What Is a Semi-Structured Interview?

Job searching can present you with various career interview methodologies as you progress through the hiring process with different employers.

One commonly used career interview tool is a semi-structured interview. Surprisingly, most people aren’t aware of  what a semi-structured interview is.

That being said, if you are one of them, stay with me as I will be discussing what is a semi-structured interview and how it benefits us.

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What Is A Semi-Structured Interview? And How Does it Work

What Is a Semi-Structured Interview?
What Is a Semi-Structured Interview?

Semi-structured interviews are a type of qualitative interview that are often used in research. They are less formal than a structured interview, but more structured than an unstructured interview.

 In a semi-structured interview, the interviewer has a list of questions to ask, but is also allowed to ask follow-up questions and probe into certain topics if they arise during the conversation.

This allows for more flexibility than a structured interview, but still ensures that all important topics are covered. 

Semi-structured interviews can be used with both individual participants and groups of participants.

How it Works

Semi-structured interviews involve a limited number of predetermined questions that are asked in a specific order. While the interviewer has some freedom to ask follow-up questions, the interview is not completely open-ended.

The semi-structured interview format was developed as an alternative to the unstructured interview, which can be unpredictable and lead to confusion on the part of the interviewer and interviewee. 

The semi-structured format allows for more control over the conversation while still providing some flexibility.

using a semi-structured interview is that it can help minimize bias on the part of the interviewer. Because the questions are pre-determined, the interviewer is less likely to ask leading questions or give away clues about how he or she feels about the subject.

Read Also What Is A Screening Interview?

Benefits Of A Semi-Structured Interview 

Semi-structured interviews are one of the most effective ways to assess a person’s skills and abilities here are some of the benefits of a semi-structured interview:

  • They work by allowing the interviewer to ask specific questions while also giving the interviewee the opportunity to provide additional information.

 This type of interview can be used for a variety of purposes, such as hiring new employees, assessing employee performance, or gathering customer feedback.

  • Another  benefits of using a semi-structured interview is that it allows for a more in-depth assessment of a person’s skills and abilities. 

The interviewer can ask specific questions related to the job or position being filled, while also giving the interviewee the opportunity to provide additional information. 

This type of interview can be tailored to meet the needs of each individual employer or organization.

  • Another benefit of using a semi-structured interview is that it can help improve employee performance.
  • Additionally, semi-structured interviews are less time consuming than traditional interviews, making them ideal for busy hiring managers.
  •  semi-structured interviews can help you gauge someone’s natural reactions and how they think on their feet.
  • This type of interview is also less intimidating for participants, which can lead to more candid responses.

How To Handle A Semi-Structured Interview

Benefits Of A Semi-Structured Interview 

Here are some tips to help you  ace a Semi-structured interview, keep reading  to get this vital information.

1.When you go in for a semi-structured interview, it’s important to be prepared. This means doing your research on the company and the position you’re interviewing for, as well as coming up with questions to ask. 

The interviewer will likely start out by asking about your experience and qualifications, so be ready to answer those questions. Then, they’ll move on to more specific questions about the role and the company. 

Be sure to take your time in answering these questions, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if needed.

Read Also What To Wear To An Interview For Women

2. When preparing for a semi-structured interview, it is important to dress appropriately for the position. For many jobs, this means wearing a suit. it is important to dress in a way that shows you are taking the interview seriously and that you are dressed appropriately for the position. 

Some tips on dressing appropriately for a semi-structured interview: 

  • First, research the company and find out what they consider to be appropriate attire. 
  • If you are not sure what to wear, ask a friend or family member who works in a similar field.
  • Wear clothing that is neat and tidy, and avoid loud patterns or colours. 

3.  Be sure to listen carefully to what the interviewer has to say. Pay attention to their responses, and ask follow-up questions if necessary. 

This will help you to get a better understanding of their experiences and what they are capable of doing.

4. Be flexible, and be prepared to go off script if something interesting comes up. 

5. The goal of a semi-structured interview is to get a better understanding of how you’d fit in with the company and what you could bring to the role. So be honest, but also show off your best qualities. And above all, relax and have fun!

6.  Dont forget  to send email thank you note is a must after a semi-structured interview. It’s a way to show your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and to reiterate your interest in the position.

The email thank you note is also an opportunity to correct any mistakes made during the interview.

 If you didn’t have a chance to mention something important, or if you forgot to ask a question, this is your chance to do so.


In conclusion, a semi-structured interview is a powerful tool that can be used to obtain information from individuals in a variety of contexts.

I’m sure at the end if this article you have a clear  definition of what a semi-structured interview is, and all it entails.

It is important to be prepared and to have clear goals in mind. By following these tips, be sure to ace any semi-structured interview now or in  the future.

Don’t forget to share, and drop your questions  in the comment section below.

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