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Unstructured Interviews

An unstructured interview, also known as a conversational interview, is a type of interview where the interviewer does not follow a set of predetermined questions or a consistent evaluation process. Instead, the interviewer is free to ask questions as they come up and may not follow a specific order or format.

1:05 Lead consultant, Ben Schwencke, explains what are unstructured interviews.

This type of interview is often seen as a more casual or relaxed approach to the interview process. However, the disadvantage of an unstructured interview is that it can lead to a lack of consistency in the information gathered from each candidate.

Without a predetermined set of questions and a consistent evaluation process, it can be difficult to compare and contrast the responses of different candidates and make fair and unbiased hiring decisions.

Research shows that unstructured interviews are less predictive of job performance than structured interview. This is because unstructured interviews are less reliable, more prone to bias, and less consistent in the information gathered.

Consequently, a single structured interview is as effective as interviewing the same candidate multiple times using an unstructured interview.

Furthermore, unstructured interviews can be subject to the interviewer's personal bias and impression of the candidate, which can be influenced by factors such as their appearance, personality or presentation. Therefore, employers should be cautious when using unstructured interviews and should consider supplementing them with other types of assessments, such as structured interviews or work samples.