A structured interview is sometimes called a pattern interview.
There are two possible ways to carry out the structured interview:
- Asking a set of questions of each and every candidate in a one-on-one interview.
- Having each and every candidate fill out a questionnaire form.
If you are a candidate, be cognizant of the fact that these questions are prepared in advance and will be asked, or have already been asked, of other candidates so that the answers may be compared.
Advantages and disadvantages of structured interviews
When it comes to evaluating the advantages of structured interviews as compared to unstructured ones, the main advantage is that all the applicants have an equal opportunity to prove that they have the required skills and experience for the job.
Additionally, as an initial selection process, the structured interview questions are basically set up in a manner which allows the interviewer to obtain all the initial data as well as professional details that he or she would want to know about every applicant.
The disadvantages of structured interviews are that the company has to interview a sufficient number of applicants in order to begin the comparison – it is time consuming and requires designing questions and intensive resources.
Secondly, the structured interview is basically data-collection; as such it lacks the feasibility to assess the candidate’s communication skills.
Structured Job Interview Questions and Answers – Examples
Some of the questions depend mainly on the type of position; however many questions are asked across every interview including this type of interview.
The following are examples of some of the basic questions asked in a structured interview and tips on how to answer them:
1. Tell me about yourself (Or – tell us about your previous jobs – i.e. your professional experience)
More often than not, this is the first question that you would face in any interview, be it structured or semi structured. The main objective of the question is to find out whether the person is professional and whether he has done his/her homework before applying for the job. Remember that the answer should be short and concise and should provide only those aspects about yourself that would be positive in your job search activity.
Refer to the articles:
2. What are your academic qualifications?
The academic qualifications are quite important in any job profile that you might be looking at today.
Almost every job that has responsibility attached to it will have several qualifications required. There are several cases where a person has not been hired because they did not have the required academic qualifications. Therefore, make sure that you have the required academic qualifications before applying for a job opening.
3. Why are you interested in this job?
This question can also be termed as ‘What brings you to us?” Interestingly, this question is asked more often during interviews for more exciting jobs, like a writer, a copywriter, or an advertising professional, etc.
This question is basically aimed at finding out whether the person who has applied for a typical exciting profession, like an advertisement professional, really knows the advantages and the disadvantages that come with the world of advertising.
You should avoid answers that state that you came in for the money, or that the job is pretty easy, or even that one of your relatives told you to apply for the said job.
The best way to answer this question is to tell the interviewer that you are interested in moving ahead in the said profession, and that you were always interested in the profession.
Refer to the articles:
4. What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?
This is a kind of SWOT analysis that every interviewer would want the person to prepare for even before they join the company.
The very fact that a person knows his/her strengths and weaknesses tells the interviewer that the person is mature and knowledgeable enough to handle the job.
Refer to the article: Examples of weaknesses and strengths.
5. Questions related to personal life.
Some of the questions may even be targeted to your family and personal life.
These questions, though they seem harmless, play an important role in deciding whether you will be hired by the company or not.
There are some companies that would prefer a single man over a married man and vice versa. For example, a company that is hiring traveling salesmen would like to hire bachelors, while a company that intends to hire a senior manager, would like to hire a person who is well settled in life, which translates into marriage. Some questions that are asked are: Are you married? Do you have kids?
6. Would you be willing to travel once a month out of the city/state/country?
The answers to these questions should be truthful and factual.
Every person has to juggle his/her personal and professional lives, and it would get very difficult if you begin to juggle this life on ambiguous terms. If you are not willing to travel once in a month it would be better to share this information with the interviewer at that very moment.
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