Human Resource Development Training Program Package



A structured interview also known as a directive interview, is a format of interviewing where the questions asked to the interviewees are fixed and they follow a certain fixed order. The interviewer reads out the questions to the interviewee just as they appear in the structure, and desired answers are discussed before hand.

Unlike the unstructured format of interviews, structured interviews are reliable; they lead to accurate information, valid; chances of going out of topic are slim, fair; since all candidates are asked the same questions it reduces biasness, practical; keeps the interview length consistent and defensible; justification of results in the future is easier.

Comparison between Structured and Unstructured Interviews



Same questions are asked to all candidates

Human Resource Development Training Program Package

Questions may vary from candidate to candidate

Standardized rating scale

No standardized scale

Answers are set primary to the interview

Interviewers use own judgment

Closed ended questions are mainly used

Open ended questions are used

Advantages of a structured interview

A structured interview reduces variation in respondents answers thus reduces errors. Analyses of data is also easier since answers are pre coded (Smalley, 1997).

Human Resource Development Training Program Package

Disadvantages of structured interviews

Respondents may answer inconsistently to the pre determined answers. This is because the interviewer and interviewee may interpret questions differently. Structured interview also requires additional costs, time and expertise to structure questions and answers. (Robert, 1994)

Conducting a Structured Job Interview

1) Job Analysis

Time should be taken to review the job description. This involves an evaluation of the skills, competencies, duties and responsibilities that are involved with that particular job. To gather this information, important sources may include; performance appraisal elements, organizational charts, standard classifications, descriptions of the position and task statements. (Altschuld, 1995).

2) Address competences that should be addressed by the interview

Determine specific competences that should be addressed by the interview. These competences include communication skills, flexibility, interpersonal skills, problem solving, and flexibility among others.

3) Choosing a format and development of questions

Human Resource Development Training Program Package

Format involves candidates past behavior and or anticipated behavior. Past research shows that past performances are the best indicators of future performances. Therefore it’s important to prepare behavior based questions relating to the specific skills and competences required.

4) Development of rating scales

This involves the development of standardized rating scale. A scale could range from the simple 1-5 scale where 1 represents low capability and 5 the highest capability, to the use of adjectives such as poor, average and perfect. (Soriano, 1995).

5) Creating Interview Probes.

An interview probe is a question used by the interviewer to clarify a response. Similar probes are necessary to ensure candidates are given similar opportunities.

6) Evaluate the Interview Process

This involves running a pilot test or a trial run by maybe giving colleagues the questions to answer. This process is used to detect areas that require revisions.

7) Creation of an Interviewers guide

Human Resource Development Training Program Package

An interviewer’s guide provides instructions about the interview in general; the process, common biases and mistakes and general tips of good interviewing. Should also include general competences, interview questions, rating scales and probes.

8) Documentation of the entire process

Proper documentation should be maintained on description of all participants, interview materials and description of the interview development process. (Clardy, 1997).


The process of selecting and recruiting the best people to work towards the success of an organization is crucial in this time and era. Picking the best among the rest is a difficult task and requires prior planning and effective implementation. The structured type of interviewing requires systematic organization in order to come out with the best.

Human Resource Development Training Program Package

Human Resource Development Training Program Package


Clardy, A. (1997). Studying your workforce: Applied research methods and tools for the training and development practitioner. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publishers.

Maddux, Robert B. (1994) Quality Interviewing: A Step-by-Step Action Plan for Success. Menlo

Park, California: Crisp Publications.

McClelland, S. B. (1995). Organizational needs assessments: Design, facilitation, and analysis.

Westport Publishers.

Soriano, F. I. (1995). Conducting needs assessments: A multidisciplinary approach. Thousand Oaks, Sage Publishers.

Smalley, Larry R. (1997). Interviewing and Selecting High Performers. San Francisco: Bass Pfeiffer Publishers.

Human Resource Development Training Program Package

Witkin, B., & Altschuld, J. (1995). Planning and conducting needs assessment: A practical guide. Thousand Oaks, Sage.