Structured Interviews v Unstructured Interviews
Structured interviews are a standardized way of comparing candidates. The interviewer prepares by comprising a list of questions before the interview that focus on job-related skill and cognitive abilities. The same set of questions, in the same order, are given to each interviewee. Their responses are ranked on the same scale to make it consistent.
Unstructured interviews are when the interviewer does not have predetermined questions; however, he/she typically has topics in mind he/she wants to cover. Unstructured questions tend to be open-ended and conversation like. The interviewer asks questions to get the interviewee to speak openly and express attitudes, perceptions, etc. The interviewer tends to continue to building off said answers. Unstructured interviews are often used as a preliminary interview.
Structured interviews are said to be twice as effective as unstructured interviews because the more unstructured it is, the more risk there is to ask questions that won’t predict job performance.
Structured and Unstructured Interview Questions
Typically behavioral questions or situational interview questions.
Structured Interview Question Examples:
The questions are related to the position’s requirements.
How to Prepare for Structured Interviews
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your strength and weaknesses?
- What makes you right for this job?
- Tell me about an incident during the past year in which you were particularly proud of your performance and share it with us.
- Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work. How did you handle the situation? What was the result?
After looking at the job description, make a list of how your skills transfer the position you are applying for. Have examples ready that correspond with those skills.
Unstructured Interview Question Examples:
Typically open-ended questions.
- What kind of problem did you encounter as a software developer?
- Are there any problems that arise more in the beginning? What about the end?
- Can you tell me more about these?
How to Prepare for Unstructured Interviews:
Tune into the interviewer’s personality and interests.
Don’t be afraid to take the lead in the interview if the interviewer is unprepared. Build off an answer to cross reference how your skills can help improve the organization.
Want to learn about more interview styles? Check out our previous blogs, Behavioral Interviews and Case/Problem Solving Interviews, and check back August 28th to read about panel interviews.