If you’re looking for a quick win to improve your hiring process, look no further than interview scorecards. Great scorecards provide structured interview questions that help interviewers assess candidates and make more confident hiring decisions.
This structured interview process creates less variability and leads to consistent hiring results, something every manager or business owner can appreciate.
If you’re already using interview scorecards, or score sheets, and are just looking for a better option, download our template. For those who want to know how to create a scorecard and what you need to include, keep following our guide below!
Why Structured Interviews Are Better Than Unstructured
While unstructured interviews can sometimes lead to the answers about a candidate you need, most of the time they don’t. Without a set of specific questions put together beforehand, you risk not knowing whether someone is qualified for a job. This could lead to making decisions based on gut feelings rather than decisions based on reasoning.
Here are just a few of the risks you take on with an unstructured interview:
- Lack of knowing whether the candidate has the skills to complete the job
- Biased evaluations based on race, gender, or sex
- Potentially asking illegal questions
When you structure your interview with a scorecard, you’re asking the same questions in the same order. This allows you to assess all candidates equally based on the same criteria and truly let you feel you’re making a confident hiring decision.
Having a playbook of questions ready to go during an interview can also offer time savings, and keep you on track during an interview.
How to Create a Strong Interview Scorecard
A strong interview scorecard should include specific questions that are role-related and general questions that are not role-related. Through these questions, you should be able to assess the hard skills and soft skills the candidate has, along with whether they are a culture fit.
The best way to construct your interview scorecard is to start with some basic categories. Once you get going, you can start to experiment with your scorecard to create a better interview.
As you build and test your scorecard, you should be able to tell early on whether your scorecard is giving you the results you need. If it’s not, you can start tweaking your scorecard, removing and including different questions.
When tweaking your scorecard, make sure you are using feedback from your hiring teams and managers. Any suggestions you receive should be reviewed, and if accepted, implemented across all interview scorecard templates that the suggestions are relevant for.
Remember, the main objective of using a scorecard is to create a consistent set of questions so you can evaluate candidates equally.
Below, we have included the key elements you should include in your first scorecard, along with some sample questions you can use.
Company Interview Questions
Company-related questions ask candidates about what they know about the company, what products or services they sell, and which values they align with.
This is a good step to see if they have done their research on the company. The best candidates will use this to show that this isn’t just another position for them and that they are a good researcher.
- If you had to describe our company to a friend, how would describe us?
- What products or services do we sell?
- Do you know our company values? If so, which ones do you align with?
- Do you know what or company mission is?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
Skills Interview Questions
Skills-based questions are designed to find out whether a candidate has experience working with any software, tools, or knowledge that they will need for their job.
Skills are usually either theoretical (i.e. the candidate knows about this) or practical (i.e. the candidate has applied this skill).
- Have you ever worked with _________?
- Explain the concept of __________.
- What is your experience working in our industry?
- Tell me about the most recent place you worked at. What were your responsibilities?
- What results/accomplishments did you receive at your previous position?
Behavioral Interview Questions
Behavioral interview questions ask about how candidates handled situations in their previous workplace. These can test soft skills such as adaptability, critical thinking, communication, attention to detail and more.
Once you establish the skills they have, you will want to ask these questions to see how a candidate performed in a previous role. This can be a great indicator of how they will act in similar situations.
Look out for unclear answers, lack of energy, and blaming.
- Give me an example of a time you faced a conflict while working on a team. How did you handle that?
- Tell me about a time when you made sure a customer was pleased with your service.
- Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
- Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with the situation?
- Tell me about a time you set a goal for yourself. How did you go about ensuring that you would meet your objective?
- Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client. How did you handle this delicate situation?
Situational Interview Questions
Situational interview questions are similar to behavioral interview questions. The major difference? Situational questions discuss how candidates would react to situations in your job while behavioral questions address how situations were handled at their previous job.
These questions should revolve around the challenges and problems they will need to address.
- Describe what you will be doing in this job.
- How would you deal with a customer that isn’t satisfied?
- How would you approach learning a new skill?
- What would you do if someone took credit for the work you did?
- What would you do if a co-worker disagreed with you?
The Final Touches for an Interview Scorecard
Once you put together your interview scorecard. It’s time to start assigning some values to questions so you can compare candidates. You can do this with either a rating scale or a yes or no system.
We recommend using a five-point scale. Even when it comes skills, this can be useful to compare different levels of experience with certain skills.
As you continue to develop your scorecard, you may come across questions that do need a yes or no answer. Include those questions but continue to stay in favor of a rating scale for the best candidate evaluations.
What About Other Questions, Like Industry Specific Questions?
Looking for more questions, try using an applicant tracking system. Good applicant tracking systems tend to have many industry-specific questions that you can integrate into your scorecard.
At CareerPlug, all of our clients receive access to general, ready-to-use interview scorecards along with industry-specific questions. Users can even configure their scorecard to specific questions or needs.