Skip to content
Home » Understanding Structured and Unstructured Interviews

Understanding Structured and Unstructured Interviews

Structured and Unstructured Interviews

Companies often explore various methods to attract top talent, from tweaking the questions to adjusting the interview panels. But what if the key to success lies in the interview format you choose for your hiring process? The selection of the right interview format that is aligned with your business is not just important; it’s crucial. This is where a comprehensive understanding of structured and unstructured interviews can be a game-changer, as it can significantly enhance your hiring outcomes. 

What are Structured Interviews?

As the name suggests, structured interviews refer to a structured and organized interview process. They consist of predetermined, close-ended questions, and every candidate receives identical questions with similar response options. It allows for consistency in the interview process and eliminates chaos and redundancy. 

Also known as a patterned or planned interview, this interview method uses pre-set questions in the same sequence during each interview.

What are Unstructured Interviews?

Unstructured interviews, on the contrary, do not follow a fixed format. It is a qualitative research method, in which the questions are prepared during the interview. Unstructured interview process usually offers an informal approach where a conversation takes place between the interviewer and interviewee. Based on the responses, the interviewer asks another question.

It is more conversational, less formal, and usually more relaxed for both parties. This interview method helps judge a candidate’s presence of mind, communication skills, and ability to think well and fast. 

Also Read: Recruitment Automation: What is it and How Does it Work?

Three Differences Between a Structured Interview and an Unstructured Interview

Differences Between a Structured Interview and an Unstructured Interview

Here are some major differences between structured and unstructured interview processes:

Standardized Questions

In a structured interview, the questions are predetermined and fixed in advance. The interview process follows a set of questions common to all candidates. In contrast, an unstructured interview features questions that are rare and not prearranged. In this interview process, the interviewer asks questions at the moment. 

Quantitative and Qualitative Data

In a structured interview process, pre-planned questions are consistently asked to candidates, resulting in quantitative data collection. However, in unstructured interviews, different questions are asked to each candidate which leads to the collection of qualitative data. Recruiters can choose their preferred interview format based on the kind of data they are seeking. 

Open Ended and Closed Discussions

The questions asked to candidates are close ended in a structured interview format. Such questions demand a certain piece of information from the applicants. Whereas, in unstructured interviews, the questions are open ended and offer possibilities for discussions. The candidate is free to give thoughtful answers and the interviewer can better judge the candidate. 

Conclusion

Structured and unstructured interviews have their own advantages and differences. Both the interview formats offer a seamless interviewing experience thus giving results. However, depending on your company’s requirements, you can decide which interview format suits you the best. 

Using a systematic approach for the first round of interviews yields better results, and further going with an unstructured interview format will be an optimal strategy. No matter how different both interview formats are, they are equally important for an efficient recruitment process. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which interview format method is best for the initial round of interviews?

Ans: Structured interview format is best for screening candidates in the initial rounds of interviews as recruiters are looking for candidates that fit their roles and requirements.

Q. What is the difference between structured and unstructured interviews?

Ans: Structured interviews use pre-set questions that ensure consistency throughout the interview process. Whereas, unstructured interviews are more flexible, allowing spontaneous discussions based on candidate responses.

Q. What is the advantage of unstructured interview?

Ans: Unstructured interviews offer scope for an open discussion that helps the interviewer understand the candidate better. In such an interview format, the interviewer can ask questions depending on the responses received and assess candidates better.

Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Look At The Top Benefits Of Interview Outsourcing

Land The Perfect Hire: Learn How Interview Outsourcing Supercharges Your Hiring

Have you ever dreamed of having a magic wand that could deliver the perfect candidate almost instantly? Well, a robust interview outsourcing platform is almost similar.  In today’s day and age where 75% of employers globally report talent shortages, you can easily find the top candidate with the right interview outsourcing platform. From helping you… Read More »Land The Perfect Hire: Learn How Interview Outsourcing Supercharges Your Hiring

Read More »
How to Choose the Best Interview Format for Your Hiring Needs_

How to Choose the Best Interview Format for Your Hiring Needs?

In most organizations, recruiters need to experiment with different interview formats in order to find which format works best for them. Whether you’ve adopted Zoom or similar tools for candidate screenings or transitioned to a fully remote onboarding process, technology has likely transformed your hiring methods.  Amidst all this, deciding which interview format to choose… Read More »How to Choose the Best Interview Format for Your Hiring Needs?

Read More »
002- 10 Video Interview Tips Every Recruiter Must Know About

10 Video Interview Tips Every Recruiter Must Know About

According to a survey, almost 82% of employers use video interviews, and 93% plan to continue using them. While video interviews have been around for quite some time now, it was only after the pandemic that their demand shot up. Today, remote or virtual interviews have become the norm because of the convenience they offer. This means,… Read More »10 Video Interview Tips Every Recruiter Must Know About

Read More »
Decoding Interview: A Guide to Different Interview Formats

Decoding Interviews- A Guide to Different Interview Formats

Whether you are looking to build a dream team or want to expand it, interviews play a crucial role.  But how can you ensure you conduct a successful one? Well, this is where an interview format comes into the picture.  A job interview format is the basic structure and method of the interview, which includes… Read More »Decoding Interviews- A Guide to Different Interview Formats

Read More »
Why You Should Invest in Interview as a Service_

Why You Should Invest in Interview as a Service?

The recruitment industry is transforming, and keeping up with the changing pace can be difficult for companies. Hiring managers are continually innovating to streamline their recruitment processes and attract top candidates. One such innovation in this area is Interview-as-a-Service (IaaS). In this blog, we’ll explore why investing in IaaS can be a game-changer for your… Read More »Why You Should Invest in Interview as a Service?

Read More »
Best Interview Questions for Data Analyst in 2024

Best Interview Questions for Data Analysts in 2024

Hiring for a data analyst position is not an easy job, especially in a competitive market. The role of data analysts includes extracting information from massive data sets, using statistical analysis to provide forecasts, and finding and suggesting fresh strategies to enhance a business. With the rise of advanced tools and emerging hiring trends, recruiters… Read More »Best Interview Questions for Data Analysts in 2024

Read More »