Choosing the wrong candidate for a role is costly for employers. In addition, unstructured interviews can lead to bias and legal liability by interviewers asking discriminatory or illegal questions.
Structured interviews involve asking predetermined questions correlated with critical job competencies identified in detailed job analysis and using a grading system to rate candidates’ answers. The structured interview process is tightly controlled to make deliberation fairer for all participants.
Whether you use structured interviews in person or via video, it’s essential to prepare candidates in advance by giving them an overview of what they can expect. Doing this can reduce the likelihood that they’ll feel like they’re being assessed or mistreated.
Structured interviews involve pre-determined questions asked to all candidates. This method ensures that each candidate is evaluated on the same criteria, making the hiring process more fair and objective. These questions usually correlate to critical job competencies derived from the job description. They also include a scoring system and a rubric to evaluate responses objectively.
A structured interview process can help mitigate bias during the interview and when evaluating candidates afterward, but it’s crucial to ensure that all interviewers are well-trained. It helps to ensure that interviewers ask the same questions in the same order, use the same scoring criteria, and take the same notes. It also makes it easier to analyze the data. It’s also important to document your structured interview process, which can provide valuable proof in the event of a discrimination claim.
Structured interviews help level the playing field when it comes to evaluating applicants. When interviewers are asked to assess the same questions and follow a set of criteria for grading candidates, it’s much more challenging to make subjective decisions that can cause unintended biases and discrimination.
The structured interview process also enables employers to collect fair and consistent data about their candidate pools. That makes it easier to collaborate with hiring teams, evaluate applicants, and check for unconscious bias in one system.
But despite the benefits, structured interviews can take much work. Recruiters cannot ask candidates open-ended questions and may need more time to conduct an in-depth interview. It allows interviewers to see candidates’ creative problem-solving skills. They can also gauge their ability to think outside the box and build team chemistry.
Conducting the Interviews
With a structured interview, interviewers ask standardized questions based on the results of an in-depth job analysis. It ensures the questions are relevant to the role and provides consistent interview evaluations for all candidates. It also reduces the chance of discrimination by eliminating variables such as personal bias or favoritism.
As an added benefit, a well-designed structured interview process can save hiring managers time and money by ensuring that all interviews are conducted under the same conditions, which makes it easier to compare the candidates. It can also help ensure candidates can share good interview experiences with others, which can damage a company’s reputation and lead to future difficulties in attracting qualified applicants.
A significant disadvantage of structured interviews is that they can focus too much on hard skills and specific job competencies, ignoring softer qualities such as communication, teamwork, emotional intelligence, and other interpersonal abilities. However, incorporating additional assessment techniques, such as behavioral or situational interviews, can address this issue and provide a more holistic view of candidates’ skills.
A well-developed structured interview process allows hiring managers to evaluate candidates objectively and ultimately hire the best candidate for each role. While it may take more upfront work, the time spent creating and executing structured interviews will pay dividends.
As the labor market tightens, structured interviews are a powerful tool for recruiters and employers. Hiring managers can use a structured interview to evaluate candidates based on predetermined criteria and questions, avoiding biases and making the best hiring decisions possible.
However, while structured interviews eliminate some of the problems associated with unstructured interviewing, they can still be influenced by interviewers’ biases. It is essential to have a detailed job analysis and carefully craft each interview question based on your gathered information. It will help reduce the risk of bias in your evaluations. In addition, taking thorough notes and recording your assessments during each interview is crucial so that you can recall them accurately when you make your decision.