Difference between structured, unstructured and semi-structured job interviews

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There are 3 main types of job interviews: structured, semi-structured and unstructured job interviews. In this article you will learn the differences between them so you can decide which one is your best choice for assessing candidates. Tips & tricks for conducting a great interview included!

Job interview types

Recruiters and human resources professionals divide job interviews into 3 different types:

  • Structured interviews
  • Unstructured interviews
  • Semi-structured interviews

Structured interview

A structured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks questions which are planned and created in advance.
Tips&tricks for conducting structured interviews:

  1. Prepare interview questions to ask candidates in advance.
  2. Develop a scale for grading candidates answers.
  3. Take detailed notes of each candidate’s answers.

Unstructured interview

An unstructured interview is a type of interview in which the interviewer asks questions as they arise spontaneously in a free flowing conversation.
Tips&tricks for conducting unstructured interviews:

  1. Keep in mind specific experiences and qualities you are looking for in candidates.
    2. Feel free to explore specific interesting points from your candidate’s resume.
  2. Develop each next questions based on your the candidate’s answer.

Semi-structured interview

Semi-structured interview is a type of interview in which some questions are predetermined and others arise spontaneously during conversation.

Tips&tricks for conducting semi-structured interviews:

     1. Create basic set of interview questions to ask your candidates.

  1. Customize your follow up questions based on your candidates’ answer.
  2. Return to your basic set of questions and repeat the whole process.

Which type of job interview should you use?

You should choose the right type of interview based on the needs of your candidate persona. Create representation of your ideal candidate by defining the characteristics, skills, and traits that make up your perfect hire.

Try to put yourself in your candidate persona’s shoes. Create questions which would allow your candidate person to show of her/his best qualities and skills.

Importance of choosing the right job interview type

Choosing the right type of job interview will help you find and hire your ideal job candidate, improve your candidate experience and make your recruiting efforts more effective and successful.

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One thought on “Difference between structured, unstructured and semi-structured job interviews

  1. Pingback: Difference between structured, unstructured and semi-structured job interviews | Ravinder Tulsiani - The Corporate Trainer

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