A structured interview is a good way to ask candidates a set number of questions to see how they stack up to one another. Not only will you get the relevant information you need to vet the candidate, but you can compare their answers against those of others.
However, structured interviews are not something you can do on the fly. You have to prepare ahead of time with questions relevant to your position and know exactly what you’re going to cover. Here’s what you need to know about structured interviews.
So, what exactly is a structured interview?
A structured interview is done with a set of questions that are asked in the same order. Generally, there is a scoring system that the hiring manager uses to score candidates against one another. This helps keep interviews more consistent and gives hiring managers a rubric to grade their candidates.
Some additional benefits of structured interviews include:
- More consistent and effective interviews
- Less bias from hiring managers
- Hiring managers can compare candidates efficiently
- It’s easier to evaluate candidates on a grading scale
What interviews do you ask in a structured interview?
Structured interviews are newer to the hiring process. They were originally used in scientific experiments to keep questions consistent. Like normal interviews, you want to stick to questions that make sense for the role.
Think about it in terms of types of questions. Such as:
- Role-specific questions
- Behavioral and personal questions
- Situational questions
Your questions should have a mix of the above to cover what you need to know about a candidate. You want to get a sense of their experience, where they want to take their career, and how they react in typical job-related situations.
How do you prepare for a structured interview?
Preparing for these types of interviews takes some time. You’ll want to go through each of the steps until you have everything you need.
First, know what skills your candidate needs. This should be a mix of both hard and soft skills.
Once you know the skills, write questions for each of them. Make sure this is a mix of the types of questions mentioned above. It would help if you also make sure these are job-specific.
You need to create your rating system and train your managers on how to move through the process methodically.
Distribute the questions and the grading rubric to your hiring managers and make time to connect after they interview their candidates.
Throughout the interview
Each interview should be conducted in the same way. Greet your candidate and make your introductions, then get started asking questions.
You and your hiring managers need to stick to the script. They need to answer all of the questions in the order in which they were written.
Don’t rush your candidates through the process. Instead, give them plenty of time to answers and only continue to the next question when you know they’re finished.
One of the best ways to score your candidate is during the interview itself. Write down your score immediately after they answer. Your first impression is the most important.
As you can see, structured interviews take time to create and require high attention to detail when scoring and listening. However, they can be instrumental when interviewing multiple candidates for a sought-after role.