Interview Techniques: Scoring Sheets

“Don’t Let Your Eyes Deceive You”

There are many great interviewing techniques some will apply to you and some may not. I will show a couple of reasons for using scoring sheets during interviews. Using scoring sheets can remove bias which may happen when using only your “eyes” to select the best candidate for your opening. Scoring sheets, when used correctly, can set a benchmark for selecting candidates. The data collected can be tabulated, and potential candidates can be grouped into low, medium or high potential hires. If the interview is conducted by more than one person discussing differences between scoring sheets could paint a much clearer picture of the candidate.

If your Human Resources office does not use scoring sheets or other metrics to rank candidates their eyes may be deceiving them. Yes, your eyes can lie to you, and your mind can play tricks on you here’s how;

A class was shown a video of two mock interviews, two very different interviews. The first meeting was a typical low potential hire, the class scoffed at some of the answers given by the interviewee and wondered how this individual even received a call for an interview. The professor asked the class would they hire the candidate from interview #1 and there was a resounding “No”. It was an easy decision, experience and skills didn’t match the job opening, and the candidate did not help with poor interviewing skills.

The class was shown the next interview right after the first while still having thoughts or the first interview fresh in their minds. The second interview went well, the candidate has a right amount of experience and answered questions with welcomed enthusiasm. The interview ended, and again the Professor asked the class would they hire interview #2 and with a sigh of relief the class collectively answered “Yes”. The professor nodded his head with a grin then asked the class, “was the second interviewee a good candidate or just better than the first one?” The class took a second to realize their mistake, they were so mentally drained from the first experience that anything better seemed great; but was it indeed, better?

After replaying the second interview and dissecting it, the candidate was better than the first but not the slam dunk as previously thought. The job description given to the class required someone with more experience and skills than the candidate had, candidate #2 would have been on the short list of potentials, but more interviews would need to be conducted to find a more suitable candidate. Recruiting is not about time, regardless of what your superiors or colleagues may think, it is always about the right fit.

A scoring sheet would have proved valuable during these back to back interviews. The reason is the scoring sheet is designed to evaluate each interviewee accurately and not unconsciously comparing other interviews. Feelings of impatience to hire someone now could be resolved with data to refute those thoughts. If someone scored low would you still hire them just to fill a need? Also, only in case the hiring manager/recruiter has an absence anyone filling in can look at the scoring sheets in case a decision needs to be made. Continuity is critical and high potential candidates should not be if the hiring manager or HR professional is out of the office.

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