Don’t Trust Your Gut; Use an Interview Score Sheet

By Adam Robinson,
November 12, 2012

How many times have you heard someone say, “I just have a gut-feeling that it will work out”? Although our guts will soon be growing with holiday-time, super-sized meals, that doesn’t mean you should place even more trust with it. 

Using a score sheet for each interview you conduct is an easy way to either validate that gut feeling or reject it. Plus, when discussing with your team which candidate(s) to hire, those score sheets can make the process much easier. But it does so much more than that. Let’s take a look at the top benefits using a score sheet provides.

It’s more effective than your memory

“Well, I just remember what they say.”

We hear this all the time when we ask people how they rate candidates after an interview. Unless you have the memory of an elephant, this reasoning is just not good enough. An interview score sheet gives you the ability to jot down organized notes during the interview and to reference those notes directly after the interview to score the candidate. This way, if something the candidate said either piqued your interest or scared you away, you’ll be able to see what exactly it was. 

Score sheets reduce bias

As much as we all like to think interviewers come into an interview without any bias or prejudice, that isn’t always the case. No matter what their bias is, from disliking the school you attended to assuming you can’t do the job because you’re a certain gender, this bias can be the reason why a mediocre candidate is hired instead of the all-star. When the interviewer gets together with their team to explain why candidate X should be hired instead of candidate Z, chances are good the team would ask for justification, and that’s just what the score sheet is. No matter what the interviewer tries to tell their team about a certain candidate, the algorithm used for the score sheets doesn’t lie. 

Score sheet or lie detector?

Do a candidate’s answers seem to contradict each other? Or do their answers seem not to line-up. Whatever the case may be, don’t focus your attention on picking out the lie(s) or exaggeration(s). Continue on with the interview as you would normally while making sure to jot down notes; this way, you still treat the candidate the same as you do others and give them a fair chance. While going through your notes and the scores after the interview, the score sheet will be able to pick out any inconsistencies. 

Beware though, not all score sheets use proven algorithms. When deciding what score sheet to use, Margot Baill recommends looking for these three crucial components:

  • Calculations based on sound research
  • Ability to detect inconsistencies and “fake” responses
  • Capable of minimizing interviewer guessing

Hireology’s customized score sheets meet these requirements while taking it steps further to ensure you make the right hire. 

Want to learn more about how interview scorecards can help you make the right hiring decision? Download our free guide!

About the Author

Adam co-founded Hireology with the mission to help growing companies make better hiring decisions through data and better technology. Adam is passionate about entrepreneurship, donating time to a number of organizations that support the entrepreneurial cause. Adam completed his undergraduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and received his MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, IL.

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