interview.

Related: What does a lawyer do? (Including duties and qualifications)

Builds relationships with other employees

Selecting the most relevant questions to include on the scoring sheets involves company analysis to identify the organisation's needs. Consider involving other employees when doing this analysis. Seeking feedback from them can help identify areas for improvement.

Related: Inclusivity in the workplace and how to encourage it

How to create an interview scoring sheet

It may be a good idea to personalise an interview scoresheet to meet the organisation's needs. Here are some steps you can follow to create a successful interview scoresheet:

1. Analyse the work environment

Understanding the organisation's recruitment needs can help guide recruiters on what to look for in a suitable candidate. Work environment analysis can help determine these needs and assess the requirements of the job vacancy. Consider using performance management tools, software and employee feedback to identify gaps in the institution's structure and its requirements.

Related: Identifying and improving a hostile work environment

2. Develop structured questions

After assessing the company's needs, it may be important to develop directed questions to attract suitable candidates. You can assemble a committee to create these questions before the recruitment process. Consider researching and studying interview scoresheets used before to find the most appropriate approach to developing these structured questions.

3. Establish a defined scoring system

Create scoring criteria to determine what grades the candidates' responses can earn. You can include primary keywords and qualifications when creating scoring criteria. Consider defining score cut-off limits to identify poor, intermediate and good performance.

4. Leave room for comments.

To cover any gaps in the interview scoresheet, consider providing a section for the interviewer's comments. This can allow interviewers to input additional relevant information that may not appear on the scoresheet. This can help the organisation learn how to improve the scoring system and know what to add or leave out when preparing a scoresheet for the next recruitment process.

Related: How to give critical feedback effectively and its importance

5. Conduct follow-up action

At the end of the recruitment process, when the company has already vetted and employed suitable candidates, you can consider conducting a follow-up. This may include monitoring the performance of the new hires and identifying improvements in the work environment following the recruitment process. This can allow you to determine how successful the interview scoresheet was in meeting the company's needs with the new employees.

Related: What is performance management? (And how to use it)

Interview scoresheet template

The details on the interview scoresheet may vary depending on the job position, but its general structure remains the same. Here's a template of an interview scoresheet you can use as a guide:

Date and time:
Candidate's name:
Interviewed by:
Rating scale: 1–4
1 - Not qualified
2 - Limited qualification
3 - Average qualification
4 - Above average qualification
Question 1: [Here, you can include questions agreed upon by the team]
Question 2: [Here, you can include questions agreed upon by the team]
Question 3: [Here, you can include questions agreed upon by the team]
Total score:
Overall comments:

Interview score sheet example

Here's an example of an interview score sheet used to hire a web developer:

Date and time: 26-09-2022, 11:30 a.m.
Candidate's name: James Brown
Position: Web developer
Department: Information Technology
Interviewed by: Matthew O'Brian
Rating scale: 1–4

1 - Not qualified
2 - Limited qualification
3 - Average qualification
4 - Above average qualification
Question 1: Do you have experience working as a web developer?
Score: 4
Comments: Five years of experience working as a web developer
Question 2: How do you feel about working in a team?
Score: 4
Comments: Described experience working in a team and showcased good interpersonal skills
Question 3: Why do you want to work for our company?
Score: 3
Comments: Highlighted their interest and commitment to career development and company success
Total score: 11
Overall comments: James portrayed exceptional communication skills, professionalism, work experience and qualifications that may benefit the organisation.

Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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