What is a Structured Interview?
A structured interview is a systematic approach to candidate evaluation, designed to minimise bias and ensure a fair, consistent hiring process. The process is initiated with a kickoff meeting involving key stakeholders, usually the hiring manager and a representative from the talent acquisition team. During this meeting, three fundamental questions are addressed:
- Who is the ideal candidate for this role?
- What criteria will be used to evaluate candidates?
- What will the interview process entail?
Advantages of Structured Interviews
Enhanced Candidate Selection
Structured interviews significantly improve the likelihood of making an optimal hire. By defining the role's success criteria upfront, the focus shifts from immediate needs to long-term objectives.
Structured interviews limit the influence of unconscious bias by concentrating on the candidate's skills rather than factors like educational background or previous employers.
Superior Candidate Experience
Each interaction with the candidate is purposeful and structured, thereby enhancing the candidate's experience throughout the hiring process.
Conducting a Structured Interview
Holistic Candidate View
Begin by developing a comprehensive understanding of your ideal candidate. This includes defining the role, department, direct manager, and the business objectives that the role aims to fulfil.
Once the role is clearly understood, outline the hiring criteria by listing the required skills, personality traits, and qualifications.
Interview Plan Design
Map out each stage of the interview process and the information you aim to gather at each step. This could range from basic requirements and role interest during the initial phone screen to specific skills assessments later in the process.
Structured vs Unstructured Interviews
Structured interviews provide clear guidelines for interviewers, ensuring a consistent and equitable candidate experience. Unstructured interviews, however, are fraught with risks such as hiring bias and inconsistent evaluation, often leading to suboptimal hiring decisions.
Structured interviews are not just a hiring best practice; they are a necessity for any organisation aiming for equitable, effective talent acquisition.