Designed by Freepik
The Game-Changing Magic of Interviewing with Rubrics 

When reviewing job applications, a rubric can serve as an effective, standardized scoring framework to help assess and evaluate candidates. Rubrics make it easier to keep track of the skills and qualifications that you’re looking for in a candidates when reviewing their materials, and can help to streamline your overall process (especially when your candidate pool is large!).  

Rubrics also keep the evaluation process objective and fair, minimizing bias and subjectivity. In listing specific skills, qualifications, and criteria to look for during your screens, rubrics provide structure when evaluating a candidate evaluation. A scoring system helps guide reviewers towards seeking out required criteria and focusing less on details that may induce bias.  

All this being said, using any old rubric won’t get you fully there – it’s important to create a rubric that is free of demographic biases, to ensure a fair and inclusive review process. Here are some best practices to help you achieve this: 

  • Define clear evaluation criteria: Start by identifying the key qualifications, skills, and attributes that are essential for success in the role. These criteria should be directly related to the job’s responsibilities and requirements. 
  • Avoid general or vague language: Use specific and concrete language in your rubric to describe what each criterion entails. Avoid ambiguous terms or subjective descriptions that can be interpreted differently by different evaluators. 
  • Standardized scoring: Create a standardized scoring system that assigns points or ratings to each criterion. Ensure that the scoring is based on objective evidence and not influenced by personal biases. Best practices include using a more binary system of yes, candidate shows this or doesn’t.  

What criteria does a rubric contain? 

A well-structured hiring rubric typically includes a set of criteria that help assess candidates fairly and consistently. The specific criteria can vary depending on the role, industry, and organization. Here are some common criteria to consider: 

Job-Related Skills and Qualifications

Technical skills, relevant degrees, certifications, and licenses

Soft Skills

Communication skills, teamwork abilities, adaptability, and leadership qualities, if relevant 


Consider the candidate’s relevant work experience and how it aligns with job requirements

Behavioral Traits

Work ethic, initiative, and problem-solving skills 

Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

Assess analytical abilities and judgment

Cultural Fit

Examine alignment with your organization’s culture and values

Rubric for a Software Engineer job

You can find the rubric template for the above job description here.

Rubric for a Social Worker job

Here’s the rubric template for the above job description.

As in the samples above, the rubric aligns with key criteria outlined in the job description, such as education, experience, interpersonal skills, collaboration, and technical proficiency. Each criterion is assigned a score of 1 and the scored candidates are assigned green, yellow, or red colors, representing strong suitability, potential concerns, or lack of fit, respectively. Green candidates are deemed well-qualified and recommended for further consideration, while yellow candidates may serve as backups, requiring additional assessment or team discussion. Red candidates are not recommended for further consideration. This color-coded system streamlines communication and prioritizes candidates aligning closely with job requirements, fostering a systematic and fair decision-making process throughout the hiring team. 

Implementing rubrics can be straightforward with careful planning and effective communication. However, like any new process, it may present challenges. Here are some tips for successfully implementing rubrics: 

  • Clearly communicate the introduction of the rubric to the entire hiring team. Explain the purpose, benefits, and how it aligns with the organization’s hiring goals. 
  • Provide thorough training to all team members involved in the hiring process. Ensure that everyone understands how to use the rubric, interpret criteria, and assign scores. 
  • Commit to an ongoing process of monitoring and refining your hiring practices to address any emerging biases or concerns. You can also establish a feedback mechanism where team members can provide input on the rubric’s effectiveness. This feedback can be used to refine and improve the rubric over time. 
  • You can integrate the rubric with your ATS for a seamless and efficient evaluation process. This can also facilitate reporting and analysis. 
By Vibha Sathesh Kumar
Vibha Sathesh Kumar