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What is a Structured Intervew?

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Structured interview, also known as a standardized interview, is well known for its impartiality and, as the name implies, its standardization, resulting in a very effective personnel selection technique. It is almost twice as effective as a traditional interview. The structured interview tends to be used when the employer seeks to study each candidate equitably and evaluate factors that may be hard to measure by other methods.

During a structured interview, the interviewer asks each candidate the same series of questions previously designed by the recruiter. The questions are correlated with the needs of the company and are carried out in joint or standardized order. The interviewer is strictly adherent to the schedule for the interview and does not do separate tests, so it may be a somewhat inflexible method for the interviewees.

This evaluation method allows the employer to systematically measure the applicants’ behavior and experience facing past or hypothetical situations that may occur at the company’s work environment. The interview is structured in such a way that allows the employers to obtain answers to the same series of questions, and, at the same time, offer a personalized experience to the interviewee.

How is a structured interview conducted?

  • The personal and professional skills required for each position are determined using the job requirements to create predetermined questions.
  • A series of questions is created. This allows us to evaluate the candidates’ personal and professional skills. Often, behavioral or situational questions are used instead of open-ended questions.
  • An appraisal scale is created.
  • Qualification questions and tools are provided to the interviewer.
  • Candidates are evaluated using the appraisal scale, rather than being guided by the interviewer’s intuition or general perception of the candidate.

Factors that can be analyzed through the interview

  • Attention to detail. Are the candidates able to keep track of their responsibilities in the company? For example, schedules, tasks, short and long term objectives among others.
  • Behavioral characteristics. Do the candidates prefer to participate in the formulation of the plan or just carry it out? What is their definition of success? How do they measure their success? How do they achieve their objectives? What role do they usually play in a group meeting or discussion?
  • Critical thinking. Ask the interviewees to tell you about a time when they faced competitive deadlines at work. How did they handle it? How did they come to that conclusion?
  • Ask for an example of a decision they had to make quickly or under pressure. How did they approach it? Ask the candidates to tell you about a mistake they made in a past job, which they regret. What happened and what did they learn from that mistake? If they did not think they could meet the deadline, what did they do about it? Ask for an example.

Benefits of the structured interview over other types of interview

  • Considering that the standardized parameters and values serve as a filter to identify the least qualified candidates, it is easier to compare the results of each candidate.
  • This type of interview also evaluates key cognitive factors that demonstrate high probabilities of effectiveness in fulfilling the position.
  • It offers the opportunity to evaluate the candidates’ behavior and performance in previous or hypothetical situations in a completely systematic way.
  • The questions are focused on the specific needs of the role.
  • Thanks to the repetition system, the interviewer is able to dissuade subjective factors that may occur during a traditional interview.
  • It also ensures that issues relating to discrimination can be avoided, as all candidates are given equal opportunities to demonstrate their abilities. As a result, the interviewees feel more comfortable being assessed in the same way as all the candidates.
  • The structured interview is a very useful technique in the selection of personnel. If possible, this technique can be combined with practical or knowledge assessments to get the whole picture of the candidates’ skills and competencies.