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Reviewing and rating candidates

Included in:
  • SmartStart
  • SmartRecruit


Candidate ratings are a critical aspect of the hiring process in SmartRecruiters. They help recruiters and hiring managers to collect feedback from interviewers and make data-driven decisions.


Grey stars mean that someone else has rated the candidate, but you have not yet submitted a rating. Green stars mean that you have rated the candidate.

Ratings and reviews are not communicated to the candidate.

Overall rating and review

  1. Find the candidate's profile by navigating to it, or searching for them by name. You can also leave a rating directly on the Applicant List:LeaveReview_ApplicationList.png
  2. Click the Reviews tab on their profile.
  3. Click one of the stars for Overall Rating. 
    SmartRecruiters' default rating system is a 5-star scale:
    • 1 star is Strong no.
    • 2 stars is No.
    • 3 stars is Maybe.
    • 4 stars is Yes.
    • 5 stars is a Strong yes.
  4. Add in a comment to provide additional detail. Comments are optional, but they can help hiring managers and other interviewers understand your reasoning.
  5. Click Submit Review. 

Your overall rating and comment will be visible to anyone on the hiring team on the Reviews tab and the Notes tab, and also on Hireloop. SmartRecruiters will average your rating with those of other interviewers on the hiring team.


Character limit for comments added is 20,000 characters.

When a user reviews a candidate profile, the other users with the proper permission can see the review on the Hireloop, only if:

  • The rating is greater than or equal to 3 stars.
  • The rating is lower than 3 but the user leaves a comment.

Code snippets

Reviewers can also add code from candidates' whiteboarding or example exercises into their reviews. 


To add code to a review:

  1. Paste the snippet into the Reviews tab and enclose the whole snippet in two sets of three backticks:EnterCodeBlock.png

    You can find the backtick key on your keyboard immediately to the left of the 1/! key, above the tab key.

    Make sure that each trio of backticks is on a separate line from the rest of the code. Otherwise, SmartRecruiters won't format the snippet correctly.
  2. Once the review is saved, SmartRecruiters will automatically collapse the snippet. CodeBlock_Collapsed.pngJust click View Code Block to expand it.

If the snippet looks like this:


then the first set of backticks is probably on the same line as the first line of code:

BadBackticksEditor.pngJust hit Return to put the start of the snippet's code onto the line after the first set of backticks.



If your hiring manager or recruiter has created a scorecard for the job, you'll also have the option to fill out a scorecard and rate the candidate against specific criteria.

As an interviewer, when you are preparing to review a candidate, you will receive an email notification before the interview containing the specific scorecards you need to evaluate the candidate on during that stage. This will help you prepare for the interview ahead of time.

When you have completed the interview, you can provide your feedback from the evaluation. As a user, you will either get a dashboard task or an email notification to submit your feedback. Clicking the task will automatically redirect you to the feedback page for the candidate.

You can also choose to go directly to the candidate's profile to complete the review. 

  1. Click the Reviews tab on the candidate's profile. Scorecards will include high-level descriptions of behavioral skills that your hiring manager or recruiter has selected as important. Good candidates should demonstrate these skills to a high degree. Here only the assigned scorecards for the current hiring step for the candidate will be listed for evaluation. As an interviewer, you can fill out your review for the appropriate scorecards tied to the current hiring step that the candidate is on. 
  2. Click on the arrow on the right of each criteria to see if the hiring manager has supplied questions that you should ask the candidate. These questions will help you evaluate the candidate against the criteria.
    Screen Shot 2021-07-09 at 3.05.26 PM.png
  3. You can also choose to add a comment and/or click on the scale to rate the candidate against the criteria to provide additional information on the candidate.  Both fields are optional and the ratings for individual criteria do not affect the overall rating.
  4. When finished, click Submit Review. SmartRecruiters will add a story to the list of reviews.
    Screen Shot 2022-01-26 at 4.59.57 PM.png
  5. To revise your scorecard rating and reviews from the Reviews tab, just click Show Scorecard again.
  6. To revise the scorecard while elsewhere in SmartRecruiters, such as on Hireloop,  click Edit to go straight to the Reviews tab.Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 4.11.02 PM.png

    Past reviews are tagged to the appropriate hiring step they were filled out for. 

NOTE: As a recruiter or hiring manager, the best practice is to ensure a candidate is not moved forward in the hiring process until all required feedback for the candidate on a given stage is fully submitted. 

Character limit for scorecard comments added is 20,000 characters.


Q: What should I expect, if I wish to edit a previously submitted review?

A: If you edit a previous review (tied to a previous hiring steps), it will show the scorecards that were submitted for that review and scorecards assigned to that specific hiring step based on current assignment configuration.

If you edit a previous review that was submitted prior to introduction of this feature (i.e. a review that is not tied to any hiring step), all current scorecards along with the ones that were completed for that review will be displayed. 

Q: What happens if I forget to submit my review, and the candidate has moved onto the next step?

A: As a best practice, it is best to ensure a candidate does not move forward in the hiring process until all required feedback for the candidate on a given stage is fully submitted. Currently, you cannot enter a new review for a candidate for a prior step, but if you had already entered a review, you do have the provision to modify that review. 

Q: What scorecards would I see in a review if the candidate is in a state that is not part of the typical hiring process (ex: Lead, Transferred, etc.)?

When a candidate is in these states, as a reviewer, you would see any scorecards that are common to all hiring steps only as part of the review.

Review Permissions

While interviewer feedback is extremely valuable, there are often circumstances when it is necessary to ensure that certain users must only be able to view or share their own feedback. This can also be valuable in preventing any unacceptable behavior or workarounds where users could enter false feedback to access other feedback. Using review permissions, admins can control if users can view, enter or edit their ratings and feedback or view others' feedback or ratings. 

The following steps demonstrate how to configure the permission settings for reviews: 

  1. In Admin/Settings, administrators can now select Hiring Team Roles

  2. Here, under the Candidate section, you can click Edit for Reviews. You can choose from the following permission options: Write (allows you to write and view your own feedback and others), Write Only (allows the user to only enter, edit, or view their own reviews/feedback without viewing others' feedback or ratings), Read, and None.

    NOTE: With the Write Only option, the user can  only view their own feedback or rating where individual review ratings are shown in the system (e.g., under the Candidate Profile in the Reviews tab, or on the Candidate Comparison page). This will not impact any aggregated or averaged ratings in the system. 

  3. Once you select your permission, you can click Save at the bottom of the page to save these selections and have them take effect. 


  • For users who have the Write Only permission, they will not be able to view the Candidate Comparison page regardless of whether Cards down is enabled or disabled, as they can only view their own reviews.

  • Users with Write Only permission will not see average ratings on the application listing on a job.

  • The permission does not control or modify the visibility of any comments left on the review itself.

Hidden reviews

In general, before you leave your own ratings and reviews for a candidate, you'll be able to view the ratings or reviews that other members of your hiring team have left. If you don't see any reviews, it's possible that your Admin has turned on Independent Reviews, which hides teammates' reviews from you until you submit your own. Independent Reviews help to reduce bias in reviews, so that you're not unfairly influenced by a previously submitted rating or review.

If you'd really like to see other reviews and ratings before submitting your own, you can "unlock" the reviews by clicking Show Reviews in the More tab:


This option overrides the Hide Reviews toggle.