Structured Interview:

A structured interview is a standardized questioning process used in qualitative research and various fields of employment. It involves a predetermined set of questions that are asked in a consistent and uniform manner. This interviewing technique aims to ensure objectivity and equal treatment of all participants or candidates, minimizing bias and increasing the reliability and validity of collected data or hiring decisions.

Elements of a Structured Interview:

  • Preparation: Before conducting a structured interview, the interviewer prepares a list of questions in advance.
  • Standardized Questions: The same set of questions is posed to each participant or job candidate, ensuring consistency and comparability of responses.
  • Fixed Answer Choices: Structured interviews often include predetermined response options for participants to choose from, facilitating data analysis and comparison.
  • Scoring Rubric: Evaluators may use a scoring rubric or predetermined criteria to assess and rate participant or candidate responses, promoting fairness and objectivity in evaluation.
  • Time Constraints: Structured interviews typically allocate a fixed amount of time for each question to maintain consistency among all participants or candidates.
  • Documentation: Interviewers document participants’ or candidates’ responses to be analyzed later for research purposes or used in the selection process.

Advantages of Structured Interviews:

  • Reliability: Due to the standardized nature of the questioning process, structured interviews yield consistent data and enhance the reliability of research findings or hiring decisions.
  • Validity: By utilizing a predetermined set of questions and fixed scoring criteria, structured interviews increase the validity of collected data or selection outcomes.
  • Objectivity: Structured interviews minimize interviewer bias and ensure all participants or candidates are treated equally and assessed based on the same criteria.
  • Comparability: The uniformity and consistency of structured interviews allow for easy comparison of participants’ responses and candidate performance.
  • Ease of Analysis: The structured format simplifies data analysis as responses can be categorized and quantified more easily.

Disadvantages of Structured Interviews:

  • Limited Flexibility: The strict adherence to predetermined questions restricts the interviewer’s ability to explore unexpected insights or follow-up on specific participant or candidate responses.
  • Insufficient Contextual Information: Structured interviews may not capture the full context or nuances of participants’ or candidates’ experiences, limiting the depth of understanding.
  • Subjective Question Design: Despite attempts at standardization, the formulation of questions and answer choices may still involve subjective judgment, potentially introducing bias.
  • Potential Participant Bias: Participants may provide responses they believe are more socially desirable or conforming to perceived expectations due to the standardized nature of structured interviews.
  • Time-Intensive: Preparing, conducting, and analyzing structured interviews can be time-consuming, particularly when dealing with a large number of participants or candidates.