HR manager interviewing job applicant flat vector illustration. Business negotiations in office. Meeting with jobseeker, partner, client isolated cartoon characters on white background

What is a Structured Interview


A Structured interview is one where candidates go through a standardized hiring process. They perform a set of predetermined tasks to test their competence levels for the job. It could relate to answering questions or going through a case study interview. Their performance on these tasks gets evaluated on a fixed scale. This process (be it face-to-face or virtual hiring) is more reliable when compared to an unstructured interview. It reduces the probability of hiring an unsuitable candidate.

Steps Involved in a Structured Interview

A Structured interview follows a standardized procedure. It involves specific steps that we should discuss to understand the process.

Conduct a Job Analysis

Job analysis is a comprehensive process to match skills to specific job tasks. It helps in developing a detailed job description for the role. It also assists in designing a proper questionnaire and payscale structure for selected candidates. Job Analysis is essential for developing training modules and related organizational needs.

Determine the Must-Haves for the Job

A candidate needs specific skills and qualifications to perform their job. It serves as a criterion for rejecting aspirants who do not fulfill the requirements. These requirements need to be well defined in advance. It will help interviewers assess the competency of the interviewee.

Determine the Interview Format

The interview format must focus on their past as well as anticipated behavior. It helps in developing structured interview questions for the candidates. It could be behavioral, situational, or a combination of both. It helps to assess many aspects of an individual’s performance. You can watch interview videos in both formats for better clarity on this issue.

Develop an Interview Schedule 

An Interview Schedule is essential to conduct the entire process without any glitches. Companies should decide on the timing as well as the interview methods beforehand. The interview format depends on the convenience of both the interviewer and interviewee. 

Determining the Rating Scale

A well-defined rating scale is an integral part of a structured interview. It helps assess the capabilities of all the candidates who have applied for the job role. The rating scale is different for behavioral and situational interviews. This method helps to assess the different skillsets required to clear those tests.

Conduct the Interview

Interviewers conducting a structured interview need proper training and guidance. They must go through several mock interviews (both behavioral and situational) for preparation. They must take detailed notes about the interview. They should be mindful of their body language and exercise control over their biases.

Examples of Few Structured Interview Questions

Some examples of structured interview questions are as follow:

  • Tell me/us about yourself 
  • Give one or more instances of a challenge that you found difficult to overcome
  • What do you like/dislike about your current role?
  • Was there ever a situation of conflict within your team. How did you handle it?

Why Conduct Structured Interviews

There are several advantages of conducting a structured interview for a job position. They are as follows:

Consistent Process

Structured interviews are consistent for all candidates. They get the same questions and are evaluated using the same rating scale. It also tends to reduce the role of bias while evaluating an interviewee. A candidate’s performance gets judged by their scores and not by how the interviewer sees them.

Time Efficient

Structured interviews tend to be faster because they follow a standardized procedure. There are no deviations from the pattern of the interview, which makes it easier to conduct. The speed does not get affected much, even if it is a physical or a virtual interview.

Easy to Analyse and Compare Multiple Candidates

The performance of all candidates gets measured using the same rating scale. Thus it becomes easier to analyze and compare their scores. The assessment interview of candidates doesn’t change much across different modes. The method stays the same, whether a live face-to-face interview, digital interview, or recorded video interview.

Fair and Effective 

The element of bias becomes less relevant in a structured interview. A candidate’s performance gets measured using a standardized method. The hiring decision is also based on this evaluation process. Thus, the interviewer’s personal bias becomes irrelevant in a structured interview format.  

The recruiter needs to adhere to the legal requirements of conducting an interview. It is easier to follow them if the format is standard across multiple interviews. Be it a physical or an online interview, a structured layout helps employers comply with the legal formalities.

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