Interview is described as an in-depth conversation between two or more persons, in a formal way, so as to figure out candidate’s acceptability for the job. It is one of the most effective tools for data collection and selection. It is one to one communication between the interviewer and interviewee; wherein both the parties get a chance to learn about each other. Interviews can be structured interview or unstructured interview.
The former uses preset questions, which are asked to all the candidates, while in the case of latter, the questions which are asked are not determined in advance, rather they are spontaneous. Take a look at the given article to know the difference between structured and unstructured interview.
Content: Structured Interview Vs Unstructured Interview
|Basis for Comparison||Structured Interview||Unstructured Interview|
|Meaning||Structured Interview is one in which a particular set of predetermined questions are prepared by the interviewer in advance.||Unstructured Interview refers to an interview in which the questions to be asked to the respondents are not set in advance.|
|Type of Questions||Closed-ended questions||Open-ended questions|
|Application||To validate results, when the number of candidates is quite large.||To probe personal details of the candidate, so as to judge if he is the right person for the job.|
Definition of Structured Interview
Structured Interview is a type of personal interview, in which the interviewer uses a fixed format, wherein the questions are prepared in advance. It uses highly systematised techniques of recording. It is a method of quantitative research used for the purpose of the survey, which aims at presenting the preset questions, in every interview, which the same sequence. It is also known as a patterned or planned interview.
Definition of Unstructured Interview
Unstructured Interview is one, that does not use any fixed format, however, the interviewer may have a few planned questions prepared beforehand. It is a qualitative research method, in which the questions are prepared during the interview. As the interview is unplanned, it has an informal approach where a friendly conversation takes place between the interviewer and interviewee.
The interviewer has the freedom to ask any questions and can also change the sequence or skip some questions that are planned in advance, however, it lacks uniformity. Further, the interviewer should possess deep knowledge and skill on the subject.
Key Differences Between Structured and Unstructured Interview
The difference between structured and unstructured interview can be drawn clearly on the following grounds:
- Structured Interview refers to an interview, in which questions to be asked to the candidates are fixed in advance. An interview in which the questions to be asked to the candidates is rare and not prepared beforehand.
- As the structured interview is a pre-planned and same set of questions are put to all the candidates, so the data collected is quantitative in nature. As opposed to an unstructured interview, wherein different questions are put to different candidates, and so qualitative data is collected.
- In descriptive research, the structured interview is used to collect information, because it is relatively economical and the inferences can be drawn easily. On the contrary, in exploratory research unstructured interview is used as the basic tool for collecting information.
- In a structured interview, the questions put before the candidate are close-ended, that demands a certain piece of information from the applicants, or in fact, he/she has to make a choice among various options provided. As against this, unstructured interview, the questions are open-ended, that can be answered in multiple ways, i.e. the candidate is free to give thoughtful answers and thus influence the interviewer.
- Structured interviews are used by positivists whereas unstructured interview is used by interpretivists.
- The structured interview is used for validating results when the number of candidates is quite large. Unlike unstructured interview, which is used to probe personal details of the candidate, so as to judge if he is the right person for the job.
- In a structured interview, the characteristics evaluated are explicit which on the other side are implicit in an unstructured interview.
Therefore, when the interview is structured, same questions, are put before the candidates, which are job-related. On the contrary, when the interview is unstructured, questions may differ from interviewee to interviewee, for the same job, which may or may not be related to the job.
Moreover, in a structured interview, there is a pre-developed system or guide to check the results. As against this, there is no such pre-developed system or guide for checking interview results.