Most recruiters would instead conduct unstructured interviews. In an unstructured job interview, there is no predefined format, and the interviewees have the freedom and flexibility to respond spontaneously.
Although unstructured interviewers are ideal for tough hiring decisions, recruiters work under several restrictions that don't allow it. For instance, strict labor legislation, the pressure to fill vacancies fast, and interviewees are not always candid. All these could lead to poor hiring decisions.
Every organization should follow a structured interview process with interview scorecards. There are several advantages and disadvantages of interview scorecards. Interview scorecards may seem a bit strange to those who aren't familiar with them, but they make interviews more effective.
In today's blog, we have examined the advantages and disadvantages of interview scorecards in detail.
An interview scorecard is the cornerstone of a structured interview process and is used by recruiters and hiring managers during interviews. An interview scorecard contains a predefined set of criteria set against hard and soft skills required for the particular role.
Hiring managers have to fill in an interview scorecard for each candidate. Later, the individual scores are compared, and the most successful candidate is offered the position.
Interview scorecards are usually unique to the company and the role being interviewed for. They often include:
1. Cultural fit
2. Hard and soft skills on a ranking scale
3. Areas of concern
4. Notes describing the candidates' response to questions
5. Suitability to the role
Before we discuss the pros and cons of interview scorecards, let's see why they are used in the first place.
Comprehensive job descriptions and interview scorecards are the foundation of structured interviews. Thus, it is impossible to compile a scorecard without a well-defined job description.
Interview scorecards intend to question interviewees based on specific requirements essential to the job description and evaluate their responses. During the initial application screening stage, an interview scorecard can help recruiters eliminate unfit applications and save time.
An interview scorecard must be compiled before the vacancy is posted. Every hiring team member must be aware of the critical criteria before any applications are screened. The ideal scorecard must include questions related to relevant skills, specific work experience, and desirable personality traits.
The number of questions on the scorecard depends on the specific job requirement, which highly depends on the role, the organization, and the hiring team. However, it is advised to have a few well-articulated questions rather than too many vague ones.
Since unstructured interviews allow the interviewer and the interviewee flexibility in communication, these tend to go off-track. Using interview scorecards and sticking to a predefined set of questions keeps the interview focused. Only a few specific questions need to be asked, and they are strictly job-related.
Unstructured interviews are guided by subjectivity, and the questions depend on the interviewer's moods and biases. The hiring decision can be heavily influenced by the rapport between the interviewer and interviewee.
Some interviews may span an hour, while others may be over within 10 minutes. It can make the hiring process unfair and inconsistent.
However, with the help of interview scorecards, interviewers can achieve objectivity by asking all the candidates the same questions. Besides, there is no room for discrimination.
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One of the significant advantages of interview scorecards is that it helps recruiters record separate judgments on the candidates.
After many interviews, hiring managers might start blurring the lines between candidates, making it difficult to remember which candidate said what. In this case, the hiring decision depends on the overall impression of the candidates.
With the help of interview scorecards, each candidate can be kept separate. Each candidate can be assessed based on the required criteria. Thus, recruiters can record separate judgments on each candidate and base their decision on the individual responses.
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While recruiters often have an idea of what they're looking for, this idea can only be translated into specific requirements with the help of an interview scorecard. It supports better hiring decisions.
Interview scorecards help recruiters define excellence. Instead of a sales associate, recruiters can look for a sales associate with solid negotiation skills, a good track record, in-depth knowledge about the market, etc.
Scorecards also encourage hiring managers to avoid bias and trim the requirements to a few "must-haves."
Interview scorecards require the interviewer to take detailed notes during the conversation and evaluate the candidate's answers. This note-taking process can hinder the natural flow of the interview and limit eye contact.
The lack of eye contact can make the candidates feel uncomfortable, which can be reflected in their answers and lead to poor hiring decisions. Further, it can also make the interview feel robotic. The solution to this is interviewer training to counterbalance the problem.
Interview scorecards can be a blessing and a curse. While keeping interviews on-topic is a good idea, candidates might feel restricted from showcasing their abilities in total. It limits candidates' freedom, and they might be unable to answer as they had hoped. It can be discouraging for the candidate.
One of the most significant disadvantages of interview scorecards is that preparing them requires a lot of time and effort. To compile a scorecard, the hiring managers must identify desirable characters, select the best interview questions for each trait, pick a practical rating scale, etc.
This process is often complicated and time-consuming.
These were the advantages and disadvantages of interview scorecards. Even though scorecards have drawbacks, the pros outweigh the cons.
The problems of using interview scorecards can be effectively counterbalanced with proper interviewing training and experience. Interviewers must pay attention to detail and discuss the responses with their team before deciding.
Structuring interviews can be easier than they might seem. To supercharge your hiring process, consider PitchnHire. With AI-powered talent acquisition, PitchnHire helps you find the best candidates among a large pool of applicants. The recruitment process is efficient, effective, unbiased, and reduces overheard experiences.