How to Create an Interview Ranking Sheet

by Nicole Vulcan
Use a paper copy of the rating sheet, or create a digital copy of the document for every applicant.

Use a paper copy of the rating sheet, or create a digital copy of the document for every applicant.

When you're conducting job interviews you may find that it gets difficult to differentiate one strong candidate from another, even when you think you're taking good notes. One way to stay organized and rank candidates uniformly is to create an interview ranking sheet, which helps you give a rating for each of the candidates' important skills and qualifications. If your company's human resources department doesn't already have this type of document in circulation at your workplace, create one of your own.

Review the job posting and job documentation to determine which skills or qualifications will be rated. These "core competencies" may include basic things such as oral communication skills, knowledge of a specific computer program, knowledge of a technical process, or even the candidate's level of education. You may also choose to rate less concrete aspects of the job such as enthusiasm, wardrobe or personality.

Create a new spreadsheet or word processing document and then type "Candidate name" near the top. Leave some space to the right, and then type "Position." On the next line, type "Date."

List the competencies on the spreadsheet or word processing document, each on their own line, skipping a line in between and listing 10 to 20 competencies in total. Any more than that might be hard to include on one or two sheets of paper and will be difficult to manage during the interview.

Decide on the rating system you'll use and then include that range of numbers next to each competency in your document. Giving people a rating from ''1'' to ''5'' is common. For example, you may have chosen "Leadership" as one of your competencies. Next to -- or just under -- that "Leadership" heading, type the numbers 1,2,3,4 and 5, placing a space in between each number. Repeat that same range of numbers for every competency. During the interview, the interviewer circles the number she believes corresponds with the candidate's level of competency.

Create a line near the bottom of the document, and then type "Total" under the line. This allows you to tally the ratings for each competency and to come up with a total ranking for the candidate. You can use this to compare candidates.

Save the document in a folder where you'll be able to easily locate it, and then print a copy of the document for every candidate you're interviewing.

Items you will need
  • Spreadsheet or word processing program
  • Printer


  • Using a ranking sheet is one way to rate your candidates, though, some interviewers also choose to include a notes section at the bottom of the document -- or adjacent to each competency -- to allow each interviewer to note anything that stood out during the interview.
  • Review the ground rules for the ranking sheet with every interviewer, so all interviewers are rating candidates uniformly. For example, ensure the interviewers all use a "1" for the best candidates, and a "5" for the worst, and not the other way around.

About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

Photo Credits

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