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Questions for a successful structured interview

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A structured interview is a standardized way of interviewing job candidates based on the specific needs for the job they are applying for. Candidates are asked the same questions in the same order, and the interviewer ranks them using the same scale.

Structured interview questions are pre-formulated by employers, who use them to obtain specific information and data from each candidate using the same question sequence. This strategy helps us to avoid the influence of unrelated aspects when choosing the right candidate and to achieve a consistent evaluation for all those evaluated.

But what types of questions are asked in this type of interview? Here are some examples that will help you when developing questions the next time you conduct a structured interview:

General questions

The principal approach would be to ask the candidate to talk about themself briefly and concisely but provide highlights of their education and work experience. Every candidate should be ready for this question.

The idea is to ask questions focused on each candidate’s background and education and their relevance to the position. These questions may include, “how do you feel your degree would be helpful to you in performing in this position?” or “what brings you here?”

However, it is worth noting that even if the interview begins with general questions, avoid filling the candidate with general and unrelated questions for the position. Develop role-specific questions to see if candidates meet the position’s requirements.

Experience questions

Focus on questions related to the responsibilities of the position. For example, if the position the candidate is applying for is sales related, ask specific questions such as, “why is personality so important to making a sale?” These questions provide honest answers to questions that only experienced workers know.

Behavioral and situational questions

Ask questions that allow you to elicit information about a candidate’s behavior and situational actions. Behavioral and situational questions are good choices when you want to hear longer answers and get more information about candidates, especially when you want to learn more about the individual’s ethics and sense of commitment. It is advisable to look for situations that often arise in your profession.

An example of a question might be, ” how have you handled difficult situations with co-workers or clients?” or “tell me about your worst boss or co-worker”. This type of question puts the candidate in the employee’s shoes and demonstrates whether they can be discreet and professional even in an uncomfortable situation.

Personal and professional objectives

Every company has a different personality, so to speak; that is the reason it is also good to ask the candidate what work environment suits them best. The candidate’s response will allow you to see how well their personality would fit with the company’s.

Another good way to find out would be to ask about their expectations of this opportunity. Finding out what the candidate expects from you may also tell you about their personality and how well they would fit in with the work environment.

When formulating questions, remember:

  • Beware of standard answers. These are the answers the candidate gives because they think they are what is expected of them. Look for a well-prepared candidate who answers questions based on their life and personal experiences.
  • Read the questions carefully to make sure that none of the questions can be answered with a “yes” or “no”; structured interview questions require complete answers.