UW Evaluator’s Guide to Interfolio Faculty Search

Review and Rate Applicants

In reviewing an application, evaluators have the ability to make notes – or annotations – on applicant materials and rate applications against the evaluation criteria previously set up in FS.


Annotations are private, personal notes about an application, and are only viewable by the committee member who added the note. Please be aware that there may be rare circumstances, such as a lawsuit, where annotations may be “discoverable.”

The annotation toolbar is located in the bottom right corner of the Materials Viewer.

Annotation bar screenshot

Clicking the first icon above will display the different options for locating and applying notes. The second icon will remove a note. The ‘eye’ icon will display all annotations you’ve applied to the page. You can view a list of annotations by clicking the Annotations tab at the top of the materials list on the left hand side of the window.

You can export all your annotations by clicking the export icon that appears to the right of the Annotations tab once you’ve made an annotation.

Rating Applicants

After reviewing applicant materials, Evaluators can leverage the rating feature in FS to evaluate applicants against the evaluation criteria that were entered into FS prior to committee review. The rating feature allows the evaluator to assign one to five stars for each criterion.

To use the FS ratings feature, click “Ratings” on the toolbar at the top of the window.

Applicant ratings tab screenshot

A pop-up window will open listing all criteria. Click on the highest number of stars you want to award for each criterion (i.e., click the fourth star to assign four stars). When you are finished rating the applicant, close the pop-up window.  For units that are interested, FS has a tutorial that describes how to weight criteria differently (How to Weight Ratings from an Applicant Report). Your FS Administrator should be able to access the tutorial on behalf of the search committee and help guide you through that process.

When you are finished rating the applicant, use the arrows at the top of the viewer to advance to the next applicant.

Rating pop up App advance

NOTE: Although the FS rating tool is easy to use, it is not required. Search committees can evaluate applicants outside of the system provided they archive their notes consistent with the university’s record retention schedule. Search committees should work with their unit administrator to understand the retention schedule and where recruitment documents/notes will be retained. Regardless of whether Evaluators use the rating feature or not, the evaluation criteria must be noted in FS and all applicants must receive a disposition code.

Disposition Codes

As a federal contractor, UW is required to track disposition data in order to maintain compliance with applicable regulations and laws. To support compliance with recruitment audits and the principles behind them, the UW has established a set of standard applicant disposition codes to identify why an applicant falls out of consideration (i.e., reason for rejection). The UW disposition codes are set at the provost level, but are applied at the hiring unit level; this means they can’t be deleted or changed, but the unit determines to whom they are applied. UW disposition codes are organized into a matrix that also includes position and application statuses that identify various stages of the search and applicant review. To assist Evaluators in understanding the relationship of position statuses to application statuses to applicant disposition codes, please review the UW Academic Personnel Status/Disposition Matrix.

All applicants must be assigned a disposition code before the preferred candidate can be hired and/or the search can be closed. Only FS Administrators can set statuses and assign disposition codes. At various points during a search, the Administrator will need to assign and revise statuses to accurately reflect what is happening in the search. Administrators should not assign statuses or disposition codes without first consulting with the search committee or search committee chair. Evaluators should make a point of meeting regularly with the Administrator so there is a clear communication.

The evaluation criteria are distinct and separate from the disposition codes, but there is a relationship. Evaluators should review applicants against the criteria first. If the search committee determines an applicant does not meet criteria to an acceptable breadth or depth, they need to determine which disposition code best represents the reason the applicant will not move forward in the search. It is often the case that there is more than one disposition code that would fit the scenario. In UW’s federal reporting, only one disposition code is reported. As such, the search committee needs to make a decision about which disposition code to report. Whichever disposition code is chosen, the search committee should be able to support their decision in the event of an audit.

BEST PRACTICE - Downloading application materials

Although FS allows you to download applicant materials, units assume a huge risk in doing so. Confidentiality     is an important aspect of all academic personnel recruitment. Lack of sensitivity to personal or professional information can be very damaging to an applicant’s career, especially when that applicant seeks to leave their current institution for another position. The unit and search committee are expected to be defenders of applicant privacy and – by extension – stewards of the reputation and integrity of the University of Washington.

Only those with an absolute and legitimate need (administrative, evaluative, or decision-making roles) should have access to applicant materials. If interviewee/finalist materials need to be circulated to a larger group, precautions should be taken to limit, control, and remove access in a responsible and timely manner. Anyone with access should be informed of the expectation that they not share application materials with others.

Units are encouraged to reflect on different ways they can support confidentiality in the recruitment process.

Last updated August 18, 2022 at 9:44 am