Structured Interviews

Complete Guide with Sample Questions

Structured Interviews
Learn what structured interviews are, the difference between them and unstructured interviews, and get sample questions for your next interview.

Last updated November 19th, 2017

A structured interview is a standardized way of interviewing job candidates based on the specific needs of the job they are applying for. Candidates are asked the same questions in the same order. Candidates are all compared on the same scale.

How to Do a Structured Job Interview:
How To Do A Structured Job Interview
  1. Create a job description that accurately describes all duties and responsibilities.
  2. Develop a set of questions that test if candidates can perform the duties and responsibilities.
  3. Decide on a standard order for the questions.
  4. Decide on a scale that will be used to grade all answers.
  5. Keep each interview as standardized as possible.
  6. Try to remove as many variations as possible, such as time of day or location.
Structured Interview Questions:
Structured Interview Questions
  • Talk about how you would handle [common job challenge].
  • Give me an example of a time you had to [important job skill].
  • Who is the best [position they’re applying for] you’ve worked with? Why?
  • Which other companies in [your industry] do you admire? Why?
  • What is the most challenging thing about [position they’re applying for]?
  • What is your favorite thing about [position they’re applying for]?
  • What do you think will be your biggest challenges with [position]?
The Difference Between Structured and Unstructured Interviews:
The Difference Between Structured And Unstructured Interviews

Structured interviews are focused on standardization. Each candidate gets the same questions, in the same order. The questions focus on qualifications, rather than cultural fit. Unstructured interviews are more casual. There are typically few planned questions, and the order they're asked varies.

Using a Rating Scale in Structured Interviews:
Using A Rating Scale In Structured Interviews

Structured interviews typically use a standard rating scale to make it easy to compare candidates. A typical rating scale will ask the interviewer to rate candidates from 1-5 on their preparedness for the job for each question asked.