Structured Interviews for Success

by Feb 14, 2023All Posts, Human Resources

Statistics show that too often interviewers make judgements of potential candidates based upon first impressions and subjective observations that essentially have no indication of the candidate’s actual capacity to perform the applicable role (Frieder et al., 2016). To avoid this, employers should follow a structured interview process to ensure that charisma is not the predominant reasoning for candidate succession. Even if you think you are conducting a structured and rigorous interviewing process, we recommend you read the following article, as we are certain that you will learn something new.

Structured verse Unstructured

Breaking it down, a structured interview asks each candidate the same questions, in the same order, which is then evaluated in consideration of a predetermined criteria. Whereas an unstructured interview is more of an interview via conversation, with no specific questions or criteria aside from the job description.

If you implement a structured interview process, you are more likely to gain a perspective of a candidate’s ability, predicative performance insights and thus, suitability for the role being filled. The accompaniment of a performance assessment can further evidence candidate suitability. Such as, an industry knowledge test, biodata suitability assessment (life, education, and work experiences), work samples and role plays, and cognitive ability tests.

Structured interviews should include:
  • Questions that measure a candidates situational and behavioural competency in relation to anticipated working environment and role. For example, a candidate’s potential actions or responses to differing workplace tasks, situations, and conflicts.
  • Two or more interviewers to reduce the likelihood of a bias decision. In particular to avoid unconscionable bias, in which you make hiring decisions in response to past experiences. For example, you may have hated someone by the name of Olivia growing up, so you do not consciously hire people with that name.
  • Interviewers who have a relevant knowledge and understanding of what is expected of them to conduct a structured and fair interview process, having completed relevant training. 
  • The same questions in the same order for each candidate, with minimal off topic conversation to reduce the development of interviewer bias. Frieder et al. (2016) found that interviewers can make judgements of potential candidates within the first 5 minutes of an interview. Therefore, discussions and unrelated questions should be asked after the structured interview and evaluation process.
  • A predetermined evaluation criteria that is designed through collaborative analysis of the role, inclusive of skills, experience, and knowledge.
  • Detailed notes from interviewers in response to each interview question, validating the awarded score in response to the evaluation criteria. Scores should be determined and documented before asking candidates the proceeding interview question. This is aimed at reducing potential bias that can occur via interviewer collaboration.

The hiring and recruitment process can be very daunting for businesses, proving to be very costly, inefficient, and unproductive if incorrectly approached. If you have a high rate of poor hires and employee resignations, then maybe it is time to review your current recruitment processes. Assurance HR Management can equip you with the correct documentation such as interview questions and evaluation criteria and/or we can talk you through these documents and associated process. Alternatively, we can act as a third-party consultant, conducting interviews and narrowing the candidate selection on your behalf. Reach out to us by scheduling a free consultation or call us on 1800 577 515.  


Frieder, R. E., Van Iddekinge, C. H., & Raymark, P. H. (2016). How quickly do interviewers reach decisions? An examination of interviewers’ decision-making time across applicants. Journal of Occupational & Organizational Psychology, 89(2), 223–248.

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