What is a structured interview its Benefits and Disadvantages

What is a structured interview?

The structured interview is an interview model that follows a pre-established script, with questions already defined and applied equally to all candidates.

The structured interview is a very useful tool in the recruitment and selection processes.

Understand that it is in the selection that the company and professional match or realize that they don’t fit each other’s needs. After all, we don’t always find what we need in the resume bank .

In this article, you will learn more about this type of interviewits advantages and disadvantages .

It is an interview model with a pre-established script , with questions already defined and applied equally to all candidates .

This activity is more objective and allows for impartial assessment of respondents.

In general, it is a technique that uses questionnaires with questions that accept two answers: yes or no.

In this sense, it is more rigid, unlike semi- structured or unstructured formats .

Furthermore, the structured interview can take place in person, over the internet or by telephone .

But know that there is no room for improvisation and all responses are recorded with notes, then ranked by the recruiter.

Thus, HR management is able to promote a fairer, objective and egalitarian selection . In addition, it can be applied to small, medium or large companies.

Advantages and disadvantages of structured interview

The great advantage of the method is that it neither favors nor harms any of the candidates. The fact that everyone answers the same questions makes an equal assessment possible.

On the other hand, the main disadvantage of the structured interview is that it prevents the evaluator from delving into the topics covered . Precisely because it is guided by a closed script.

However, as in all processes, it is essential to analyze advantages and disadvantages.

Thus, we can understand whether or not the type of interview meets the company’s needs. Check out other pros and cons of this method.


  • They are objective ;
  • are able to collect the most relevant information ;
  • optimize recruiter and interviewee time;
  • make interviews more standardized ;
  • minimize the impacts of unconscious biases and prejudgments;
  • Structured interviews can establish a process , so multiple people can perform them.


  • They ask for caution, as they can make the connection between interviewer and interviewee difficult ;
  • they are more rigid and inflexible ;
  • they tend to restrict the candidate’s expressiveness and limit the responses ;
  • need advance planning .

Finally, in general, having pre-established criteria and scores helps the recruiter’s work, especially when he must decide on hiring from very similar profiles.

Not to mention that the structured interview collects reliable information, passed on by the candidate himself .

Thus, the interviewer’s assumptions are eliminated and he will have an overview of the future employee’s performance.

How to do a structured interview

The benefits of the structured interview are concrete. But for the method to really bring results, interviewers need training.

Another fundamental care is to write and test all the questions before the actual application with the candidates.

Therefore, people management must update the roadmap frequently, adapting to the reality of the organization.

Remember that needs change and structured interviews run the risk of setting patterns in candidate responses.

1-Analyze the position

It all starts with a thorough analysis of the open position, as each job or role requires specific skills .

Therefore, a job interview should be conducted considering the details of the position.

To do so, define the technical skills for the role, courses and acquired knowledge, in addition to behavioral skills, such as empathy and ease of communication.

2-Define the evaluation criteria

Knowing the objectives that the structured interview should achieve is essential. After analyzing the skills that the position requires, define the criteria for evaluating the candidate .

They will be the basis for the score that the respondent should achieve with their answers.

In this case, the recruiter can define criteria for the questions as follows: bad, unsatisfactory, average, good and excellent.

3-Develop script topics

Organize the questionnaire into topics , structuring the interview in blocks. This strategy facilitates the application of the method and provides clarity on what is being questioned. The ideal is to introduce the interview already establishing some empathy with the interviewee.

Gradually check for compatibility between the behavioral profile and the organizational culture .

Next, assess whether the candidate meets the requirements of the position and investigate professional experiences. End this step by clarifying what the next steps will be.

4-Formulate a list of questions

Remember that the basis of the structured interview is the questions. They are important investigative tools for extracting information from candidates . So, designing a questionnaire efficiently depends on it.

To define the questions, consider the previous steps. Ideally, the questions do not induce the candidate to answer what the recruiter wants.

Therefore, allow the professional to use free reasoning and expose true answers.

In general, companies use general, situational, behavioral and technical knowledge questions. The criterion depends on the HR analyst:

  • General questions: deal with broad aspects and are applied at the beginning of the interview. Example: “What activities did you perform in your previous job?”;
  • Situational questions: deals with hypothetical questions in order to find out how the candidate would react. Example: “What would you do if you caught a colleague breaking company rules?”;
  • behavioral questions: used to investigate the respondent’s pattern of behavior. Example: “What do you do in your free time?”;
  • technical knowledge questions: to identify how much the candidate knows about the company and confirm that their values ​​align with the organization. Example: “What is the reason for wanting to work here?”.

5-Train with interviewers

The ability to conduct the interview is crucial to the success of the method. Therefore, the professionals who will apply the questionnaires must receive adequate training .

The interviewer must demonstrate confidence and be able to analyze the candidates’ answers without any personal judgment.

Tips on how to structure an interview

We have already said here that having a good script is essential for developing a structured interview.

Since this helps to organize the conversation with the candidate and facilitates the elaboration of the questions . So, our suggestion for the interview is:

  • introduction and welcome;
  • questions about professional experiences;
  • academic education;
  • approach the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses ;
  • behavioral questions;
  • description and formal presentation of the position;
  • space to listen to the candidate’s doubts.

To be even more successful in structuring such an interview, check out some practical tips that will help the recruiter.

1-Get ready

Having mastery of the business and knowing the company deeply helps in conducting the interview.

Therefore, the recruiter must prepare himself by studying what skills are needed for the position.

In this way, tracing the desired profile and asking about the candidate’s training, experiences and skills help a lot.

2-make the moment pleasant

A structured interview cannot be a tense moment for the candidate. So, try to lighten the mood and conduct activities safely .

Ask about the candidate’s hobbies or what he likes to do in his spare time. Break the ice and allow both of you to feel comfortable during the selection process.

When the environment is oppressive, it is common for the interviewee to become defensive, preventing him from expressing himself naturally.

So, use common sense, avoiding being too nice or forcing the situation.

3-Value for objectivity

It is necessary to balance the lightness of the moment with the objectivity necessary for the interview to go well. 

Consider that the interviewee is there to be heard, so don’t assume the chatterbox position if you are the interviewer.

Conduct the activity focusing on what really matters and don’t forget that there are other candidates waiting for their turn.

Also, do not comment on the interviewee’s answers and avoid off-script questions.

Demonstrate professionalism and perform your role with mastery. Do not take too many notes, as it can impair the thinking of the professional in front of you.

4-Avoid situations where prejudice shows through

The role of the interviewer, whether in a structured interview or another model, is to be neutral and impartial.

Therefore, never make judgments or act with prejudice of any kind . After all, your opinion or personal taste is not relevant. Nor do they represent the company’s positioning.

What must prevail is the equivalence between personal appearance and the open position. Good recruiters know that prejudice can drive high-level professionals away.

Not to mention that prejudiced attitudes can generate ethical, moral and legal problems for the company.

So focus on the candidate’s skills and what he has to offer. If you need help deciding, ask your industry colleagues for help.

5-Take a final alignment test

To end the interview and resolve any doubts about the candidate’s skills and abilities, it is advisable to take a final test.

At this point, take the opportunity to evaluate your own methods as an interviewer and learn from your mistakes .

As a final tip, remember to always review the structured interview to keep it consistent with the purpose of the company.

Periodic reassessments help to find gaps in the selection process and make the interview more qualified.

Was the content helpful? We hope you enjoyed it and that it helps people management to find professionals aligned with the company.

Now that you understand the concept of the structured interview, its advantages and how to structure this process , how about learning more about talent management? Download the e-book and see how to use Sólides to promote strategic management.

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