How to structure an interview

As an interviewer, your job is to find out everything you can about the candidate. Your best chance of doing this in an effective, efficient and legally compatible way is to use a structured approach to interview structure.

The interview is one structured discussion The goal of getting information about the candidate’s abilities and behavior in the work environment. You should try to avoid making decisions while listening as this may prevent you from hearing what is being said. Make notes – explain to the candidate that you do. If you are interviewing a colleague or business partner – highly recommended – take turns to ask questions and notes.

Best practices show that the more relaxed and comfortable the candidate, the more you learn about them, so take some time to knock them down before starting the formal process.


Analyze the role you fill and identify those key skills, abilities, competencies, past achievements that will lead to success in the role, and identify issues that will allow you to evaluate each candidate against these.

Make time to prepare for the interview in advance. Review application materials, including curriculum vitae and any application forms. Determine which jobs / experiences are most relevant to the target job.

Prepare your introductory questions:

o Note all jobs / experiences for which you are unclear or would like more information
o Note areas of interest and areas of concern that you would like to explore
o Note any gaps in employment

For example, determine the structure of the interview:

o Introduction
o Examine areas of interest from resume, resume and cover letter
o Behavioral issues
o Other interesting areas
or Close

Ask questions in advance to ensure consistency in questioning for all candidates. Use follow-up questions to investigate, which will obviously be different, but the key areas examined will be uniform and make choices much easier.

Opening the interview

Greet the applicant, stating your name and position and the other interviewers involved.

Explain the purpose of the interview:

o Getting to know the interviewer and the applicant
o To learn more about the applicant’s background and experience
o To help the applicant understand the position and organization

Describe the interview schedule:

o Review brief jobs / experiences
o Ask questions for specific information about these jobs / experiences
o Answer the candidate’s questions about the position and organization
o Point out that you both get the information you need to make good decisions
o Specify that you want to make a note

Closes the interview
o Ask them if they have any questions
o Ask them if there is anything they would like to say or want you to know that they did not feel they had a chance to say or hit across
o Explain the next steps in the selection process (do not over-commit to time scales and ask the candidate to highlight any issues with the time scales)
o Thank the applicant for productive conversation