How to create an interview evaluation form (+ free template)

As a human resources professional, you know that consistent, structured processes are crucial to ensuring your business runs smoothly. A structured hiring process leads to better hires, and a consistent onboarding experience can ensure everyone gets a strong first impression of your company.

Evaluating candidates in your pipeline is no different. Implementing a strong evaluation process can not only keep interviews and feedback running smoothly, but it can also help reduce bias and even improve the quality of candidates that make it through your process.

Today, we'll explore the information that should be on your interview evaluation form and give you a free template you can use to get started.

How you benefit from using interview evaluation forms

You and the rest of your HR team aren't the only ones who will benefit from the use of interview evaluation forms. Your hiring managers will have the tools they need to improve how they conduct their interviews, and candidates will have a more consistent — and more enjoyable — experience as they get to know you.

By using a structured candidate evaluation form with each interview, you'll notice these benefits:

  • Easier training of new hiring managers: Because interviews are based on a standard form, it's easier to train managers to effectively run interviews without the help of HR.

  • Faster documentation: You can customize your applicant tracking system (ATS) to match your interview evaluation form, so candidate feedback can be quickly entered into familiar form fields and shared with the rest of the team.

  • Reduced unconscious hiring bias: Research has shown that we tend to make snap judgements unconsciously based on our own biases. For example, an interviewer may search exclusively for information that aligns with, supports, or otherwise confirms an initial impression they had of a candidate. This kind of bias can creep in when different managers use different rating scales or interviewing styles. When everyone is subject to the same evaluation standards, bias is reduced — and candidates can feel more confident about their chances.

A formal candidate evaluation form is just one component of a structured interview process, which, along with this form, includes the creation of structured interview questions that align with the skills, values, and competencies required for each role at your organization. This process also requires the creation of ratings guidelines or a rubric to define the ratings you assign to candidates as part of your evaluation, so every team member involved with the interviewing process has a clear understanding of the criteria. For example, if your ratings scale has an “excellent” and a “strong” rating, your guidelines should define the difference between the two options.

What to include on an interview evaluation form

There are some standard items to include on an interview evaluation form, such as the candidate's name, who is interviewing them, and the date. The rest of the items vary and should be customized depending on:

  • What your organization values in candidates: Such as education, work experience, or communication skills.

  • The role the form is being created for: An interview evaluation form for a development role will likely be different than an administrative one. The development role may also require multiple interviews — and thus multiple evaluation forms — instead of just one.

  • Who is interviewing each candidate: Your team may have different evaluation criteria depending on if a hiring manager, a member of the leadership team, or the CEO is conducting the interview.

Here is an in-depth look at what you may want to add to your own interview evaluation template:

Basic candidate information

Collecting basic candidate information on this form will ensure your records are accurate and that anyone involved in the interview process has everything they need to enter their feedback into your ATS.

The basic information you should collect:

  • Candidate name
  • Date of the interview
  • Role they're applying for
  • Interviewer name
  • Other applicable information: For example, whether this is the second or third interview, what pre-interview tests were conducted, etc.

Candidate evaluation criteria

The candidate evaluation criteria, the main section of an interview evaluation form, helps interviewers evaluate a candidate's overall qualifications as well as their strengths and weaknesses. When your HR team needs to decide whether or not to move ahead with a specific candidate, the decision should be based on this formal evaluation — not memory, quickly jotted notes, or other potentially unreliable sources of feedback. This form should also help HR or leadership see at a glance how suitable candidates are for a role.

A set rating system will typically be provided to evaluate candidates. This may be done with a grading system or scale — for example, a numerical rating system using a scale of 1 to 5.

As mentioned above, you should consider creating a grading rubric alongside your rating system to help assess candidates fairly and consistently across multiple interviewers. The rubric should define each measurement on your rating system so that interviewers have a clear understanding of how a candidate should be rated.

For example, your rubric might define a rating of 1 as “does not show this skill,” while a 5 may be “candidate is extremely proficient at this skill and was able to demonstrate it at least twice over the course of the interview.” You can download a sample grading rubric here to see an example.

When you build the evaluation criteria portion of your form, it should include:

  • Candidate's relevant experience

  • Candidate's relevant educational background (if any): Not all organizations value formal education. You may care more about a candidate’s on-the-job training more than their GPA.

  • General skills: This usually includes interpersonal skills valued by all organizations, like teamwork, adaptability, and clear verbal communication.

  • Strengths of specific skills valued by your organization: What skills does your specific organization value that others may not? This may be time management, strong writing, volunteer experience, etc. One example: At Google, we prioritize a specific kind of leadership called “emergent leadership,” which is a form of leadership that involves leading when the employee’s strengths are necessary and stepping back when they are not.

  • Strengths of role-specific skills: These are skills relevant to the specific job the candidate is being considered for. These may be team management skills, technical skills like knowledge of programming languages, or public speaking experience.

  • Match to company values or culture fit: For example, at Google, we evaluate candidates for a trait called “Googleyness.” Hiring managers want to make sure the candidate could thrive here, so they look for signs of comfort with ambiguity, bias to action, and a collaborative nature.

It’s important to keep in mind that these evaluations should be customized to match what your organization values in its candidates. For example, if your organization is a non-profit, you will likely want to prioritize candidates who show they care more about impact than money. If you are hiring for a sales role, you should change your evaluation criteria to give more weight to candidates who are mindful of details, like potential client budgets and expenses.

Overall impressions and recommendations

In this third portion of your candidate evaluation form, the hiring manager should add their overall impressions of the candidate and their suitability for the role. Leave enough space in this area for final comments and an overall rating, taking into consideration both the interviewer and the candidate. For example, a CEO may have more to say about a candidate than a member of HR, and a candidate in the third round may require more critical feedback than one in the first.

Finally, end this portion of the form with three options the interviewer can choose from:

  • Hire: The candidate is suitable for the role and an offer should be extended immediately.

  • Hold: The candidate may be suitable for the role, but another interview or assessment (a presentation, exam, sample work, etc.) will be needed to determine their suitability.

  • Do not proceed: The candidate is not suitable for this role but may be a good fit for another.

While the option chosen won't always determine the final hiring decision, the recommendation allows HR to understand each interviewer's feelings at a glance — and potentially informs recruiters what kind of email they should send to their candidate.

Download a free interview evaluation form

To help your organization standardize its interview process, we've created a free downloadable interview evaluation template. This candidate evaluation form can be used as-is, or you can customize it to match the evaluation criteria used by your organization.

Interview evaluation form

Some ideas for customizing the form:

  • Add additional form fields. For example, you may want to note the number of interviews preceding this one.

  • Add your own evaluation criteria and a link to access the associated rubric

  • Adjust the rating scale. For example, do you want to include a neutral rating or not?

  • Add additional locations for comments or feedback

If you're ready to get started, download the free interview evaluation form by clicking here.

About Hire by Google

Hire is a recruiting app by Google that uses AI to make the hiring process faster and simpler. Because it is designed specifically for G Suite users, with Gmail, Google Calendar and other G Suite integrations, Hire streamlines administrative tasks so that your team can hire the best people, faster.