Job Interview Guide

What are Structured Interviews?

Structured interviews are an assessment method that evaluates the competencies of job applicants with a specific and pre-determined set of questions, follow-up questions, and rating criteria.

Using a standardized interview process across all candidates ensures that:

  • Interview content is job-relevant
  • Every candidate has the same opportunity to demonstrate her/his potential
  • Notes and records of candidate responses and interviewer evaluations are maintained
  • All candidates are evaluated using the same criteria

Extensive research has shown that structured interviews greatly increase the reliability and success of hiring decisions. Structured interviews also have the additional benefit of being more legally defensible than unstructured interviews.

Pre-employment Interview Guide Questions and Follow-ups

Core Competencies

Structured interviews are typically designed to measure between 4 and 8 core competencies. The selection of relevant competencies can be determined by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)—people with direct knowledge and experience performing or supervising the specific job. They can also be determined through statistical studies of the traits and skills that drive success in a particular job.

Follow up Questions:

In order to clarify the candidate’s responses, but still keep the interview process consistent between candidates, a set of pre-determined “probe” questions can also be asked by the interviewers as needed. These questions typically include things like:

  1. Can you please provide more details about that?
  2. What specific actions did you take?
  3. Describe the specific outcome of your actions. What did you accomplish, or what did you learn?

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