Structured Interviews Are More Reliable Than Unstructured Interviews

structured interviews

There are two common types of interview formats used by human resources professionals: the structured interview and the unstructured interview. The more professional interview format to use is the structured interview. Structured interviews are more reliable than unstructured interviews. They are a more accurate means of candidate comparison and evaluation.

Many human resources professionals are aware of this difference, and believe that they are adhering to the higher structured interview standard. However, only a part of recruiters adhere to the structured standard in it’s entirety.

A structured interview must satisfy at least three criteria. One, applicants must all be asked the same set of questions. Two, applicants must be rated according to the same rating system. Three, the nature of the questions must be related to the position being applied for. While many human resources professionals do ask all of the applicants the same set of questions, the other two criteria are sometimes forgotten. The recruiters may not use an independent rating system consistently for every candidate assessed or the recruiters may digress from relevant questions about the job and ask other non-related questions. Or they may forget to do both. In addition, there are errors that are introduced into the process that arise from the use of the unstructured interview format.

So how should an interview be administered? The interview should begin with introductions, be followed by a breakdown or summary of things that will be discussed, followed by a question period time for the candidate, and finished with a determination of the candidate’s fit for the role.

The first step is the introductions. The introductions are followed by a detailed description of what will happen at the interview. The description of interview activities is necessary because the interview process is fairly stressful for many candidates. Not only are candidates placed in the position of being judged and analyzed by other professionals while being asked to respond to unforeseen questions, but also they are part of a high stakes scenario where their future is on the line. By discussing what will happen at the interview near the beginning of the interview, it serves to prepare the candidates mentally for the challenge. After the description, questions will be asked of the candidate. The type of questions includes skill testing questions, disqualifier questions, or hypothetical situational questions. The most difficult of these to create are the situational questions. After the job specific questions, there should be a bit of time allotted to check out whether or not the person may be a fit for the company. To figure out organizational fit, ask the job seeker about their vision, their goals and objectives, and compare those with those of the company. This should be enough to gain a complete picture.


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