Good practise | How can structured interviews limit recruiting bias?

How can structured interviews limit recruiting bias?

How do you make your interviewing process as fair as possible and limit biases while keeping it engaging and spontaneous? 

Our article explores what the structured interview is, why is it efficient and brings value, and how you can integrate it smartly into your process.

Ever wondered what candidates think of the pre-recorded interview? Download our survey to find out!

#1. What is a structured interview and how does it work?

In 1997, Campion & al., published a study highlighting the predictive reliability of structured versus unstructured interviewing. The unstructured interview is a conversation, the recruiter does not prepare questions. She will assess the candidates based on her experience and impressions. Therefore, her opinion is likely to be less reliable and objective. Several studies have shown that the validity of an interview increases in proportion to its degree of structuring. On the other hand, good structuring requires rigorous preparation and training. Campion et al. have put forward 15 points to qualify the content and evaluation of an interview as "structured":

Conducting the interview

  1. Job analysis: the questions must be prepared in advance and fit the job requirements.

  2. Questions must be identical and asked in the same order for each interview.

  3. Bouncing-back on candidates' answers should be avoided.

  4. Ask situational questions.

  5. The interview should be consistent and gather essential and relevant information.

  6. Avoid gathering extra information from other sources (CVs, tests, etc.).

  7. Candidates’ questions reduce fairness between interviewees. Wait until the end of the interview.

Assessing

  1. Score answers and assess accordingly.

  2. Use behavioral scales to improve scoring reliability based on the critical incident method.

  3. Take detailed notes during the interview to overcome recency bias (when one prefers the last person they interview because they remember the meeting better)

  4. Interviews can be conducted by several recruiters at the same time or separately

  5. The same assessors will pose the same questions and use identical value scales.

  6. Do not discuss during the interview: limit risks of favoritism.

  7. Train recruiters (job analysis, questioning techniques, critical incident method, evaluation scales, etc.).

  8. Use the statistical prediction model: a decision-making method (weighting of responses, weighted scores).

#2. The structured interview in practice

In short, structured interviewing is a proven model based on a standardized, objective method. Researchers use the standardized interview to develop artificial intelligence algorithms. Recruiters however rarely use it because it can be quite boring. So why not leave structured interviews to pre-selection?

#3. Why the on-demand video interview is the solution for structured interviewing

The on-demand video interview, aka pre-recorded video interview, allows candidates to record their interviews on video when and where they prefer. The recruiter writes an interview questionnaire and associates evaluation criteria for each question. Candidates receive an invitation to record their answers within a limited time frame and according to their availability. The recruiters then get the recording on a dedicated platform and compare and assess the applications with hiring teams according to the defined criteria.

The on-demand video interview is similar on several points to the structured interview:

The same questions are posed in the same order and there are no direct interaction between interviewer and interviewee as the interview is pre-recorded. The time one saves thanks to the pre-recorded video allows us to take a step back from the CV and focus on candidates’ soft skills. Regarding scoring, the recruiter can use the scoring system integrated into the tool to evaluate a candidate. Additionally, the recording helps avoid recency bias. Another benefit is that video interviews can be shared. More people can give feedback resulting in more objective skills assessment and performance review.

The pre-recorded video interview removes many cognitive biases and offers candidates a fair, objective, and structured selection process. Assessors can be influenced by criteria that are irrelevant to a position and hire someone for the wrong reasons. The point of the structured interview is to avoid this with a very standardized process. And since the task isn't the most exciting for hiring teams, how about keeping structured interviewing for the video screening? And the semi-structured interview for the face-to-face interview!

What about candidates? Ever wondered what they think of recording a pre-selection interview? Download our survey to find out!

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