The Structured Interview

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Laszlo Bock, former Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, states that the average interview can only give you insight into about 14 percent of a prospective employee's performance. Structured interviews, on the other hand, can explain up to 26 percent of their ability - almost double the result.

re:Work - Guide: Use structured interviewing

So why hasn't every company followed Google's lead and instigated structured interviews as standard? Why are candidates still routinely asked irrelevant, open-ended questions no matter what job they're applying for? Part of it may be that research has shown that interviewers are generally convinced that they're already great at interviewing , even if they're not.

Part of it may also be that designing a structured interview is hard - it takes time and effort to come up with great questions, and train interviewers to stick to the script. Given the degree to which it improves hires, however, more and more companies are deciding that it's worth the time and energy - and the Office of Personnel Management even provide some free resources to help your organization make the transition. As the structured interview is a pre-planned and same set of questions are put to all the candidates, so the data collected is quantitative in nature. As opposed to an unstructured interview, wherein different questions are put to different candidates, and so qualitative data is collected.

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In descriptive research, the structured interview is used to collect information, because it is relatively economical and the inferences can be drawn easily. On the contrary, in exploratory research unstructured interview is used as the basic tool for collecting information.

As against this, unstructured interview, the questions are open-ended, that can be answered in multiple ways, i. Structured interviews are used by positivists whereas unstructured interview is used by interpretivists. The structured interview is used for validating results when the number of candidates is quite large.

5.3 Unstructured, Semi-Structured and Structured Interviews

Unlike unstructured interview, which is used to probe personal details of the candidate, so as to judge if he is the right person for the job. In a structured interview, the characteristics evaluated are explicit which on the other side are implicit in an unstructured interview.

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Comments Thank you. It is very informative. You have spelled out the difference, brilliantly. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

How to use structured interview questions to hire the right candidate

Also the language the interviewer uses should be appropriate to the vocabulary of the group of people being studied. It should be noted that interviews may not be the best method to use for researching sensitive topics e. Structured interviews are easy to replicate as a fixed set of closed questions are used, which are easy to quantify — this means it is easy to test for reliability. Structured interviews are fairly quick to conduct which means that many interviews can take place within a short amount of time.

This means a large sample can be obtained resulting in the findings being representative and having the ability to be generalized to a large population. Structure interviews are not flexible. This means new questions cannot be asked impromptu i. The answers from structured interviews lack detail as only closed questions are asked which generates quantitative data. This means a research will won't know why a person behaves in a certain way.

Guide: Use structured interviewing

Unstructured Interview. They are sometimes called informal interviews.

go here An interview schedule might not be used, and even if one is used, they will contain open-ended questions that can be asked in any order. The interview can deviate from the interview schedule. Unstructured interviews generate qualitative data through the use of open questions. This allows the respondent to talk in some depth, choosing their own words.


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It can be time consuming to conduct an unstructured interview and analyze the qualitative data using methods such as thematic analysis. Employing and training interviewers is expensive, and not as cheap as collecting data via questionnaires. For example, certain skills may be needed by the interviewer. Group Interview. This role of the interviewer is to make sure the group interact with each other and do not drift off topic.