When you’re conducting an interview, the questions you ask can either be extremely structured or semi-structured. Structured interviews are standardised and consistent from one person to the next. Semi-structured interviews, on the other hand, consist of less set questions but still follow a general framework to ensure your responses are consistent and thorough. In this blog post, we’ll go into more detail about what exactly a semi-structured interview is and why it’s beneficial for your company. If you’re looking to hire new employees soon, make sure you read through these helpful tips!
What is a semi-structured interview? #
A semi-structured interview is an interview method in which the interviewer asks a number of specific questions, but avoids asking the same questions to each interviewee. This is in contrast to a structured interview, which has a set number of questions asked to each interviewee. Semi-structured interviews are often used in qualitative research, as they allow the interviewer to ask follow-up questions that are dependent on what the interviewee is saying. They are a great way to gain insight and unstructured data from your interviewees.
Why have a semi-structured interview? #
If you want to get the most out of your interviews, it’s best to go with a semi-structured format. This allows you to ask a variety of different questions, depending on the situation and the person you’re interviewing. With a semi-structured interview, you’ll have all the information you need to make decisions about your company and make recommendations about hiring new employees. If you choose to have a structured interview, your questions will be the same for every candidate that comes in. This makes the process more efficient, but it also limits your insight into the particular person you’re interviewing. With a semi-structured interview, you’re able to get a better idea of the person’s skills and experience. You’ll be able to asses their personality, work style, and goals, which will help you decide who to hire and what roles to place them in.
Key steps for conducting a semi-structured interview #
Prepare: Before you begin your interview, make sure you’ve prepared well. You’ll want a notepad to take notes on the interview, a computer to record data, and a list of questions to guide your conversation.
Confirm the person’s name and title: Before the interview, confirm both the person’s name and the title they’re interviewing for. This way, you’ll be able to address them properly and make sure you’re asking them the right questions.
Set the mood: Make sure the mood is appropriate for the interview. If you’re interviewing a sales candidate, for example, it’s best to interview them in a sales-like setting.
Focus on the right topics: During the interview, make sure you’re focusing on the right topics. To do this, you can ask yourself a few questions: What do I want to know? What are the goals of the interview? What do I want the person to walk away with?
Take breaks: During an interview, it can be easy to forget to take breaks. Make sure you’re taking brief breaks every 30 minutes or so, to avoid fatigue and keep your focus high.
How to integrate qualitative and quantitative data #
One of the biggest benefits of a semi-structured interview is that you’re able to integrate both qualitative and quantitative data. With quantitative data, you’re looking for specific data points, such as the interviewee’s education, salary history, and employment history. With qualitative data, you’ll be looking for information that can’t be put into numbers, like the person’s personality and work style. Integrating both of these types of data into your interview will help you make better decisions in your hiring process. It’ll also allow you to get a better understanding of the person you’re interviewing and hire the right person for the job.
A semi-structured interview is a great interviewing style if you want to get as much information out of the interview as possible. While you may use a mixture of structured and unstructured techniques throughout the interviewing process, the final stage of interviewing is often the most crucial. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to ask candidates, it can be very difficult to come up with questions on the spot, and even if you do, it can be difficult to know what’s important and what isn’t. A semi-structured interview allows you to plan out your questions ahead of time, which will make it much easier to stay on track and get the most out of every interview.