close

The Water Cooler

A blog of fresh ideas and findings from organizational leaders and researchers on how they’re making work better, shared regularly.

The science of structured interviewing

Filed under: Hiring
In a structured interview, well-trained interviewers ask a set of planned, rigorous, and relevant interview questions and use a scoring guide to make sure their interview ratings are accurate.

When designing a hiring process, organizations are generally solving for four outcomes:

  1. Predictive validity (how well does the hiring process differentiate strong future employees from weaker ones)
  2. Diversity
  3. Candidate experience
  4. Efficiency

Often, these outcomes are at odds with each other. The next time you meet an industrial-organizational psychologist at a dinner party and want to make them sweat, ask them how to solve the diversity-validity dilemma (and then please offer them a drink).

Luckily, structured interviewing is there when you need it most. Based on extensive research in this space, I believe structured interviewing does the best job of balancing validity, diversity, candidate experience, and efficiency in the hiring process, and it’s what more and more teams at Google are using to assess candidates.

In a structured interview, well-trained interviewers ask a set of planned, rigorous, and relevant interview questions and use a scoring guide to make sure their interview ratings are accurate. Structured interviews are one of the best tools we have to identify the strongest job candidates (i.e., predictive validity). Not only that, they avoid the pitfalls of some of the other common methods. For example, structured interviews tend to be better for diversity than standardized intelligence tests, candidates like them better than personality assessments, and they are more efficient than unstructured interviews where interviewers are left to plan questions on their own.

To get started with structured interviews, check out this guide.