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  • Writer's pictureShaun Looi

What is Structured Interview and why you should implement it.

What is a structured interview?

Structured interviews are an amazing interviewing technique. It is a method of assessing all candidates for the role by asking them the same set of questions and comparing them using the same criteria. TRIIIO are big fans of structured interviews and use this method for our own hiring process.

Research has shown that structured interviews can be predictive of candidate performance - So why don’t more of our clients use structured interview questions? Well, they are hard to implement. You have to create the questionnaire, teach them to the interviewers and make sure they stick to them.

There are many benefits to structured interviewing. They include:

These benefits have been documented by more than 20 years of academic research. Companies like Google use them in their own recruitment process.

How do you create a structured interview process?

The first step to building a structured interview process is to have a firm understanding among your team and hiring managers on what to look for in a candidate. Use our Role Qualification document to identify the ideal candidate’s top skills and attributes.

At TRIIIO, we generally look for the following attributes:

  1. Driving Result: TRIIIO wants people who have a track record of driving results. This is about understanding, what and how the candidate performs when given a goal.

  2. Critical Thinking: In this industry, the recruiter constantly deals with a lot of information. Hence, the ability to think critically will help our team succeed.

  3. Change Oriented: The old adage “The only constant in life is change” is especially true in the industry we serve. From constantly changing requirements to more macro changes to the industry and the world. From our data, candidates’ that are more comfortable with change perform better in the recruitment industry.

  4. Building Relationships: TRIIIO values team work over individual brilliance. This is to ensure that the candidate we hire demonstrates a willingness to build and improve relationships with internal team members as well as external stakeholders.

By identifying these competencies, you can then move ahead with writing down the interview questions. Our interview questions start with an initial prompt followed by a few follow up questions that are designed to understand the candidate’s thought processes.

1. The Initial Prompt: The initial prompt is written to be concise and can be clearly understood by the interviewee. Taking Driving Results as an example, our initial prompt would be: “Describe a particularly stretched target that you have worked towards.” The question is also designed to be more open-ended to prevent directing the candidate towards a specific situation. Once the candidate has responded to the initial prompt, we move on to…

2. Follow-up questions: The follow up questions are pre-determined and designed to help the interviewer dive deeper into the candidate’s answers. They are written with the purpose of understanding the candidate’s thought process in that situation.

Behavioral Questions vs Hypothetical Questions

When writing interview questions, it is important to avoid hypothetical questions (What would you do in that situation?). Hypothetical questions generate hypothetical answers, which do not provide consistent data to assess the candidate’s attributes. Use behavioral questions instead to test how a candidate responded to a past situation which is useful in revealing how the candidate acted in the past (Tell me a time when you delighted a customer). This is useful data to grade the candidate’s interview performance.

From this, you can create a grading rubric that can be used to score your candidate’s answers. If this is your first time creating a grading rubric, please expect to make continuous tweaks as you administer it in your recruitment process. At TRIIIO, since we started incorporating structured interviews in our hiring process, we’ve made a total of 3 major revisions, with multiple minor improvements along the way.

We’ve attached our grading rubric here as a reference for you.

The purpose of creating a structured interview process is to be able to consistently assess candidates in a constant manner. This will allow you to link the effectiveness of your recruitment process to work performance. Additionally, if done properly, a structured interview process should help you scale your recruitment process faster.

Drop a comment in the section below to tell us your experience in creating a structured interview process! We’d love to hear what you have done for your company.


TRIIIO is a Malaysian recruitment firm focused on partnering with companies to find and recruit top talent and build their Software Engineering teams. For more information on how we can help you recruit Software Engineers in this candidate tight market, visit our service page. is a curated job board lovingly created by us at TRIIIO Recruitment to make your job search easier! Visit and start searching for Software Engineering jobs today!


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