Structured interview is an interview model that has a set of questions used by the interviewer when interviewing an interviewee (Boyd & Rosenberg, 2005). Its questions are set in a specific criterion and guideline. The structured interview gives no room to the interviewer to rephrase the questions asked.
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The answers required for this type of interview are fixed and less open-ended questions are encouraged. The structured interview has an evaluation matrix, which helps in scoring potential candidates in the way they answer the interviewer. There are numerous advantages of structured interviews.
First, it is easier in analyzing the answers given by the interviewee. This is because the fixed questions asked demand specific responses. Secondly, it helps in saving time and cost.
It is quick to answer and therefore make interviewing of a large target group possible. Thirdly, the interviews are simple in conducting and very efficient in data collection. The provided materials and procedures make the process successful with no extra effort made.
Additionally, the structured interview provides well-detailed information on the issues interviewed on and the interviewer is in control of the process. Finally, there is no discrimination towards some interviewees or those with low motivation. There are also disadvantages of structured interviews.
First, it may fix interviewees to the answers preset ignoring what they had in mind. This makes them misrepresent their opinions and facts, which could be sensitive and important to the organization. Secondly, the questioning approach might lead to biasness between the interviewee and the interviewer.
In addition, there is no chance for the interviewee to express his or her answer in depth. This limits the chances of ascertaining an interviewee’s level of knowledge. Thirdly, there is lack of reliability if the interviewers do not go through the same training or follow the same techniques.
Unstructured interview is “an interview with open questions” asked by the interviewer, which require very open answers from the interviewee (Aamodt, 2009, p. 135). The interviewer has his set goals but follows a disorganized or unplanned way and encourages a highly ranged conversation between him and the interviewee.
The interviewer may have an introductory question and after that, he forms questions out of the answers given by the interviewee. This interview method has several advantages. One, it is flexible since it allows the interviewer to interact freely with the interviewee, which increases the chance of getting in-depth information.
Secondly, the interviewee has the chance to explain fully, his ideas and beliefs and the interviewer explores all round questions and ensures they get an exhaustive answer. Thirdly, the interviewer gives the interviewee “the confidence to respond” to very sensitive issues (Aamodt, 2009). This helps in generating the feelings of the interviewee other than the facts.
On the other hand, there are disadvantages of unstructured interviews. First, the method is time consuming, which may lead to few interviews below the targeted number.
The interviewer may be drawn to discussing irrelevant information, which is time wasting. Secondly, it is difficult to analyze the answers given and the interviewer must be very accurate in listening to the response. Lastly, the interviewee is too much in control of the interview process and may get out of the topic, which leads to irrelevancy.
In conclusion, I may say that unstructured interview method is the best as it can greatly benefit both the interviewer and the interviewee if well used. Organizations conduct interviews to help them know who the best candidate for the vacant position is. By using unstructured interview method, the interviewer may get much information from the interviewee that can be of help to the organization.
This may eliminate the need for a research as many applicants act as research sample. On the other hand, the interviewee gets the opportunity to voice his or her concerns to the organization.
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Aamodt, M. G. (2009). Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach (6 ed.). New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Boyd, S. M. & Rosenberg, M. (2005). Extreme Career Perfomance. Ottawa: Author’s Choice Publishing.