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Wayne State University

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Arguments for A Standardized Interview Approach

When I started in my co-op position I was under the impression that modern organizations typically used structured interviews. Turns out this isn’t necessarily the case. Although I can’t think of one possible reason not to use a structured interview rather than an unstructured one, I did a little digging to uncover some research related to selection just in case I ever had to prove that it is the way to go. Here is the summary of a few articles I found – the articles are also posted.


Interview Information

Article: Identifying and Leveraging Employee Competencies

SHRM Competencies


-          In order to maximize the impact of a competency modeling system, it must be leveraged fully within an organization’s “enabling systems.” These are typically the company’s human resource systems that provide a number of key levers for sending signals to the organization about what really matters. One of these is the recruiting and selection lever, which, when linked to the organization’s competency model, can screen candidates for hire or promotion on the basis of their alignment with the critical competencies linked to producing the organization’s desired results.

Article: Selection Assessment Methods REALLY GREAT SELECTION RESOURCE


-          Many organizations fail to use scientifically proven assessments to make selection decisions, even though such assessments have been shown to result in significant productivity increases, cost savings, decreases in attrition and other critical organizational outcomes that translate into literally millions of dollars.

-          See resource for common myths and best practices

-          See resource for definition of content validity and criterion-related validity


Article: Predictive Validity of a Behavioral Interview Technique

Content Validity & Related Evidence

Oliphant (Stetson University), Hansen (Quintessential Careers), Oliphant (Stetson University)

-          Estimated cost to replace an employee can range from two to four times his or her annual earnings

-          Overall, integrity testing, cognitive ability testing, and use of assessment centers appear to be the most effective at predicting job performance even though the employment interview remains one of the most popular selection tools

-          The employment interview technique has a low predictive validity

-          Structured interviews offer greater predictive validity than unstructured interviews

-          Behavioral interviewing is used by more than 60 percent of Fortune 100 companies

-          Their study looked particularly at a behavioral telephone interview technique for a salesperson position

  • In their study ratings of applicants were predictive of three productivity measures: dollar amount of loans, dollar goal, and monthly dollar average
  • Implementing the structural interview reduced turnover from 38.7% to 13.55%

Article: A Counterintuitive Hypothesis about Employment Interview Validity and Some Supporting Evidence

Content Validity & Related Evidence

Schmidt & Zimmerman (University of Iowa)

-          Administering three to four unstructured interviews and using their average or total score can be expected to yield validity equal to that of one structured interview administered by a single interviewer.

Article: The Validity of Employment Interviews: A Comprehensive Review and Meta-Analysis

McDaniel, Whetzel, Schmidt, Maurer

-          Structured interviews =.44 are more valid than unstructured interview=.33 regardless of content – the validity for unstructured interviews may be inflated due to the increased standardization of scoring interviews for the  purpose of study

-          Situational Interviews yield a higher mean validity =.50 than job-related interviews (they label behavioral interviews in job-related) =.39 which have a higher mean validity than psychological interviews (.29) – The Lominger Interview Architect has elements of both situational and job-related techniques according to the article’s definition of the two.

-          Individual interviews are more valid than board interviews (.43 vs. .32)

-          Interviewers access to cognitive ability test scores decrease validity for predicting job performance (tentative finding)


Article: Divergence or Convergence: A Cross-National Comparison of Personnel Selection Practices

A Cross National Comparison of Selection Models

-          A personal interview and a person’s ability to perform the technical requirements of a job are the two most commonly used criteria in a global sample (Australia, Canada, PRC, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, USA, Latin America)

-          Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan demonstrate a higher relationship between hiring practices and perceived organizational effectiveness

-          ***The Lominger Interview Architect offers competencies that may be of value to certain countries which could be standardized for use in those countries***

Posted by Jessica Bauer on December 12, 2013

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