Interview Rubrics: Definition, Templates and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 26, 2022

Published February 8, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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An interview rubric can be useful in evaluating job candidates, recording interview questions and responses, and gathering input from an entire hiring team. With rubrics, interviewers can more easily weigh consistent criteria for all candidates and refer back to the written documentation to choose the best candidate for the job.

In this article, we discuss what an interview rubric is and what it includes, plus we offer templates and examples to help you create your own interview rubric.

What is an interview rubric?

An interview rubric, also called an interview matrix or a hiring scorecard, is a way to measure or rate different categories or elements that are important when interviewing a job candidate. It's a scoring tool that defines expectations and helps determine who to interview, who to invite to interview again or who to offer employment to. This type of rubric is used to objectively measure both tangible and intangible information, such as relevant experience and demeanor.

Companies sometimes form search committees or hiring teams, so multiple people interview potential candidates during the hiring process. An interview rubric allows everyone in the hiring process to evaluate the candidates using the same criteria, which can reduce bias.

Even when only one person is interviewing candidates, an interview rubric helps to simplify the process by checking for predetermined qualifications and characteristics. It can also be helpful when the interviewer needs to compare several qualified candidates against each other.

Related: 125 Common Interview Questions and Answers (With Tips)

What does a rubric look like?

Rubrics look like a spreadsheet, with columns and rows for organizing all the information. Each row, going across, represents a different category such as job-related skills, experience or educational background.

Each column, going down, represents different levels of achievement, either by applying a numerical value or assigning different levels of achievement. You can score each candidate by finding the average of the values the candidate scored.

Related: How To Prepare for an Interview

What to include in an interview rubric

The categories and scoring for an interview rubric may be different for each company and each open job position. Hiring managers can adapt interview rubrics to include specific information for each role, such as evaluating a candidate's soft skills, technical expertise or related experience. While there's no single, correct way to create a rubric, here are some common topics often included in interview rubrics:

Basic information

An interview rubric should contain basic information that identifies the candidate, the position they’re interviewing for and who the interviewers are, such as:

  • Date of interview

  • Candidate's first and last name

  • Position candidate is interviewing for

  • Interviewer's name

  • Interviewer's role or position

Row categories

For each row, create a category. The categories may include anything the hiring team deems important and wants to have information about. This could include:

  • Education

  • Appearance

  • Non-verbal cues

  • Qualities

  • Characteristics

  • Background

  • Experience

  • Skills

Column values

For each column, either leave space to enter a numerical value or create a brief explanation of different levels of achievement.

If you're using levels of achievement, the lowest scoring description goes in the furthest left column and the highest scoring description goes in the furthest right column. For example, If the row category is "education," then the subsequent columns might be "high school graduate," "some college," "college graduate" and "postgraduate work."

If working with numerical values, assign a number to evaluate each category in the rows and include these values on the interview rubric spreadsheet so everyone uses the same ones. It's common to use numerical values like these:

  • 1 = Unsatisfactory

  • 2 = Below average

  • 3 = Average

  • 4 = Above average

  • 5 = Exceptional

Sometimes an interview rubric will have yes or no questions. You can assign numerical values to yes or no answers, or any other type of verbal answers, by giving each response a value. You can adjust the values to fit your needs. For example:

  • 0 = No

  • 2.5 = Maybe

  • 5 = Yes

Here's another example of adding numbers to a category:

  • 0 = High school diploma

  • 1 = Some college

  • 2 = Associate degree

  • 3 = Bachelor's degree

  • 4 = Some post-graduate work

  • 5 = Master's degree

Related: 21 Job Interview Tips: How To Make a Great Impression

Interview rubric templates

Instead of creating your own interview rubric, you can adopt a template to your needs. Here are a few examples of interview rubric templates:

Interview rubric for applicant screening

Here is an interview template that an employer might use to screen potential applicants. If the applicant reaches a predetermined total score, then the employer would ask the applicant to come back for the next round of interviews. This interview rubric template uses numerical values and would look like this:

Date: Open position: Interviewer's name and position: Scoring key: 5 = Yes, 2.5 = Maybe, 0 = No

Candidate 1 (Name)Candidate 2 (Name)Candidate 3 (Name)Questions to ask
Current employer and title
EducationMaster's degree in a related field? Professional certification?
ExperienceNumber of years of related experience?
Next stepsRecommend for second interview?
Total score

Student interview rubric

Here is an interview template that an employer might use to interview students applying for their first job. This interview rubric template focuses on how well the candidate presents themselves and uses achievement levels to determine the score. It would look like this:

Date:
Open position:
Interviewer's name and position:
Scoring key: 5 = Yes, 2.5 = Maybe, 0 = No

Candidate 1 (Name)Candidate 2 (Name)Candidate 3 (Name)Candidate 4 (Name)
GreetingUnfriendly and not courteous Attempts to be courteousCourteous to everyone at the interviewFriendly and courteous to everyone at the interview
Nonverbal cuesFacial expressions and attitude did not enhance the interview processFacial expressions and attitude did enhance the interview processFacial expressions and attitude did enhance the interview processFacial expressions and attitude greatly enhanced the interview process
CommunicationUnclear speaking and inappropriate volume Clear speaking but volume is unevenClear speaking and appropriate volumeClear speaking and volume both reinforce confidence
Attention and eye contactAttentive but with minimal eye contactAttentive with average eve contactAttentive with excellent eye contactAttentive with excellent eye contact
AppearanceSomewhat too casualSomewhat casualAppropriateAppropriate
Final score02.555

Interview rubric examples

Here are some examples to give you an idea of what an interview rubric might look like:

Interview rubric for state health care policy director

Date: 9/14/2022
Open position: State health care policy director
Interviewer's name and position: Margaret Thomas, regional director
Scoring key:
5 = exceptional, 4 = above average, 3 = average, 2 = below average, 1 = unsatisfactory

CandidateMark JohnsonBethany SmithPoints to consider
Relationship-building: 45Able to connect with individuals, work with diverse populations, bring in allies across varied communities
Results-oriented: 43Track record of achievements, produces results, shows perseverance
Project management skills: 24Ability to handle multiple projects, anticipate obstacles, involve stakeholders, use resources wisely
Background: 53Experience or knowledge of health care policy
Legislative experience: 22Nice to have but can teach after hiring
Strategic thinking: 35Ability to spot opportunities, think in smart ways, drive policy in strategic direction
Public speaking: 44Comfortable with major public appearances
Research skills: 34Ability to monitor trends, fluent in health care policy, can conduct research and analyze outside sources
Total score:2730

Marketing associate interview rubric

Date: 9/14/2022
Open position: Marketing associate
Interviewer's name and position: Matthew Lucas, regional director
Scoring key:
5 = exceptional, 4 = above average, 3 = average, 2 = below average, 1 = unsatisfactory

CandidateMaryPeterJamesAnnePossible questions
Critical thinking skills:3543Tell about a time you identified a problem and your role in the solution.
Leadership ability5455What leadership experience do you have?
Technical skills:4425(Determined by role, refer to job description.)
Teamwork:5413How do you promote positivity and build rapport with colleagues?
Social skills:4325Which personality traits do you value the most in the workplace?
Career motivation:5334What are your long-term and short-term career goals?
Company cultural fit:3445Describe your ideal company culture.
Average score:4.143.863.004.29

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