Scoring scale works best if it is between one and seven. First good reason to use one-to-seven scale is that if you use a narrower scale, people are more likely to give higher scores for several reasons. That is why the data will skew to the side with the higher scores and will be erroneous.
Second reason is that it is too easy for people to have varied interpretation on words on the scale, so it is better not to label every number on the scale. To do so, you need not too large scale and you can label only scale 1 and 7 indicating ‘never’ and ‘always’. More descriptions lead people to give less certain score because people usually think 1 or 10 are too harsh. This is important to encourage people to give scores using full range scale.
It is also better to have a rating scale with an equidistant point, which stays in between both endpoints.
There is no certain answer for what constitutes a low score. Because it depends on what you are looking for, on what your hallmarks are, on your talent pool and more factors we analyzed when we developed standards.
On one condition, low score is very clear. If a candidate’s score is between 1 and 3 which indicates that the person is a poor fit for your organization, you need to discard this candidate out of consideration with no doubt.
When a candidate passes the test and completes the full interview, you need to average the scores to determine the candidate with highest score as your first choice.
However, when your best scores are not great and not too awful, let us say they are in four and five range, you may assume that something in your recruiting process is probably not working well. You should be hiring someone above 5 points and your best candidates would rate at least 6 points.
Another issue about scoring is varied scores when the interview is held by more than one people. Hallmarks guideline is there to analyze what constitute good and bad answers so that you do not have different scores anymore.
You are evaluating which candidates reflect your hallmarks. If your company is a highly social culture, then you may ask a Hallmarks Interview Question such as ‘‘could you tell me about a time when working on a team was challenging?’’. You will get a response that you will compare to the sample answers in your Hallmarks Answer Guidelines. This will allow you to assess if what the candidate told about his or her attitude regarding teams reflect any of the same attitudes of your current high and low performers.
Rating is not only about which candidates’ answers fit with your hallmarks but also is about getting credibility of their answers. Two different candidates may both be telling you that they have experienced working in a team but they need to support this with specifics.
It is important to do your evaluation of your candidate as soon as possible after the interview, even during the interview in some circumstances. The best time is when your thoughts are still fresh and accurate, as waiting too long will make you forget about the important details, your memory will be unclear and you will start confusing the candidates.
One of the consequences due to a long wait is that your standards will cheapen, especially when the hiring process lengthen out. You will start thinking of hiring someone who is below your standards because you need to fill a position, but you will regret it in couple of months or even weeks. This is why it is important to evaluate a candidate when the memory is still fresh and your standards are high.
Another problem is that you will forget about the candidates’ skills if you wait too long and you will not even remember who is who. If you do evaluating just after the interview, such problem would never show up.
Finally yet importantly, you need to listen to your candidates without interrupting or interjecting. When you are fully concentrated on listening, then you can get your thoughts clearer and you inspire the interviewee to talk because of the silence you provide. Even if silence may be risky for putting the person in discomfort, it is definitely worth it when it elicits the facts that you are looking for.