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If we're asked to rate each of our team member in a group activity interview, what is the ideal response expected? Will they want something like "equal rating to all members because I value each of them"? This was in an interview , where we were a fake team and one of us was the manager but everyone including the manager was asked to rate others. Even though it was a group activity and a presentation, (there were multiple groups) not all of us in the same group even, could be selected, so I am confused how to proceed in such situations, give good ratings to others, increasing their chances? Or giving less ratings showing yourself as a miser/unfair person? The ratings were supposed to be 1 to 10

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    Did you ask for clarification? Did they just say "rate X with a number" or give any other context? In general the best source to tell you on what merits to rate are the people who asked you to do the rating... May 29, 2020 at 12:34
  • Hello and welcome to the Workplace.SE. Can you give us more context? Are you a manager or part of the team? Is this something that is asked to everyone in the team or just you?
    – LP154
    May 29, 2020 at 12:53
  • I added some details to the question May 29, 2020 at 13:09
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    ...not all of us in the same group even, could be selected... This part is confusing. Are you saying you were being asked to rate people you weren't doing the activity with? Is the issue that you didn't have an opinion because you lacked information? ...give good ratings to others, increasing their chances... Was it made explicit that your rating would affect their chances of being hired?
    – BSMP
    May 29, 2020 at 22:53

2 Answers 2

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You haven't provided a lot of context. In most cases, there is no benefit to you or anyone else in providing an overall numeric (3 out of 5, 8 out of 10 sort of thing) score for your team-mates.

If you are doing a job interview, and were asked to do something together as a group, then providing a rating for the other members of the group, just about their performance in the group task, may be helpful. For example, if one of the people goes for "strategic" rating, where they give a good person a low score in the hope of beating them and getting the job, I can spot that (if the others give accurate ratings, or if I observed the activity and can rate them myself) and avoid hiring a dishonest candidate who puts their own desires (to get the job) ahead of the company's (to learn about all the candidates.) Candidates who give the only minority candidate a low rating may similarly be revealing their prejudices. Giving simple honest ratings is the best strategy here.

In other contexts, like your own performance review, tread more carefully. People should be evaluated on many axes: how helpful are they, how smart are they, how hard working are they, how much X do they know, how much Y do they know, how willing are they to step up and do what has to be done, and to boil all of that down to a single number without any comment or explanation is rarely useful.

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"Scores" for something as subjective as human interaction are virtually useless. It is far more important to explain in words and details your evaluation of the other participants.

Think of it like rating an uber driver. The only two scores that anyone should responsibly give are either a 1 or a 5. Did you get to your destination? 5, no? 1. Uber will deactivate any driver that averages below 4.6, so giving someone a score of 4 because they failed to provide white-glove treatment is cruel towards the drivers who are in a precarious job.

The same idea applies in a workplace setting when evaluating others. You can't use a 1-dimensional measure on an activity that involves so many factors. OK, perhaps trained psychologists running a careful experiment might be able to draw conclusions from such measures, but we're talking here about HR people-- that's as likely to be successful as trying to fix a watch while wearing baseball gloves.

Of course, you've got to play by the rules. Unless it was an utter flop, just give a nominally high score, like 9-10, but then provide a detailed and honest prose explanation. If it truly matters, your explanations will speak louder than a silly number. If you really are reduced to just giving a score, make some personal notes about the experience, give a number as instructed, and if they follow up refer to your notes.

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