What is a structured interview?
June 26, 2023
Viktor Nordmark
You’re in recruitment mayhem. Time is short because your deadline is inching closer, and you have to find a way to both quickly screen candidates and understand who is the most suitable candidate. What do you do?
After some Googling, you stumble upon this article with the resolution to your problem; the structured interview. But what is it, and how do you make it work for you?
The gist of the structured interview

A structured interview is a standardized and systematic approach to conducting interviews in which the interviewer asks a predetermined set of questions to assess candidates for a specific job or position. It aims to gather consistent and comparable information from all applicants, facilitating a fair and objective evaluation process. The opposite to which is the unstructured interview, which does not follow a standardized set of questions but rather a go-with-the-flow conversation-style interview. It aims to explore the candidate's background, experiences, and personal qualities in a less structured manner. 

Perks and Revelation

By having every candidate go through the same set of questions, you can more easily assess and compare the responses. But there are more perks with the structured interview: 

Minimize bias 

You have the power to deploy a hiring process that is as unbiased as possible. If your structured interview takes place online (such as with Hubert), you have the option to not even to screen CVs beforehand. This means you won’t know the names, ages, or looks of the candidates that are being interviewed. Everyone gets a fair chance, and the only evaluation that takes place is that of the respondents' responses. 

Increased reliability of evaluations 

Thanks to the ranking and scoring system, the evaluation of the candidates becomes objective. The system itself holds you accountable for how you score, which results in more reliable results. 

Find the best fit based on objective criteria 

The structured interview, if conducted as an initial screening, is more humane than, say, a call or CV screening. You’re not evaluating people based on education, location, or previous high-status jobs; on the contrary, you’re only looking at who they are today. You might get a small revelation when you look at CVs later on and find that the candidate who ranked highest was not the candidate with the most suitable education. 

How to conduct a structured interview process

Alright, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details of how to go about this! 

To use a structured interview effectively, follow these steps:

  1. Define the job requirements
    Clearly identify the key competencies, skills, and qualities needed for the position. This serves as a foundation for designing relevant interview questions.

  2. Develop a question framework
    Create a set of questions that cover various aspects related to the job requirements. These questions should be job-related, behavior-based, and focused on assessing specific skills or experiences.

  3. Establish rating criteria
    Define the criteria for evaluating candidate responses. This can include scales or scoring rubrics that provide a structured framework for assessing each answer consistently.

  4. Conduct the interview
    If you’re doing the interview live, start the interview by introducing yourself and explaining the purpose of the structured interview. Ask each candidate the same set of questions in the same order, allowing them to provide their responses. Be attentive, take notes, and avoid interrupting the candidate's answers.

  5. Evaluate candidate responses
    Use the established rating criteria to evaluate and score each candidate's responses. This ensures a fair and objective assessment. It's important to remain consistent and impartial throughout the evaluation process.

  6. Compare and rank candidates
    After conducting all the interviews, compare the scores and performance of each candidate based on the established criteria. This helps in ranking the candidates and identifying the most suitable ones for further consideration.

Consider supplementary information
While the structured interview provides valuable insights, it’s, with the risk of being two-faced, important to consider other factors such as resumes, references, and additional assessments or tests to make a comprehensive hiring decision. But remember, you might get surprised by your assumptions!

If you don’t have time for manual labor

The recruitment industry is a potluck of efficiency. Recruiters and HR companies are moving further away from time-consuming manual labor and rapidly moving towards digital tools that can help them with every step of the hiring process. At Hubert, we provide initial screenings of candidates by delivering on-the-go structured, online interviews that every applicant goes through. As long as you know what you’re looking for, we and the applicants take care of the rest. 

Implementation period
What is a structured interview?
June 26, 2023
Viktor Nordmark
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Vasagatan 28, 111 20 Stockholm, Sweden
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